W hen the standard security offerings that come bundled with Office 365 aren’t good enough for your business needs, two factor authentication with RSA SecurID can help you lock down your documents. We’re going to take a look at what security options come standard with Office 365, how two factor authentication works, and what the RSA SecurID can offer. By the end of this article you’ll know if an RSA SecureID configuration is right for your company and how to get started.
Standard security with Office 365
The standard security options that come with Office 365 are fairly robust. By default, users are required to create a new password every 90 days. These passwords must be at least six characters long, include numbers or symbols, and not match previous passwords stored in the password history. These default settings already provide ample security for most organizations. However, two factor authentication can provide an extra layer of security for businesses with particular requirements.
How does two factor authentication work?
The first factor in user authentication is the password we have all become accustomed to using. Logging into even a simple Gmail account requires a username and password. That’s an example of one factor authentication. Anyone that knows the username and password for the account is presumed to be the account owner and they are granted access. With two factor authentication, the user must provide a second piece of information in addition to the classic username and password. Even within Gmail, two factor authentication can be setup with a smartphone app. The app provides a six-digit password that changes every sixty seconds. When you login to your account, you must provide the username, password, and the current six-digit number from the app. This is just one example of two factor authentication. The second factor can be a number, as this example shows, but it can also be an image, text message, or a number of other options. Any user that can provide both of these authentication factors is presumed to be genuine and given access to the system.
What does the RSA SecurID provide?
Basically, the RSA SecurID is a pocket-size device that can reside on your keyring. It generates a six-digit number which updates every sixty seconds. When a user attempts to login to Office 365, they will need to provide their typical username and password. In addition, with two factor authentication setup, they will need to supply the six-digit number displayed on their RSA SecurID. This second layer of security makes it more difficult for unauthorized users to access the documents stored in your Office 365 account.
How to get started with two factor authentication in Office 365?
Transitioning from the standard security options provided with Office 365 to federated identities with directory synchronization can be a complicated process. Among other things, you’ll need to setup and configure additional servers to enable Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) and Directory Synchronization (DirSync). Here at Code A Site, we’ve become experts at making this transition and we can help you navigate this complex process. If you need some help with this process, Contact us today and we’ll help you manage the transition to a more secure Office 365 configuration with two factor authentication.
Let us help you with the transition and so much more!