What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an additional layer of security that keeps your account safe. With MFA, you will be using something you know (your password) with something you have (your device/smartphone) to confirm your identity.

MFA Examples

This might be new for UWM, but here are some common ways you might use MFA every day:

  • When using an ATM, you need your bank card and your PIN number
  • When paying for gas with a credit card you need to enter your zip code
  • When logging into your bank account online you may be prompted to enter a security code sent via text message

New to MFA?

  • Students that are currently enrolled at UWM will be able to sign-up for MFA when they log into Office 365.
  • Here’s a look at how the enrollment process works:

  • For more details on how to enroll, sign in, and manage your devices, please review our instructions.
  • Any student who feels they do not have the technology to successfully enroll should call the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040 or visit uwm.edu/helpdesk.

Currently Enrolled in MFA

  • MFA is only required for Office 365 at this time (Outlook, OneDrive, etc.).
  • To review your information, add new devices, etc. please use our instructions.
  • If you have any issues with MFA or are unable to successfully log-in please call the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040 or visit uwm.edu/helpdesk.

FAQ’s

Is MFA mandatory and why is it important?

Yes, students currently enrolled at UWM will be required to enroll in multi-factor authentication to deliver an additional level of protection for their accounts. MFA is an essential element of cybersecurity and it will aid in protecting their online information as well as UWM’s.

Multi-Factor Authentication adds an additional layer of security to your login process to prevent your credentials from being compromised. If someone gains access to your account, not only do they have access to your personal information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and home addresses, but they also gain access to our UWM internal ecosystem.

How do I get MFA?

MFA has be added to Office 365 for students currently enrolled at UWM and they will be prompted to enroll when they log-in. Here’s how it will look:

If you feel you do not have the technology to successfully enroll, please call the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040 or visit uwm.edu/helpdesk.

What do I do if I lost my device or left it at home?

Contact the UWM Help Desk and they can turn MFA off for a four-hour period allowing you to retrieve your device.

Do I have to authenticate every time I log in?

No, you will be given a “remember me” option on a per browser, per device basis. This means that if you access your email from your laptop and your phone, you will be required to authenticate on each device, but it will offer a “remember me” option that will save your authentication on that device for 14 days.

At what point does a student become eligible for MFA?

Any student that is currently enrolled at UWM is eligible for MFA; those students will be prompted to enroll in MFA when they log into Office 365.

I am an instructor, how can I help ensure my students are successful with MFA?

Instructors, advisors and those who are closely involved with currently enrolled students at UWM can point students to the resources located on this website (uwm.edu/multifactor).

You can also watch the recording of the student MFA demo (approx 31 minutes) from October 26, 2020 to familiarize yourself with the student MFA enrollment process and authentication methods.

Some resources for instructors to post or use in their courses:

  • An informational PowerPoint Slide that you can download
  • A paragraph that can be used to quickly explain the details of student MFA:
    • When logging into Office 365, UWM students will be prompted to enroll in multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is an additional layer of security added to the login process that helps keep your account safe. Beginning November 12, 2020 students will be asked to authenticate when using Office 365. All information on MFA, including instructions, can be found at uwm.edu/multifactor. If you have any issues with Office 365 or MFA call the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040 or visit uwm.edu/helpdesk for assistance.

If students need assistance or do not have the technology to enroll, please refer them to the UWM Help Desk.

Do I have to use a smart phone to do this?

No, any telephone or smart device will work. Smart devices are recommended as they provide the quickest, simplest experience through the approval of notification prompts. Additionally, SMS or text messages can be sent to your phone along with receiving a phone call for verification to the phone number on record.

Should I enroll more than one device?

Yes, we encourage you to enroll more than one device that you might have nearby in case your main device is lost or unavailable.

What if I don't have a smartphone or have an accessibility need?

Any student that feels they don’t have the technology to successfully enroll or has concerns about how the process will work for them should contact the UWM Help Desk. An IT professional will work directly with each student to find a solution that works best for them. Our IT staff can go through the authentication methods (mobile, app, text, and calling) with them, and ensure their phone is setup successfully or can determine an alternate path for MFA, if needed.

Are there fobs (tokens) or alternate authentication methods available for students?

A wide array of MFA authentication methods are offered for our students: phone call to cellphone or landline, text message to cellphone, dedicated smartphone app, and tablet app.

Any student with questions or concerns about the MFA enrollment process or required MFA technology should contact the UWM Help Desk. An IT professional will work directly with the student to identify the best solution. Our IT staff can review the authentication methods, ensure successful phone configuration, and explore special accommodation, if appropriate. Fobs (tokens) can be provided to students to address special circumstances such as accessibility needs and appropriate technology resources.

Do student employees have to enroll if they are already using DUO?

Yes.

Is there an option to send a text message or a phone call for verification to non-US phone numbers?

Yes.

Is the Microsoft Authenticator app available worldwide?
  • It is available worldwide via the App Store and Google Play Store, but users in China may experience some obstacles when downloading the app.
  • To download it on IOS in China: The Microsoft Authenticator app can be downloaded through the apple app store.
  • To download it on Android in China: The Microsoft Authenticator app is not available via the Google App Store because the Google App Store is not available in China. However, the application may be available through the following phone app stores:
    • Baidu
    • Lenovo
    • Huawei
    • Samsung Galaxy Store
  • Functionality limitations in China: Push notifications are not available in China for Android devices because they depend on connectivity to the Google Play Services and Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging system. Users in China will be able to use SMS, phone call verification, or the verification code through the authenticator app if they are able to download the authenticator app. For more information on MFA users based in China, visit Microsoft’s post.
Does the app work on phones that are set up in different languages?

Yes. Furthermore, the Microsoft Authenticator app supports the following languages: English, Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.