Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Multi-factor authentication

Although in a prior post, we raised the issue of the wisdom of doing the switch to multi-factor authentication in the midst of a quarter, that's the way it is (or will be). So yours truly dutifully tried out the system and it worked without too much hassle. I suggest that you set up your authentication with two devices, e.g., smartphone and home phone, rather than just a smartphone. Doing it that way will ensure that if you were, say, to lose your cellphone or it should fail, you would have an alternative route into your account. (To add your home phone, you need to be at home.) I am told by a department representative that if you don't make the switch by Oct. 31, you will have a hassle of having to report to some office of getting it done after that date. All of this is designed to prevent email fraud, hacking, etc.

Below is the email describing the switch, in case you didn't receive it:

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) for UCLA Logon will become mandatory for all campus faculty, staff, and student workers on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security enhancement that requires two forms of verification when using your UCLA Logon and adds critical protection for your sign-on credentials.
We are deploying MFA for UCLA Logon in response to a dramatic rise in the scope and sophistication of phishing, spear phishing, and malware attacks that are targeting our faculty and staff. The high rate of successfully compromised passwords is a serious and pervasive threat to information security at UCLA.
You should enroll in MFA before it becomes mandatory on October 31 to avoid delay when using your UCLA Logon ID to access resources such as VPN, Box, Google Apps for UCLA (, MyUCLA, CCLE, and other campus applications. This does not include using a MedNet ID to access UCLA Health applications, and UCLA Health employees are not required to enroll in campus MFA at this time.
Instructions for MFA self-enrollment are available at How do I Enroll in MFA? You may also contact your local IT staff or visit one of our MFA Enrollment Support locations in Kerckhoff Hall (Suite 123a: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) or the Faculty Center (Billiards Room: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) during the month of October.
As the nation’s top public university, our research, intellectual property, and institutional data are of high interest to state sponsored and organized cyber-criminals. Your financial and personal assets are also targets. Enrolling in MFA before October 31 will reduce risk to our information security and also the likelihood that you too may be the next victim.
Please contact your local IT staff or BruinOnLine if you have support questions, and visit MFA at UCLA for additional information about the campus multi-factor authentication deployment.
Andrew Wissmiller
Associate Vice Chancellor
Information Technology Services

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope UCSC doesn't do this, as I don't have a cell phone.