Queen’s to implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Program to be rolled out to students and faculty throughout the year

Staff and student-staff have already used the service throughout the summer.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

With students spending more time online for remote learning, Queen’s is cracking down on cybersecurity.

This summer, the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) initiative was launched to verify the identities of users accessing Queen’s online resources. Staff and student-staff have already used the service.

“With the advent of remote work due to COVID-19, and the increased use of and reliance on information technologies, the University has placed a heightened importance on mitigating cyber threats,” the University wrote in a press release.

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According to the press release, faculty and students will be notified to enroll “throughout the remainder of the year.”

The University didn’t respond to The Journal’s request for comment regarding when exactly the program will be rolled out to students.

In MFA, a user must present two or more pieces of identification evidence before they’re given access to their account. Campus Virtual Private Network (VPN), PeopleSoft, and Office 365 will be the first programs to require MFA, with more services to be added in the future.  

According to the IT Services website, future services will be added using a “risk-based approach” that focuses on increasing the protection of student, staff, and faculty data. IT services will alert Queen’s students, staff, and faculty when MFA is required for additional services.

“Significant investments have been made to ensure there is a secure foundation for Queen’s digital environment and numerous actions are being taken to protect you and Queen’s data,” the University wrote.

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The University is also introducing the Endpoint Protection project to help students enroll their devices in Microsoft Intune, a program that manages the health of technological devices using online Queen’s resources.

This month, IT services is launching an education and awareness platform for cybersecurity to inform users about possible cybersecurity risks and teach them how to identify and respond to them.

“Several high priority cybersecurity capabilities are being implemented over the coming months,” the University wrote. 

“A comprehensive communications and change management program is also being undertaken to promote wide adoption and to support you in the steps you will to take to do your part in securing our online environment.”

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