KU is Adopting Multi-Factor Authentication
Students, parents, employees and other stakeholders trust the University of Kansas with personal, confidential and sensitive information, including student records, research data and health information. Collectively and individually, we have a legal and ethical obligation to protect that information to the best of our ability.
To best protect you and all other stakeholders, KU is adopting multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access safeguarded systems. Multi-factor authentication requires two ways of confirming your identity when logging in to protected systems: using something you know and something you have. Something you know is your KU Online ID and password. Something you have is a mobile phone.
While this is new to KU, use of multi-factor authentication is quickly growing in higher education. In fact, most Big 12 schools and our peer institutions already use multi-factor authentication.
KU Information Technology will work with campus leaders over the next seven months to implement MFA, beginning with units that want the added protection as soon as possible. By Oct. 1, all KU faculty, staff and GRAs/GTAs/GAs will use MFA when signing in to KU systems through single sign-on (SSO). If you feel your department could benefit from using this service now, speak to your leadership about scheduling an early enrollment event.
Why is KU adopting MFA?
We all have access to sensitive and confidential online information, whether it’s our own paychecks, student records or research data. In today’s digital environment, a password and login ID alone don’t provide enough security. Multi-factor authentication will help us safeguard private and sensitive information by requiring a unique combination of user credentials that is hard to replicate.
What is multi-factor authentication?
Logging in with MFA requires something you know and something you have. Something you know is your KU Online ID and password, something you have is a device. At KU, we will ask you to register a mobile phone and set that phone to receive either push notifications or text message codes from Duo, our multi-factor service. You can learn more about MFA and how it will work at duo.ku.edu.
Enrollment will occur on a department-by-department basis. Your department’s leadership will communicate the specifics of your enrollment—dates, support resources and more—in the coming weeks and months. The KU IT Security Office is now seeking units that want to be among the first to receive the added protection MFA offers. Departments that sign up early receive the following benefits:
- Control over their enrollment date
- A how-to workshop scheduled at their location
- Technology Support Center staff ready ahead of time to assist with enrollment
Most importantly, early adopters will be given more individualized support and receive extra attention because they will be enrolling ahead of the rest of campus.
You also have the option of enrolling a device and signing up for MFA before your department is scheduled. Visit the MyIdentity website to enroll now.
I know you join me in understanding the importance of shielding our protected information and data systems from those with malicious intent. MFA adds a critical layer of defense.
KU Information Technology will share more information about our campus adoption of multi-factor authentication as our efforts progress.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor