Using Multi-Factor Authentication for UTokyo Accounts

Table of Contents

Introduction

In order to improve the security of UTokyo’s IT systems, multi-factor authentication will be available for UTokyo Accounts starting September 27, 2021.

This page provides information about multi-factor authentication for UTokyo Accounts. Please check this page for any updates.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security process in which users prove their identity by at least two pieces of evidence. In addition to passwords, users are asked to verify their identity via SMS, authentication applications, and other methods when signing in to their accounts.

MFA assures the user’s identity at a higher level and improves the account security. This reduces the risk of unauthorized sign-ins even if your password has been compromised.

Implementation of Multi-Factor Authentication for UTokyo Accounts

MFA will be available for all UTokyo Accounts after the MFA launch date. Users can then set up MFA for their accounts following the procedure in the next section. Once MFA is enabled, users will be required to verify their identity via SMS or an authentication application every time they sign in to their UTokyo Accounts.

It is recommended to have MFA set up for better security of your UTokyo Account. However, MFA setup is not mandatory at this time, and you can continue to use your UTokyo Account without MFA. The only exception is users of the new UTokyo VPN for faculty members. The new UTokyo VPN will require MFA, so faculty members who wish to use the system will need to set up MFA. (For more information about UTokyo VPN, please refer to the UTokyo Portal page (for faculty members only).)

MFA Initial Setup Procedure

2021-10-18 The procedure has changed significantly, such as changing the order.

Step 1: Set Up the First Verification Method

First, set up the verification method for MFA. Here you will add the first verification method (the second and subsequent methods will be added in Step 3). The first verification method will become the default (automatically selected) method, so it is best to register the method you will use most often.

  1. Access the Security info page.
  2. Enter your UTokyo Account username (10-digit Common ID) and password and click “Sign in”.
  3. Click “Next” in the “More information required” page.
  4. Add the first verification method in the setup page. The setup procedure varies depending on the verification method you add.
    • Microsoft Authenticator App: “Microsoft Authenticator” is an MFA authentication application provided by Microsoft. Using this app is convenient since UTokyo Account’s MFA adopts Microsoft’s system.
      Setup Procedure
      1. Install the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone. The Android version can be downloaded from Google Play and the iPhone version from App Store.
      2. After installing the app, go back to the setup page. Click "Next" to continue setup for the Microsoft Authenticator app.
      3. The next procedure differs by the device that you are working on.
        • Smartphone (the same device where you installed the Microsoft Authenticator app)
          1. Click "Pair your account to the app by clicking this link".
          2. Check that your UTokyo Account appears in the Microsoft Authenticator app.
        • Other Devices (PC etc.)
          1. Read the instructions and click "Next" to go to the QR code page.
          2. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone, select "+" from the icon in the upper-right, then "Work or school account", and "Scan QR code".
          3. Scan the QR code with your device's camera.
          4. Check that your UTokyo Account appears on the app.
    • Other Authenticator Apps: If you already use other authenticator apps, such as “Google Authenticator”, you may also use it for your UTokyo Account authentication.
      Setup Procedure
      1. Click "I want to use a different authenticator app" in the middle of the setup page.
      2. Follow the instructions until you reach the QR code page.
      3. Scan the QR code with your authenticator app and complete the setup procedure.
    • Phone Number: You can add your phone number and receive a call or text message to verify your identity.
      Setup Procedure
      1. Click "I want to use a different authenticator app" in the middle of the setup page.
      2. For "Which method would you like to add?", select "Phone", and then click "Add".
      3. For "What phone number would you like to use?", select the appropriate country code (+81 for Japan) and input your phone number. Also choose to either receive a text message with a verification code ("Text me a code") or a phone call ("Call me").
      4. Click "Next".
      5. You will receive a text or call on your phone to verify your identity. If you selected "Text me a code", you will receive an SMS message with a 6-digit verification code. Input the code in the setup page. If you selected "Call me", you will receive a phone call asking you press the pound key (#) on your phone to verify your identity. Press the key and end the call.(To display the pound key on your smartphone during the call, press the "keypad" button.)
  5. You will be prompted to enter your email address (if you haven’t already done so). Please enter an email address OTHER THAN your ECCS Cloud Email if possible, and click “Next”. Enter the 6-digit code sent to your email address, and click “Next”.
  6. Next you will be taken to the “App Password” page, and asked to enter your “app password name”. (The system may skip this step.) Enter any name you like using alphanumeric characters and click “Next”.(This “App Password” is used when signing in to apps or devices that don’t support MFA. It will not be used for signing in with UTokyo Accounts.)
  7. A screen showing that you have successfully set up your security information will appear. Click “Done”.
  8. If you are taken to the “UTokyo Account Service Directory”, your setup has been successfully completed.

