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Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

Multi-Factor Authentication required for staff members to access Office 365

In 2020, Queen’s implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA) to improve cybersecurity at the university. In addition to a username and password, MFA will now prompt staff members for another form of authentication before logging in to specific services. It acts as an additional form of proof of digital identity to help ensure that only authorized users can access an account, much like using a PIN with a bank card at an ATM.

Beginning in July 2021 and endorsed by Queen’s senior leadership, enrolment in multi-factor authentication will be required for all non-enrolled staff members* to access Microsoft Office 365 applications (including Queen’s email). This change will be rolled out to faculty and students in the coming months.

What This Means for Queen’s Staff Members

Starting July 6, staff members who have not yet enrolled in MFA will be prompted to do so at each log in to most Queen’s applications. These prompts will continue for up to 14 days with no consequence. Staff members will lose access to Office 365 applications (including email) if they do not enroll for MFA within the 14-day window.

  • This change applies to all Office 365 applications, including Office 365 mobile apps and web apps that require your NetID to log in.

  • Non-enrolled staff members who request a hardware token and indicate in the request that they are receiving prompts to enrol for MFA will stop receiving enrolment reminders when the hardware token request is processed. Non-enrolled staff members are not required to enrol for MFA until the token arrives and can be activated.

Note that if a staff member is on leave or vacation as of July 6, the 14-day countdown window will not begin until the first time they log in to most Queen’s applications upon return to work.

Next Steps

  1. Enrol in MFA using the MFA tutorials found on the IT Services website.
  2. Review the list of Microsoft Office 365 applications to become familiar with what is impacted by this change.


  • For assistance with enrolment, contact the IT Support Centre by calling 613-533-6666 or by visiting the online Service Portal. See the IT Services website for hours.
  • To learn more about multi-factor authentication (enrolment tutorials, FAQs), please visit the Multi-Factor Authentication pages on the IT Services website.

* Excludes some trades and custodial staff (to be enrolled at a later date); however, new custodial staff will get prompted for MFA enrolment upon onboarding as of July 6, 2021