Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is how we keep La Trobe University's computer accounts secure.
Multi-Factor Authentication is the second step to verify your identity when you sign into La Trobe applications. It prevents anyone, besides you, from gaining access to your account, even if your password is stolen.
Using a strong password in conjunction with Multi-Factor Authentication prevents malicious access to your account and personal information.
The use of Multi-Factor Authentication falls under the terms of the Use of Computer Facilities Statute.
How to setup and use Multi-Factor Authentication
How to set up Multi-Factor Authentication
To install the Microsoft Authenticator App you will need:
- A device to access the La Trobe environment like a laptop or desktop computer
- A smartphone or tablet (ensure your smartphone or tablet has ‘notifications’ enabled for the Microsoft Authenticator App)
Once you have registered for MFA, you may be prompted to authenticate the first time you open each application.
Steps to set up Multi-Factor Authentication
- Download the Microsoft Authenticator App on your smartphone/tablet via Apple App store or Google Play store. Ensure that you enable push notifications for the Microsoft Authenticator App.
- Open a MFA enabled application (e.g. Office 365).
- Begin the log in process (enter your username and password). You will be prompted with a ‘More Information Required’ screen. Select ‘Next’.
- This screen will provide you with the link and application to download on your smartphone device. Select ‘Next’.
- This screen will provide you with the steps to open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone/tablet. Select ‘Next’ and leave the browser window open while you set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on your device.
- Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone/tablet. Select the plus sign to add your account. Choose ‘Work or school account’.
- Select ‘Scan QR code’. Scan the QR code on your computer.
- Once the account has been added return to your computer. Select 'Next'.
- This will prompt a test it out screen. You will have a two digit number on your screen. Enter the number on your smartphone/tablet device. Select 'Yes'.
- Back on your computer screen you should now have a successful configuration. Select ‘Next’. A success page will be displayed. Select ‘Done’.
- Set up an additional device as a secondary authentication device in case that your primary device is unavailable. Your other device could be another smartphone or tablet. You can add a new device by navigating to the MFA Setup.
- When replacing your smartphone or tablet make sure you still have access to your old device as you may need to accept an MFA challenge while configuring your new device.
- Create a backup of your account credentials in your Authenticator app. This will allow you to recover the credentials should your authenticator app or device become inaccessible.
About Multi-Factor Authentication
What are the benefits of using Multi-Factor Authentication?
- La Trobe University uses Multi-Factor Authentication because cyber security is a real threat facing all organisations worldwide.
- It is important to La Trobe University that we have secure verification processes in place to protect all our La Trobe University users’ identities and intellectual property.
Why is La Trobe University doing Multi-factor Authentication?
La Trobe University is rolling out Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for all La Trobe University student account users, which is the best practice to address the threat of cyberattack.
It is important to La Trobe University that we have secure verification processes to protect all our La Trobe University users’ identities and intellectual property.
How does Multi-Factor Authentication work?
When logging into selected La Trobe systems and applications, you will be prompted to verify your identity via the Microsoft Authenticator Application installed on your smartphone.
This verification process on your smartphone is in addition to your username and password on your device that you use to access La Trobe applications.
You will be asked to verify who you are when you open a Microsoft application for the first time or use a device you have not used before.
The Microsoft Authentication application will not have any access to any personal information (such as bank details, passwords, photos, messages, calls or browsing history) on your smartphone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I setup another device for MFA as a backup?
If you have another device, we strongly encourage you to set it up as your backup authentication method in case your primary authentication method is not available to you. Having a backup device will allow you to use MFA on another phone or tablet and will ensure you are able to access your applications and systems. You can add an additional device by navigating to the MFA Setup.
What are the requirements for Multi-Factor Authentication?
- A device to access the La Trobe environment; like a desktop computer or a laptop.
- A smartphone.
For Apple devices, the Authenticator app requires iOS 11.0 or above. For Android devices, the Authenticator app requires 6.0 or above.
What if I don't have a smartphone or tablet to use the Microsoft Authenticator app?
Contact Student IT Support for assistance.
My Authenticator is unavailable (e.g lost/broken/new phone). What can I do?
If you have gotten a new phone and the previous one is still working as an Authenticator, you can set up the new one by navigating to the MFA Setup directly. Then, you can remove your previous device as an Authenticator from your MFA device list.
If you have lost/broken/reset your phone or your authenticator is otherwise not available, please contact Student IT Support for assistance with resetting or temporarily suspending MFA on your student account.
What are the differences between MFA registration and an MFA 'challenge'?
Once MFA is rolled out to you; you need to complete a one-off “registration” process connecting your Authenticator App (in your smartphone) with your La Trobe account (via a web browser).
When logging into MFA enabled application, based on your access circumstances, you will be prompted to verify your identity via your Authenticator App. This prompt is known as a “MFA challenge”.
How often will I be prompted for Multi-Factor Authentication?
It depends on your access circumstance. Change of location, laptop, or PC may trigger an MFA challenge. If you are accessing from the same location and device, then you may not be asked every time.
What if I change my La Trobe password, will Multi-Factor Authentication still work?
Yes, MFA will work regardless. There is no action required from you.
Can I change my default authentication device/method after I have completed the setup?
Yes. To change your default authentication device/method:
- Login to Microsoft My Account. You will need to do this on a computer, not a phone.
- Click Update Info under the Security Info section of the page.
- Click Change next to Default Sign-in method and follow the prompts to change your authentication method.
Can I still use the Authenticator app without internet connection or outside of Australia?
You can still use the Authenticator app when you are not connected to the internet or outside of Australia. Open the Authenticator app and select 'La Trobe University' to find a 6-digit code. Use this code instead to verify your identity.
What La Trobe applications will use Multi-Factor Authentication?
- Office 365 applications
- VPN (Big-IP Edge Client)
- Learning Management System (LMS Moodle)
- PebblePad / Atlas
- MyApps (Virtual Desktop)