UTServicesLISACyber safetyNewsImportant Security Update: Change to Two-Step Authentication with SMS/telephone number

Important Security Update: Change to Two-Step Authentication with SMS/telephone number

We would hereby like to inform you of an important change in our authentication policy aimed at improving the security of our systems and data. This change the result of a decision by Microsoft that we are following as a university. This relates to the use of text messaging (SMS) or telephone number as a second authentication factor. 

In line with our ongoing commitment to improved security, we no longer offer authentication methods that are considered insecure, such as text messages (SMS) and telephone number. SMS messages pose security risks, such as SIM swapping and interception, making them less suitable for two-step authentication. 

From 20 October, no longer use SMS or telephone number as an authentication method 

This means that from 20 October, SMS and will no longer be available as an option for two-step authentication and we will no longer support it. If you use SMS or telephone number as your second authentication method, you will receive a total of three notifications from Microsoft to set up an alternative method. Set an alternative authentication method before 20 October so that you continue to have uninterrupted access to all systems. (Note: if you have already snoozed (delayed) this message three times, this option will not work after that). 


Do you use SMS or telephone number as a second factor? If so, please switch to a more secure alternative to two-step verification, namely the Microsoft Authenticator app. Check the Service Portal for any further alternatives and how to reset your authentication method yourself. If you do not have a UT smartphone or do not want to use your private smartphone for the MFA, it is possible to purchase a low-budget smartphone (without SIM card) via the LISA self-service portal at the expense of and in consultation with your faculty/department. 


We will make every effort to make this transition as smooth as possible, and our Service Desk ICT is ready to provide support in setting up alternative second factors. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in implementing this important security measure. Together, we will ensure a safer online environment. 

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