Microsoft Authenticator: The secure choice for RIAs and financial advisors

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In the fast-paced world of wealth management, where every moment counts, the idea of adding an extra layer to your login process might seem like an inconvenience. Yet, this seemingly small security precaution could be the very shield that safeguards your registered investment advisory (RIA) or financial advisory firm’s sensitive information.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is not just a security measure; it’s a frontline defense strategy in an era where data breaches and cyberthreats loom larger than ever. And when it comes to MFA, Microsoft Authenticator offers a secure, convenient, and robust solution for RIAs and financial advisors.

What is Microsoft Authenticator, and why should RIAs and financial advisors use it?

Microsoft Authenticator is a free mobile app that provides an additional layer of security to your login process. It generates a unique six-digit code or sends a prompt to your device for verification, in addition to your usual username and password. This prevents unauthorized access even if someone manages to obtain your login credentials.

For RIAs and financial advisors, the choice of Microsoft Authenticator over other types of MFA is a strategic decision, driven by three key factors:

  • Robust MFA – Microsoft is a trusted name in the tech industry, and its Authenticator app is built on a robust security infrastructure. It uses industry-standard security protocols and encryption methods to ensure the highest level of protection for your accounts.
  • Time-sensitive one-time passcodes (TOTP) – Unlike traditional authentication methods such as text messages, Microsoft Authenticator generates TOTPs. These dynamic codes expire quickly, minimizing the risk associated with static codes delivered via text. This time-sensitive approach reduces the window of opportunity for potential attackers and enhances the overall resilience of the authentication process.
  • Device versatility – RIAs and financial advisors often need the flexibility to access systems and data from various devices. Microsoft Authenticator provides a seamless experience across smartphones and tablets, making it an ideal choice for professionals who are always on the go.

How to get Microsoft Authenticator

Microsoft Authenticator is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can download the app from the App Store or Play Store, respectively, or scan the corresponding QR code below.

For iOS

For Android

How to add and manage accounts on Microsoft Authenticator

Once you have downloaded and installed the app, follow these steps to add your accounts:

  1. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your device.
  2. Click Add account or tap on the plus icon (+) in the upper right corner to add an account.
  3. Select the type of account you want to add (Personal, Work or school account, or Other account).
  4. Follow the prompts to sign in and verify your account.
  5. If prompted, choose to allow notifications for the app to receive push notifications for authentication.

To manage your accounts, simply click on the account name to view its details and options. You can also customize the settings for each account, such as changing the verification method or removing the account from the app.

How to use Microsoft Authenticator

Using Microsoft Authenticator is simple and straightforward. Here’s how you can authenticate your login with a push notification or TOTP:

  1. Enter your username and password on the login page for your account.
  2. When prompted, open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your device.
  3. If you have enabled push notifications, simply tap Approve to verify your identity. If not, enter the six-digit code generated by the app into the authentication field on the login page and click Verify.

And just like that, your login is complete!

In addition to TOTPs, Microsoft Authenticator supports other verification methods, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, depending on the capabilities of your device. You can choose the option that works best for you.

Listen to our podcast on why your RIA should use Microsoft Authenticator instead of text or SMS for multifactor authentication

Secure your RIA or financial advisory firm with Microsoft Authenticator

The security of your RIA or financial advisory firm’s data and systems is not a matter to be taken lightly. As cyberthreats continue to evolve, so must your security measures. Microsoft Authenticator offers a secure, convenient, and versatile solution for RIAs and financial advisors, allowing you to focus on delivering exceptional services to your clients with peace of mind.

Our team at RIA WorkSpace highly recommends Microsoft Authenticator for our clients and encourages you to switch to this powerful MFA tool. We can assist you with the setup and management of Microsoft Authenticator, as well as provide you with other managed IT services to further enhance the security and efficiency of your RIA or financial advisory firm. Contact us now to learn more.