Multi-Factor Authentication adds security

Eva Philips, Contributing writer

Lakers can expect a new level of security for their Mercyhurst accounts beginning in just a few weeks when Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) goes into action.

“The technology trend the past couple years has been moving this way,” Ivan Palikuca, senior systems administrator at Mercyhurst, said.

Citing national research, he stated that “The amount of hacked accounts and accounts being broken into went down 99% just by implementing Multi-Factor Authentication.”

MFA is primarily intended to prevent hackers from accessing accounts. A stolen password will no longer be enough to access a stranger’s accounts. Soon, account access will require both a password and a verification code sent to the student’s mobile device.

The implementation of MFA at Mercyhurst will add an extra layer of security to student and faculty accounts, protecting valuable information such as account statements, grades and email.
Faculty and staff have already made the transition to MFA, which went smoothly. Palicuka recalled only two or three cases in which the IT department’s services were required to fix an issue with MFA. He anticipates a smooth transition when MFA is put into action on student accounts in October.

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 1, students with surnames beginning with letters A-G will be prompted to check their phone for a verification code when signing into their Mercyhurst account on any device.

Students are instructed to set up Multi-Factor Authentication through the Hub at if they have not already done so. Palikuca also recommended that students install the Microsoft Authenticator app, available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

The transition for students will occur in stages, with MFA taking place incrementally by surname throughout the month of October. This gradual approach aims to ease the burden on IT and address any issues that may arise in a timely fashion.

Those concerned that the change will be inconvenient can put their minds at ease. The MFA double verification process will not necessarily occur every single time a student accesses their account on a personal device, if the student allows the browser to remember the sign-in information for next time. The MFA process will occur when students access public computers, such as those in the library, to increase security.

Overall, the implementation of Multi-Factor Authentication is a step toward greater account security at Mercyhurst, and students will soon be able to rest easy knowing that their account information is more secure than ever.