Two-Factor Authentication

In this article, you can find information about the university’s two-factor authentication requirement.

Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

  • The university is implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) for all faculty and staff.
  • This is a requirement that is effective October 31, 2017.
  • Some people who have access to sensitive data must enroll in 2FA prior to October 31; the Office of Information Technology will contact them directly.
  • With 2FA, you’ll use a cell phone, tablet, or U2F key (discount available)  to authorize logins into your account.

Why 2FA?

Our Security & Compliance unit has found that :
63% of confirmed data breaches involve leveraging weak/default/stolen credentials
45% of users will fall for a well-crafted phishing email
– NC State can have upwards of 200 phished accounts on any given day
– Approximately 50% of email received at NCSU is spam or phishing
98% of email breaches can be prevented if 2-factor authentication is used
– On average, NC State’s Security and Compliance spends over 60 staff hours per week on compromised accounts and investigations.

If  “bad guys” obtain your password, they can do things like change your benefits in MyPack, send email to your contacts to trick them as well, and engage in numerous other damaging activities. They can also access and make changes in any systems that you have access to, such as SIS, Moodle, HR, Marketplace, etc. With 2FA, they would not be able to access any of these systems, because they would not have possession of your second factor (cell, tablet or U2F key).

Getting Started

  • The university’s 2FA web site should give you everything you need to know about signing up for and using 2FA.
  • The university also offers monthly workshops in which someone will help you get set up. See the Campus Workshops section on the training page.
  • The College of Sciences will be collaborating with OIT to provide custom workshops over the next several months. Stay tuned for dates and locations.
  • If you have trouble with setting up 2FA, you can call the NC State Help Desk at 919-515-HELP (4357), send email to or talk to your local IT support staff. You can also get in-person assistance at the Walk-In Center on West Dunn Avewhich includes evening and Saturday hours.