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:

Banner (XE, INB, SSB, Workflow)
Chemistry Grad
First Step/UmPIRe
PeopleSoft (Self-Service, Training, and Web)
Post Office Management

The following sites will begin using MFA soon, but there an exact date has not yet been released:

Advisor Trac

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?

You'll find an overview of the setup process in this video:

To setup your account, complete the process here: