Brandon University enhancing student security with multi-factor authentication

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Brandon University’s IT Services has rolled out new tool capabilities to help protect student BU accounts. Starting this week multi-factor authentication (MFA) is available to all BU Students.

What is multi-factor authentication (MFA)?

MFA is a subsequent verification on the login of an account. It helps to ensure that if your username or password are stolen, cracked, or used by someone else, a secondary verification takes place to ensure that the correct person is logging in. Typically, this is a push notification on your phone when you are logging in on your laptop, for example, or a text-message code to verify that it is really you who is trying to log in. MFA provides significant additional security with minimal inconvenience.

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security also provides information on MFA.

Why is MFA important?

Cybersecurity threats are increasing. IT Services encourages vigilance and sends regular reminders about phishing and other cybersecurity threats. MFA provides another layer of protection and helps to ensure that users are protected if their BU password becomes compromised in any way. MFA is increasingly used by Canadian universities and significantly reduces compromised accounts.

Nefarious actors can use one compromised account — like your email address — to take over other accounts, including your bank account, social media accounts, and other personal information. MFA can help you protect yourself from having to recover your entire digital identity.

How do I set up MFA?

To set up MFA to better protect your student account, please see our Student MFA solutions article.  If you encounter difficulty, please contact the HelpDesk.

BU is using Microsoft’s Office 365 to provide MFA to students. It leverages similar security measures as Self-Service Password Reset, so some students may have already setup a MFA compatible device, such as a personal cell phone.

Going forward, IT Services will now require MFA enrollment on all compromised BU accounts.

What about MFA for employees?

Faculty and staff at Brandon University already have access to MFA. Enrollment instructions have not changed, and are still available here.

What else should I know about MFA?

MFA (also called “two-factor authentication”) is commonly available on all kinds of critical accounts (e.g. banking, personal email, social media). To help protect your personal information, IT Services recommends using MFA whenever it is available.

As we move towards the Fall Term, IT Services will be working towards broader, mandatory MFA rollout, to maximize protection of BU accounts. Coupling consistent tools with strong user awareness is our best defense.


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