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Multi-factor Authentication at Northwestern

What is Multi-factor Authentication?

Northwestern Information Technology provides Multi-factor Authentication technology, adding an extra layer of login protection for Northwestern systems. This technology, powered by Duo, integrates your phone into the login process, resulting in two types of authentication to verify your identity:

Once a phone is registered with Multi-factor Authentication, attempts to access University systems that utilize this technology require a user to confirm their identity by using a simple application on the registered smartphone, via a text message, or answering a phone call to any of your registered phone number.

Security Benefits 


Registration is a simple online process that takes just minutes to complete. Watch the training video Online Tutorial for step-by-step instructions and to learn what to expect. Visit the Knowledge Base for solutions to commonly asked questions about registering and managing your phone with MFA.

Once registered, the login process is simple. Enter your NetID and NetID password, as usual, and you will be prompted to confirm your identity through your registered phone via voice, text-message, or push notification to the Duo App. Once confirmed, you will then gain access to the system.

Similar to many industry adoptions of Multi-factor Authentication, you have the option to check a “remember me” box, which will bypass the need to use Multi-factor Authentication for subsequent logins for a period of 30 days.

Screen shot of Multi-factor confirmation

You will however, still need to use your NetID and NetID password for each login.

Registration Resources

Manage Your Registered Phones

You can manage your registered phone(s*) at any time, including:

Registration How-to Video

Northwestern IT has created a short video to provide easy step-by-step instructions on how to register your phone with Multi-factor authentication. Watch it below:

Uses at Northwestern

myHR Self-Service was the first University system to use Multi-factor Authentication at Northwestern. In April 2016, Multi-factor Authentication was added to NUPlans. In July 2016, Multi-factor Authentication was added on several self-service University-wide systems, including NUFinancials, InfoEd, CATracks, Cognos BI, and Self-Service CAESAR.

The University continues to be proactive in using various technologies to further protect personal employee data and the data of the entire University community. As members of the University community, it is everyone's responsibility to take steps to protect your NetID password that will ultimately protect access to sensitive information on Northwestern administrative and departmental data systems.

Last Updated: 13 May 2019

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