MFA Initial Onboarding Process Informational Video
What is multi-factor/two factor authentication?
Multi-factor authentication is a security protocol that requires more than one method of authentication, from independent categories of credentials, to verify a user’s identity for a login or other transaction. One simple example is when withdrawing cash from an ATM, you must present your card and use a personal identification number (PIN) in order to receive your money. For more information, visit: MultiFactor Authentication Wikipedia Page
Why are we integrating MFA into our systems?
With the recent increase in security breaches, and the amount of personal and private information we store, it is imperative that we do everything that we can to protect the information of our students and employees.
Are we the only ones that are implementing this feature?
No. There are many institutions, large and small, old and new, that are using multi-factor authentication. Some well-known companies and organizations that use MFA are Apple, Bank of America, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Facebook, Microsoft, and Charles Schwab. In addition, The University of Texas, Sam Houston State University, and Cedar Valley College, all use MFA in some capacity.
How does this make my account more secure?
Implementing MFA adds an extra layer of security by either allowing you to answer questions that you have previously provided or by sending a one-time code, by text message or email, to a phone or personal email account that you own. While each authentication method (passwords, PIN’s, security questions, hardware tokens, etc.) has strengths and weaknesses, systems that use two or more different factors are considered stronger than those that use only one factor.
Will the use of MFA impact how I login to my on campus computer, VMWare Horizon login, or Wi-Fi/Email login on my phone/tablet?
No, MFA will only be used (for now) for logging into the Pirate Portal.
Will I have to use MFA every time I login to the Pirate Portal?
Yes and no. There is a “Trust this device” option upon login that will allow you to access the Pirate Portal, from the same device, for 24 hours without the need to use MFA each time; this will be available both on and off campus. However, if you use multiple browsers on a device, you will need to use MFA for each browser. The same rules apply for using a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet.
What secondary methods of authentication will we be using?
We will utilize security questions as well as one-time codes, sent to either a personal cell phone or personal email address. Phone numbers and email addresses will need to be verified before use; this verification will be done during the initial sign-up process. Upon signing into the Pirate Portal, you will be presented with the option to select either answering a security question or sending the one-time code as your method of authentication.
If I forget my password, what happens and how do I reset it?
The same link for password retrieval/reset currently used on the Pirate Portal “Retrieve or reset your username and password” will be your go to spot for a forgotten password. You will use the same recovery options (either answering questions or having a code sent to your recovery email or phone number).
Can I opt out of MFA if I do not want to use it?
In short, no. This feature will be required to login to the Pirate Portal. If you do not have a cell phone or a personal email address, you can use the questions as your secondary form of authentication or you can create a free personal email address through Google (Gmail), Yahoo, ProtonMail, or any number of email providers. For faculty, staff, and students, we do not suggest using your Victoria College email address as your primary email recovery option (if you’ve forgotten your password, you more than likely do not have access to your email), and instead recommend using a personal email address as your primary and your Victoria College email as your secondary.