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Multi-factor authentication required for electronic resources

Northwestern University Libraries, Pritzker Legal Research Center, Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Qatar Library, and the Styberg Library are adding an extra layer of security for all electronic resources, including journals and databases. Beginning July 1, users accessing electronic resources will sign-on as usual using Online Passport and then be prompted to use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA).

This means journals, databases and e-books will live behind this extra security step before being accessible to our community. The Northwestern community is already familiar with this technology, which is now required to access many self-service University-wide systems, including myHR, NUFinancials, CAESAR, and GlobalProtect VPN.

Why are we making this change — especially now, amid the many other changes we’ve all undergone in our current work environment? This security upgrade has been in the works for some time, because passwords alone are no longer adequate to protect us from theft of our academic intellectual property. When even a single password is compromised, it can (and has, on several occasions) led to the campus-wide deactivation of our access to valuable resources.

To use Multi-Factor Authentication

If you have not already done so, please set up your Duo Mobile MFA account before July 1 with these straightforward steps:

  1. Register your device with Northwestern. We strongly recommend registering two numbers—your cell phone and one additional number—and downloading the Duo Mobile [iPhoneAndroid]
    1. Note: To ensure you always have the ability to authenticate into the University’s systems, use the Duo Mobile app. The app is quicker than a text or phone call, and it adds an additional layer of security. Duo Mobile works on every device, including smartwatches. Having the app is especially important if you travel outside the United States, as it can be used over wireless anywhere in the world.
  2. When accessing library electronic resources on and after July 1, you will be prompted to confirm your identity through your registered device.

See here for more information about Multi-factor Authentication at Northwestern University. If you have further concerns regarding how this will affect your interaction with library materials, please contact