Link to NUIT Home

NUIT HOME

Fall 2014 Faculty/Staff Edition

eCommunicator is a quarterly newsletter about technology tools, services, and support at Northwestern University.

eCommunicator Home sidebar links

Article Sidebar Links

In this issue…

NUIT Events & Presentations

What’s New & Changing in IT?

eCOMMUNICATOR

Faculty/Staff Edition Fall 2014

Passwords Redux


David KovarikInformation Security You Are The Key
David Kovarik,
Director NUIT Information & Systems Security/Compliance

November 2014 brings the change to Central Daylight Time, falling leaves, mid-term elections, a taste of winter weather, Thanksgiving, and yet another article on passwords.

Again with passwords? Why? Because they are IMPORTANT!!! More on this in a moment.

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

This November, NUIT and the Office of Human Resources are introducing Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) by way of the Faculty and Staff Information System (FASIS). Founded on Internet2’s DUO solution, it requires participants in the program to respond to a message or call placed to a phone registered with the DUO system. Yes, it still requires your NetID and password; the MFA component is the message/call.

This implementation, which is an additional authentication feature to further protect access to your personal information, is currently available only with FASIS. Until MFA is implemented more widely, the little ol’ password is still KING! Which brings us back to the main topic.

Passwords RULE! Yes They Do!

Despite some security experts saying that the password is “dead,” it continues to be the most popular method of authentication employed by the majority of financial, healthcare, government, university systems, and more. Until the MFA technology improves and gains wider acceptance, the user ID/password combination will remain the primary method of authentication and to prove that you are who you say you are.

That’s not to say that passwords alone are the most secure method of authentication, just that they remain the most popular; effectiveness is highly dependent upon several factors:

Suffice it to say that password selection is your personal responsibility; I can only offer suggestions and some control over your selections. You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it yet again…

You Are The Key!



Social Media