Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Two factor sign-in authentication to protect systems with sensitive data

Also known as MFA, two-factor authentication, TFA, Duo and two-step verification.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) uses multiple proofs of identity to ensure you are authorized to access the service or resource that you are requesting. 

These proofs include more than one of:

  • something you know (a secret piece of information, such as a password)
  • something you have (a token, card or device)
  • something you are (a biometric measurement or representation)

CUIT has selected Duo as the MFA service to verify your identity for Columbia’s centralized applications. With Duo, you can use a mobile app, a text message or a phone call to authenticate. Duo can be combined with other authentication factors like username and password authentication to create multifactor authentication.  Most people use Duo via the mobile app, Duo Mobile, which runs on a variety of smartphones and tablets.

As of 2017, multifactor authentication using Duo is now required for access to the following services:

  • View Your Paycheck
  • View Your Direct Deposit Information
  • View or Update Your Benefits information
  • View or Update Your Personal Information
  • View Your Tax Information
  • My W-2
  • Verify Your Employment
  • PAC Time and Absence

When you log into any of these services, you will be required to set up and use MFA.

You may also elect to use MFA for a set of services that do not currently require MFA. These services include ARC, Courseworks, DIA, Manage My UNI, and RASCAL. Additional services may be added in the future. To elect this extra layer of security, browse to Multifactor Authentication Self Service, and in the SELECT APPLICATIONS FOR MFA box, choose Required + optional web applications.

Duo MFA Setup

Interested? Click here to set up and test Duo MFA if:

  • You want to set it up now
  • You've already set up Duo and want to test it
  • You aren't required to use Duo but would like to try it out

Duo MFA Installation and Training Videos

Watch these how-to videos to learn how to install and use Duo on your mobile device (iPhone and Android).

iPhone

Android

Using Duo with Landlines and Flip Phones

Check out this Powerpoint that shows how to use Duo on a landline or sms-capable phone.

FAQ

Authentication is the process of ensuring that something is genuine. Username and password authentication uses a shared secret (the password) to establish that a user of an application is actually who or what the user claims to be.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) uses multiple forms, or factors, of proof, including:

  • Something you know (a secret like a password)
  • Something you have (a token, card or device)
  • Something you are (a biometric measurement or representation)

The number and independence of the authentication factors add to the degree of confidence we have in the identity of the person or thing. This degree of confidence is sometimes called the level of assurance. A multifactor authentication is said to have a higher level of assurance than an authentication that uses a single factor.

Duo is a service that can use a mobile app, a text message or a phone call to authenticate you. It can be combined with other authentication factors like username and password authentication to create multifactor authentication. Most people use Duo via the mobile app, Duo Mobile, which runs on a variety of smartphones and tablets. Here are descriptions and screenshots of Duo Mobile for AndroidApple iOSBlackBerry and Windows Phone.

Duo has been added to Columbia's CAS web authentication service to create multifactor authentication. It is required for logins to selected applications and for logins by selected users to some additional "MFA-optional" applications. Duo authentication has also been added to Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) logins for CUIT-managed Windows servers and to logins to CUIT-managed Linux hosts.