Tonight’s implementation of MFA for Office 365, including Outlook, Teams, and OneDrive has been deferred until later this fall, after the semester is underway.

The remaining Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) implementation for close to 90 departmental and university-wide applications including Blackboard, Zoom, Canvas and more will proceed as scheduled at 8:00 pm. See the full list of applications at its.wsu.edu/mfa. The implementation will take only a very short time, and users will begin seeing authentication requests over the next 24 hours for these applications.

The decision to defer Office 365 was made in response to multiple feedback discussions with the Provost’s Office and university-wide technical support staff. Everyone’s commitment to these conversations is greatly appreciated.

Information Technology Services’ goal is to ensure students, faculty, and staff have the best technology and data security support possible as the university prepares for online learning this semester. Multi-Factor Authentication is an important security resource during this largely remote learning and working environment. However, we recognize implementing the changes to user email and other Office 365 tools at this time adds an additional burden on our community that we will not allow.

We will continue to work with our community partners and the Provost’s Office to reschedule the security changes to Office 365 and will share more information with you as it becomes available.

Thank you for your understanding.

MFA Setup
MFA will be required every 24 hours if you stay on the same browser session and device. If you change devices or connections, you will be asked to reauthenticate.

Okta Verify, an authentication phone app offers Push functionality, the most expedient MFA tool.  ITS offers a quick video on Push in the MFA How-To Resources.

One MFA factor is required to be set up for every WSU user. However, two is highly recommended when possible to recover or update MFA information via self-service options. Pointing two methods, such as text and voice call, to the same cell phone does not provide the backup ITS recommends. If that phone is not available, you are still locked out and may experience delays in accessing important work tools.

Text messaging is the most widely selected authentication tool by WSU users, yet it is also the most likely to experience delays that could cause user frustration. If data demand is heavy, texts are a low priority for data providers. This can cause the texted code to expire by the time it reaches the user.  In those high data demand instances, a voice call MFA code would not get delayed.

Users can visit account.wsu.edu to update MFA preferences and network password anytime.

Why MFA?
Protecting personal information is a top priority at WSU. Repeatedly, data shows compromised single-password security is a source of compromised data.  MFA enhances WSU’s protection of both personal and organizational data by adding an authentication code that is difficult to obtain by a cyber-criminal. MFA allows the individual to be a key partner in protecting both their own and WSU’s information.