Multi-Factor Authentication

A new security mandate by the State of South Carolina requires the use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) when accessing state systems which might house Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

When will I have to start using MAF?

The USC Columbia campus will have this requirement in place as of June 5th. USCA systems must began using a similar setup for systems storing PII later this year.

What is MFA?

Essentially multi-factor authentication, or MFA, requires an additional layer of security beyond your normal username and password. When you sign into a site with MFA, you submit your username and password as normal, but then a code or authentication notification is sent to your mobile device, office phone, or security token key fob. You click ok on the notification, or enter the code back into the site, depending on which type of MFA you've decided to use.  Then the site automatically passes you on into the secure portion of the website without any further interaction required. Many secure systems like banking sites already require this type of security.

Which sites will require MFA?

All Columbia based sites containing personally identifiable information (PII) will have this requirement beginning June 5th, 2017.  Those sites include, but is not limited to: SSC, Banner, VIP and  A current and complete list is included below.

Students registering for classes, and other functions within SSC ( will need to use MFA after June 5th as well.

Later this fall, USCA sites and services will also begin requiring MFA.  Those will include any site with PII, as well as: Office 365, Email and VPN.

These sites/systems will begin using MFA on June 5th, 2017 (please not any special requirements found at the end of the list):

  • Banner (XE, INB, SSB, Workflow)
  • BDMS
  • BTCM
  • Chemistry Grad
  • CLAW
  • Cognos
  • DegreeWorks
  • ePrint
  • Filesub
  • First Step/UmPIRe
  • MY.SC.EDU *
  • PeopleSoft (Self-Service, Training, and Web)
  • PhGrad
  • Post Office Management
  • VIP **

* Some portions of MY.SC.EDU, outlined below, are excluded from the multifactor authentication requirement.

  • Freshman & Preregistration Checklists
  • Professional School Seat Deposits
  • Enrollment & Fee Payment

 ** End-users will now be required to login two times to access VIP resources. 

The first login uses the user's USC network username and password, and requires completing the two-factor authentication process (as a reminder, your USC Network Username is the same as your Blackboard account.  

The second login allows the user to choose between their VIPID or USCID to authenticate. 

Where can I get more information?

For the most complete and up-to-date information, please see the MFA FAQ hosted on the USC-Columbia website:

The USCA Help Desk will also hold mini-workshops (15-30 minutes long) over the next few weeks.  Please watch your email and our Workshops and Training page for specific dates and times.

How do I setup MFA for my account?

The first time you use an application or site that requires multi-factor authentication you will be led through an automated process to associate your mobile device with your account.  However, we suggest that you complete the setup now ( to avoid running into any last minutes issues) by using the Self-Service Enrollment Process.

Instructions for completing the DUO Security Self-Service Enrollment Process can he found here:

Columbia has also created a separate instruction sheet for students, which can be found here:

To go directly to account setup, go here:

During the setup process you may be prompted to sign into Self-Service Carolina (SSC) to setup security questions.  You may also need to reset your USC Network password (the same as your Blackboard account).

Please follow any prompts to complete the process.

For most people, setup takes only about 5-minutes. If you run into a problem which you can't resolve, feel free to contact the USCA Help Desk at 803-641-3391 for assistance, or just stop by.