What is MFA?

Protect your account

  • An extra layer of security. "Multi-factor" refers to using two or more independent items to verify your identity
  • When you access USask services online (like Office 365), you will enter something you know (i.e., your USask NSID and password) and something you have (i.e. a time-based code sent to a second device, like a mobile phone)
  • To keep USask safe, staff and faculty are required to set up MFA by May 31, 2021

Did you know?

Each month, USask members receive approximately 3000 phishing attempts via email.

It only takes one compromised account to put your information, sensitive data and university infrastructure at high risk.

Sign up now!

Protect the pack against cyber attacks! Sign up for MFA now in MyProfile. Need help? Instructions for setting up MFA on your devices is available in this Knowledge Base article. Or sign up for an instructor-led training session where you will be shown how to set up MFA using the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile phone. 

 

How it Works

Once you have set up MFA you will login as usual with your NSID and password, and then use your authentication method to verify that it is you.

         

  1. Enter username and password as usual

  2. Use your phone to verify your identity

  3. Securely log in

MFA provides you the ability to add multiple devices and verification factors to your account. For example, you can use your mobile phone and a landline, a landline and a hardware token, two different mobile devices, etc. USask recommends having two MFA verification options for recovery purposes (i.e. if you lose your phone).

Why Use MFA?

Remote teaching, learning, and working makes us more vulnerable than ever to cyber attacks.

As a USask community member, you have access to sensitive information about students, staff, university or research data. Verifying your identity makes it difficult for cyber criminals to access or steal information like:

  • Accounts, including email
  • Personal information (e.g. payroll information)
  • Documents, research funds, and more!

Passwords are increasingly easy to compromise. They are often stolen, guessed, or hacked — you might not even know someone is accessing your account. Using MFA keeps your account secure even if your password is compromised. MFA can even alert right away (on your phone) if someone is trying to log into your account.

Who Needs MFA?

Everyone with a USask account needs MFA.

This includes all current students, staff, and faculty, as well as alumni, professor emeritus, and retirees. You can get started now by logging into MyProfile. Visit the Knowledge Base article for step-by-step instructions on setting up MFA.

Get Support for MFA

For additional support contact, IT Support Services or visit our FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How long does it take to set up MFA?

A: It usually takes 5-30 minutes to set up MFA.


Q: What is the required equipment to set up MFA?

A: To set up MFA make sure you have access to:

  1. A desktop or laptop.
  2. At least one of the below options. Learn more about these options here.
    1. Mobile device / cell phone. This is the preferred method.
    2. Telephone landline.
    3. Hardware token. Hardware tokens are only available to Usask Faculty and Staff and must be purchased from IT Acquisitions, delivered to you, and setup by ICT.

Q: I don’t have a cell phone. How can I set up MFA?

A: There are many options to set up MFA

  1. Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone (recommended method)
  2. Other authenticator apps on your smartphone (such as Google Authenticator)
  3. SMS text on your cell phone
  4. Phone call to your landline/cell phone
  5. Hardware token (purchase from IT Acquisitions)
  6. Internet browser authentication extensions


Q: How often will I be prompted for MFA?

A: It depends on the service you are logging in to. Services such as Office 365 that are cloud-based require multi-factor authentication on initial setup, and then every 30 - 90 days thereafter

Q: I have someone managing my calendar and they need to log into my computer. How do I set up MFA?

A: Before enabling MFA, if other people in your department are accessing/managing your USASK email and calendar account, please contact IT Support Services to ensure this access is setup correctly and continues securely after MFA is enabled on your account.

Read more FAQs about MFA 

MFA Implementation at USask

Timeline

timeline

USask Systems with MFA

MFA-enabled services at USask include MyProfile, Office 365, IAM, AboutUS, and Vault. Additional university services will have MFA enabled in 2021.