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Two-Factor Authentication is Here

October 8, 2018

Dear Campus Community, 

With the advent of October and National Cyber Security Awareness month, OIT is pleased to announce the official launch of an initiative that will significantly improve the digital security of our campus: Two-Factor Authentication.

Two-Factory Authentication becomes mandatory for all students, faculty, and staff on Monday, November 26 . Please read on to understand more about what will be expected of you. I encourage you to enroll early so that you're not caught unaware when the change takes place!

Something You Know + Something You Have

Currently, UC Merced employs single-factor authentication, which grants access to campus applications like email, CatCourses, student financial accounts, and all our business applications via the Single Sign-On page. We all know how it works: just input your UCMNetID and password to log in and access the application of your choice. 

Starting next month, that process will change. Applications currently protected by the Single Sign-On page will instead require Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). To implement 2FA, OIT has contracted with service provider Duo to add a second step to the existing sign-on process. You can watch a short video about the new login process here .

To log in, you’ll need to provide something you know —your UCMNetId and password—plus demonstrate access to something you have — usually a smart phone. (You can also register a tablet, a basic cell phone, VoIP and landline phones, or obtain a special hardware token from the OIT Service Desk.)

What’s In It for Me?

2FA will significantly reduce the risk and annoyance currently posed by phishing and hacking attempts to all our campus users. The extra layer of security 2FA provides will help keep your personal information, like your paycheck or student financial information, private and secure.

Address Security Concerns Instantly

If a hacker manages to steal your UCMNetId and password, Duo will immediately alert you of their attempt to sign in. Instead of dealing with the hassle of a compromised account, you can change your credentials and eliminate the threat entirely. 

What DUO I Have to Do?

Authenticating with Duo is intuitive and gets easier with practice. You can enroll your devices today to get started.

If you have questions about how the process will work for you, our FAQ is a great place to learn more about 2FA and DUO.

Mark the Date: Cyber(Security) Monday, November 26

Two-Factor Authentication is mandatory for all campus users on November 26, 2018 —aka Cyber (Security) Monday.

Don’t get caught unaware — enroll today so that you are prepared and your account is protected!

If you need help or want more information, OIT will host a number of tabling events throughout October and November. Join us to learn more about 2FA, get individual help with the enrollment process, and even score some free food and swag. For more details, watch the OIT website and be on the lookout for the green DUO dot around campus.

Thanks in advance for your support in making our campus more secure!


Ann Kovalchick

Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer