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Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Set up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) now

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-Factor Authentication, or MFA, is a security measure that is being introduced across the NHS. If you use digital services outside of work, there is a good chance you already use MFA for at least some of your daily life.

What is MFA? 

MFA protects you by enhancing your IT security - making it more difficult for someone else to sign into your Microsoft account to gain access to your NHS email, Microsoft Office tools and data.


How does MFA work?

Cyber criminals can access your account if they guess your password correctly or trick you into sharing your details using a phishing email.

To prevent this from happening, MFA adds an additional layer of security to the sign-in process by asking you to prove who you are by providing a second form of identification, in addition to your username and password.  

For your second form of identification, it is recommended that you install an app on your smartphone or tablet called Microsoft Authenticator. This will enable you to generate a unique passcode that can be used to verify your identity when signing in.

When will I be asked for MFA?

You will only be asked for MFA if your identity needs to be further verified for security reasons.

An example could be when signing in to your Microsoft account from a personal computer or personal mobile device, which is not on the NHS network. 

How effective is MFA?

99.9% of accounts compromised by cyber attacks can be blocked by using MFA – Source: Microsoft

Why is MFA important to the NHS?

Cyberattacks on electronic health records and other systems pose a risk to patient privacy because cyber criminals could access sensitive information, potentially causing harm to patient safety and care delivery. There is also a risk that ransomware viruses could be used to hold medical records or devices hostage, risking your access to vital tools and information.

What are the benefits of MFA?

MFA helps enhance IT security by:

  • Keeping data in a more protected environment
  • Providing increased protection against cyber threats
  • Helping you to gain access to your account should you forget your password
  • Safeguarding our NHS reputation.

How do I get started?

To help ensure your Microsoft account and data remain secure, please install the Microsoft Authenticator app and set up MFA on your user account as soon as possible by following our MFA guide

MFA is quick and easy for most people to set up. By enrolling now, you will avoid having to do this at an inconvenient time when prompted for MFA. 




Get started - Set up MFA

MFA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

MFA Help and Support