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Multi-Factor Authentication Protects Critical Applications

To help protect critical applications from unauthorized access, multi-factor authentication (MFA), sometimes referred to as two-factor authentication, adds a second layer of security. Passwords are typically the weakest link in authentication. MFA makes it much harder for applications to be breached if a user’s credentials are compromised.

How Does MFA Work?

Multi-factor authentication ensures a user is granted access to an application only after presenting two or more pieces of evidence or verification methods that the user is in fact who they say they are. Authentication evidence or verification methods typically fall under three categories:

  • Something you know – such as a user id and password
  • Something you have – such as a verification code or push notification on a mobile device
  • Something you are – such as a fingerprint or retina scan

Can My District Use MFA?

Many K-12 institutions incorporate Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions from Google Cloud and Microsoft 365. Both Google Cloud and Microsoft 365 IAM solutions support individual applications to have MFA enabled, and can also be set for individual users. Learn more about their MFA capabilities by visiting Google Cloud or Microsoft 365 IAM help sites.

Does PowerSchool Support MFA?

PowerSchool applications that support Google Cloud or Microsoft 365 for Single-Sign-On (SSO) can easily be integrated with MFA through the Google Cloud or Microsoft 365 IAM dashboards to support a wide variety of MFA verification methods. Once MFA is enabled for the PowerSchool application, the user will be required to provide a second piece of evidence or verification after login. The second verification can be as simple as a confirmation on their mobile device.

Incorporating MFA with PowerSchool applications results in reduced risk of security issues and greater achievement of compliance requirements. As K-12 institutions look for a more comprehensive strategy to improve security, they should consider taking advantage of the added protection MFA provides.

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