Multi-factor Authentication Launches 9/17

Posted September 10th, 2018 at 8:47 pm.

Beginning Monday, September 17 all faculty, many staff, and some student employees will begin using multi-factor authentication (MFA) when logging in to many of the College’s online services.

Bryn Mawr is using Duo, a simple and effective multi-factor authentication service in use by many of our peers. Once enrolled in Duo, you will be required to authenticate twice to many of the College’s online services. First you’ll use your username and password as you always have, then you’ll use a second factor of your choice such as a push notification to your smartphone or a telephone call.

We’re pleased to announce that in February 2019 and in conjunction with the completion of our MFA launch, the College’s password policy will be updated to reflect the most current national and international best practices: we will no longer be requiring community members to re-set their passwords every six months. Instead, we will opt for longer passphrases that do not need to be changed on a regular cycle.


We will be rolling out Duo to the community in waves. A big Thank You to approximately 200 early adopters who began using Duo in August! The following waves will receive a self-enrollment email to begin the process:

  • Wave 1: Faculty, many staff, and some student employees
    • Self-enrollment email: September 17
    • Enrollment deadline: October 1
  • Wave 2: any remaining staff
    • Self-enrollment email: October 1
    • Enrollment deadline: November 12
  • Wave 3: students
    • Enrollment deadline: February 2

How Does it Work?

See Tech Docs for tips on getting started with Duo.

Multi-factor authentication protects against account hijacking by providing an extra layer of security beyond your username and password. Many popular online services including online banking, email, file storage and sharing, and social networks offer this option. The idea is to make sure the person accessing the account is actually you. Using multi-factor authentication requires some changes in behavior, but the practice is already widespread and becoming the norm at higher ed institutions.

Services include:

  • Office 365
  • BIONIC (beginning September 14)
  • Off-campus access via the VPN
  • Moodle (coming soon)

Note: at this time you will not need to use Duo when logging into a College computer.

How can I learn more?

Multi-factor authentication strengthens information security at Bryn Mawr College while maintaining the openness we value. We are implementing this service at the recommendation of the Information Stewardship Council, Board of Trustees, and in collaboration with Haverford College.

Duo provides a brief overview video that explains the service, as well as an even shorter demo video for Duo Mobile.

You’re welcome to contact the Help Desk with questions at any time ( or 610-526-7440).

Further reading:

Filed under: Announcements,New Services,System Status Tags: , by Melissa Cresswell

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