Securing Authentication at NIU (Project)


Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA is a method of providing multiple credentials to access a computer system. MFA is currently being used in all financial system sites (banks, credit card companies) to ensure proper identity management. MFA consists of at least two of the following methods for identity authorizations: Knowledge (something you know), Possession (something you have), and Uniqueness (something only you have).

Compromised credentials are the primary attack vector used to breach systems. Implementing MFA reduces our threat landscape across the NIU enterprise, while safeguarding the NIU brand.


Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR)

In the past three years, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) has performed approximately 20,000 password resets over the phone each year. IT Service Desk management has estimated the cost of this service at close to $120,000/year. To save money and make use of the self-service password reset (SSPR) technologies that many of us already use on a regular basis with banks, Amazon, and Google, NIU implemented true SSPR for all active faculty, staff, and students in November 2017.

The Microsoft-based SSPR asks for alternate contact methods (text to a phone; call to a phone; non-NIU email address). And then when you need to change your password or if you've forgotten it entirely, SSPR will use one of your stored contact methods to assist you.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Getting Started: NIU Video

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Getting Started: Microsoft