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Fall 2014 Faculty/Staff Edition

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Faculty/Staff Edition Fall 2014

What Is Multi-factor Authentication?

You may have heard about a technology used on campus called Multi-factor Authentication. So, what is it and how does it affect you?

Multi-factor Authentication is a technology that requires you to provide an extra piece of information when logging in to online systems to verify that you are who you say you are. It’s a technology that’s been around for a long time and something that you’ve most likely used without even knowing it.

When you buy gas with your credit card and are asked to enter your zip code before your payment is processed, make an online purchase and have to provide your three-digit code on the back of your credit card before finalizing the order, or log in to your Gmail account and are asked to provide a system-generated code before getting access to your email you’re using Multi-factor Authentication.

In short, using Multi-factor Authentication helps keep the bad guys out there from hacking into your personal information—even if they have your password. 

How It Works

At Northwestern, Multi-factor Authentication uses a phone to complete the second step into the login process. When logging into a University system that has Multi-factor Authentication enabled, you’ll enter your NetID and NetID password as usual. The extra step is to accept or deny a notification on your registered smartphone, mobile phone, or landline phone.

These multiple factors are combined to confirm that it’s really you requesting access. So, even if your NetID password has been lost or otherwise compromised, someone would still need to have your phone in order to approve your login.

Multi-factor Authentication on Campus

Beginning this month, NUIT and the Office of Human Resources will support Multi-factor Authentication on Faculty and Staff Information System (FASIS) Self-Service.

“We have been working with NUIT for several months to provide a key solution that would allow us to re-enable electronic access to W-2s and Direct Deposit information within FASIS Self-Service,” said Kathy Tessendorf, director of Faculty & Staff Information Systems, Office of Human Resources. “We are pleased to provide registered users with another resource to help ensure that access to their personal information on FASIS can only be authorized by them.”

Get Started Using Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication welcome screen

You’ll need to register your phone with Multi-factor Authentication to be allowed electronic access your W-2s and Direct Deposit authorizations. Registration is a simple online process that takes just minutes to complete. If you choose not to register, you’ll still be able to log in and access all other services within FASIS Self-Service.

Once registered, each time you sign in to FASIS Self-Service, you’ll be prompted to respond to a phone call to your registered phone number or a push notification from an app on your registered phone. Only after you approve the notification will you be allowed access to your FASIS information.  

“Use of Multi-factor Authentication is remarkably simple and a very positive reinforcement of the concept of ‘You Are the Key’ to effective security by placing enhanced controls directly into your hands,” said David Kovarik, director, NUIT Information and Systems Security/Compliance. “It adds an extra layer of protection over your personal information and sensitive data on the Northwestern systems and network.”

Learn More

Attend the interactive NUIT Tech Talk webinaron Multi-factor Authentication at Northwestern on November 20 from your desktop or laptop. Register now for this event.

Visit the Multi-factor Authentication at Northwestern web page for additional information about the service, registration instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions.

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