IT Enables Multi-Factor Authentication for Staff, Faculty

IT Enables Multi-Factor Authentication for Staff, Faculty

To better protect College of Charleston employees from hackers and other cybercriminals, the Division of Information Technology is launching multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all faculty and staff.

MFA is a method of authentication that requires the use of more than one verification method and adds a second layer of security to user sign-ins. This two-step process requires users to enter their password (step 1) and then verify their identity using an additional method (step 2) when performing account sign-in transactions from off campus. Employees will not have to use this process when signing in from the main College of Charleston campus, WestEdge, North Campus and Lowcountry Graduate Center, Avery Research Center, Grice Marine Laboratory, Harbor Walk or Patriots Point Athletics Complex.

Commonly used to secure online access to bank, social media and other personal accounts, MFA adds a vital layer of security needed to protect employees’ information and enhances the security of systems at the College from ever-increasing instances of phishing attempts and password hacks. With MFA, even if cybercriminals successfully steal a password, they won’t be able to log into the account without the additional verification method.


Over the next several months, IT will work department by department to phase in this extra level of security, starting with high-sensitivity areas such as the Office of Human Resources, the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Fiscal Services. Faculty and staff who do not want to wait and would like MFA enabled for their accounts immediately are welcome to opt in now.

Here’s how to enable MFA on a College of Charleston account:

  1. Have two secondary delivery methods available and ready to use for authentication. Based on ease of use, these methods may include (a) the Microsoft Authenticator app, (b) a cell phone for either text or voice verification and (c) a personal email account.
  2. Submit a request to IT.
  3. Upon receiving an email from IT notifying your account is enabled for MFA, complete steps in Office 365 to configure the secondary delivery methods.

This service is free and available to all faculty and staff. Learn more about MFA, review instructions and check out the FAQs here. Contact the IT HelpDesk with questions or concerns by email, phone 843.953.3375 or online chat.