Recently, the University of Florida has begun to mandate enrollment in multi-factor authentication, in an effort to combat the ever-increasing number of attempts to compromise user accounts and systems that provide campus services. You might have heard of “two-factor authentication” but the term multi-factor authentication (MFA) has gained favor to allow for additional methods of proving identity, such as fingerprints and RFID tags.
Briefly, this means more than two ways for an individual to identify and authenticate to a remote system. The main way most of us are familiar with is by using a username and a password and also providing a code you receive via a text message or from a security token (sometimes called a fob) to complete the authentication. New methods of identifying yourself are certain to come in the future and may include many things only seen in science fiction today.
Security tokens are available from the walk-up help desk in the HUB on campus. In order to get a token from the HUB, you must be currently enrolled in MFA. At present, the tokens are free but will be $15 after November 17, 2020. Other tokens will work with UF’s system and are available for purchase through other vendors. A pair of bundled tokens are the FEITIAN MultiPass K16 and the ePass USB K9 Security Key. These devices may offer additional functionality and a better user-experience. At $45, the cost is significant, but may be worth a look. The bundle is available on Amazon at this link.
Currently, UF requires all staff and students to enroll in MFA. UF will require all faculty members to enroll in MFA automatically by November 17, 2020. After that date, all UF accounts that have not enrolled in MFA will have that requirement added to their accounts. If you do not want to wait to enroll or to get more information about MFA at UF, please visit the multi-factor authentication page at https://it.ufl.edu/2fa/.