Using Two Factor Authentication with MS Office 365 Business Edition

I’ve had the pleasure of co-presenting with Brian Edelman, the President of Financial Computer, Inc. on numerous occasions over the last several years. Recently, as Brian and I were preparing a presentation, the subject of MS Office 365 for Business two-factor authentication came up. Brian mentioned that Microsoft offered a number of two factor authentication methods, but that this function was not well known. I certainly was not aware of this functionality myself!

It turns out, however, that the method of enabling two-factor authentication is not well documented. Our suspicion was that few if any advisors were using two-factor authentication because its existence was not well known. If the sample of advisors we talked to at a recent conference was any indication, our suspicion was well founded. Almost nobody was using two-factor authentication with MS 365 for Business.

Clearly, both Brian and I feel it is beneficial for advisors to turn on two-factor authentication if they use MS Office 365, but some guidance is required. Brian volunteered to put together a clear, concise tutorial on how to use a phone-based app, the Microsoft Authenticator, to authenticate. We believe this is the easiest and least intrusive method. Here’s how it works: Once you attempt to log on to MS Office 365, a pop up screen appears on your phone. It simply asks you to approve or disapprove the log in. If you approve, you are in. If you disapprove, the system stays locked down.

For a full tutorial on enabling two-factor authentication, click here: TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION TUTORIAL

Joel Bruckenstein
Joel Bruckenstein
Joel P. Bruckenstein, CFP®, is Publisher of the T3 Tech Hub (formerly the T3 newsletter) and the producer of the Technology Tools for Today (T3) Advisor Conference, the only annual technology conference for independent advisors, as well as the Technology Tools for Today (T3) Enterprise Conference. He also hosts other technology summits in partnership with thought leaders in the financial services industry (e.g., Brian Hamburger of MarketCounsel) and his own by-invitation-only fintech summit every summer. In 2020, Bruckenstein will produce for the first time a new one-day intensive called T3 Cyber University. Bruckenstein is an internationally acclaimed expert on applied technology as it relates to the financial service industry. He is the co-author of three books: Virtual Office Tools for a High Margin Practice, Tools and Techniques of Practice Management, and Technology Tools for Today’s High Margin Practice. Bruckenstein’s monthly technology columns appeared in Financial Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine for many years. In addition, he works in tandem with industry influential Bob Veres, publisher of Inside Information, to produce an annual technology survey for the financial planning community. Bruckenstein accepted the fifth annual Leadership Award bestowed by Bob Veres' Insider's Forum, a conference that brings together the leading figures of the financial planning profession during a main stage presentation at the Insider's Forum held September 6-8, 2017 in Nashville, TN. Bruckenstein has for more than twenty years advised financial service firms of all sizes on improving their technologies, processes and workflows. For more information about Joel Bruckenstein and the services his firm offers, please visit

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