[Faccus] Two-factor authentication (2FA) implementation across campus

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

What is happening? Information Systems & Technology (IST) recently kicked-off a project to facilitate the implementation of two-factor authentication (2FA) across campus. 


How 2FA works: Logging into 2FA protected sites and applications is as simple as accepting a notification on your phone, plugging in an authenticator, or entering a PIN from a text message or phone call. 2FA at Waterloo is powered by DUO. 


Recommended option: The DUO mobile app is the recommended second factor solution for campus. The mobile app is very easy to use and provides the highest level of security of the available 2FA options. However, employees who would prefer not to download and use the DUO mobile app on a personal device may request an authenticator from IST. 


What is an authenticator? Also known as a DUO hardware token, it is a physical fob with a button the employee will press to receive a verification code to enter when prompted by the application. The DUO token will be provided to employees who require an authenticator as part of their job (i.e., as a result of the data or applications they have access to). 


Note: Employees who do not require an authenticator as part of their job and all Waterloo students may purchase a U2F key from an external provider for personal use, if desired. 


Who can request an authenticator? Individual employees or department heads may submit a request to IST.  


Requesting an authenticator: Please complete the request form https://uwaterloo.ca/request-tracking-system/2fa-token-request or visit an IST Service Desk. 


Important notes:  

  • IST will cover the cost of the employee's first DUO hardware token. 
  • Lost or stolen tokens can be replaced by the employee's department at a cost of approximately $40.  
  • DUO hardware tokens can be reprogrammed for use by a new/different employee.  
  • Defective hardware tokens will be replaced at no cost.  

Please submit all replacement, reprogramming, or defective token support requests via https://uwaterloo.ca/request-tracking-system/2fa-token-request or by visiting an IST Service Desk. 


To learn more about two-factor authentication and managing your account, please visit our 2FA website.  


Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.

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