Step2: Add Alternative Verification Methods

Next, add alternative verification methods (second and subsequent methods) from the Security info page.

We recommend that you add more than one verification method. MFA works with just one verification method, but having only one verification method puts you at risk of getting completely locked out of your UTokyo Account when your verification method does not work (due to malfunction, phone number change, etc.). Adding multiple verification methods reduces this risk.

Below are the procedures to add different verification methods.

In the screen that appears after clicking “Add method”, “App password” and “Email” will also show up as choices for “Which method would you like to add?”. However, please be aware that these cannot be used for identity verification upon sign-in (they are for other purposes).

Step 3: Try Signing In

The next step is to check that you can sign in to your UTokyo Account using MFA.

  1. Access the UTokyo Account Sign-out Page.
  2. Wait for the “You signed out of your account” message to appear.
  3. Access the Security info page.
  4. Enter your UTokyo Account username (10-digit Common ID) and password in the sign-in page.
  5. Verify your identity using MFA. The procedure differs by the verification method you use. Please follow the instructions on your screen.
    • Microsoft Authenticator App: A notification will be sent to your phone to approve the sign-in request in the app. Click “Approve”.
    • Other Authenticator Apps: You will see a 6-digit code for your account in the authenticator app. Enter the code in the sign-in page.
    • Phone Number (verification via text): An SMS message with a 6-digit code will be sent to your phone. Enter the code in the sign-in page and click “Verify”.
    • Phone Number (verification via call): You will receive a phone call, asking you to press the pound key (#) on your phone. Press the key and end the call.(To display the pound key on your smartphone during the call, press the “keypad” button.)
  6. If you are taken to the “Security info” page, you have successfully signed in.

Note that one of the added verification methods (usually the first method added) will automatically become your “default sign-in method”. When you sign in, the system will ask you to verify your identity using the default sign-in method. If you wish to sign in with a different method, click the “Use a different verification option” or “Having trouble? Sign in another way” link. The default sign-in method can also be changed by following the procedure described below in the “Changing the Default Sign-in Method” section.

Step 4: Apply for MFA Use

The last step of the initial setup procedure is to submit an application.

  1. Access the UTokyo Account User Menu.
  2. Sign in with your UTokyo Account username (10-digit Common ID) and password if prompted.
  3. Click “multi-factor authentication setting” in the left menu.
  4. Read the MFA instructions carefully, and find “Use MFA” at the bottom of the page. Answer “Yes” and click “SAVE”.

Changing MFA Settings

Below are the procedures for changing the settings of your verification methods.

If your default sign-in method will be disabled due to phone number change, etc., please make sure to add an alternative verification method BEFORE the default sign-in method is disabled. If you do not change your verification method beforehand, neither the authenticator app nor the old phone number can be used any more for identity verification. Identity verification is necessary even to change your verification method. It is crucial that you change your settings in advance to avoid getting completely locked out of your UTokyo Account.

Settings can be changed in the Security info page.

Adding More Verification Methods

In the Security info page, you can add more verification methods by following the procedure in “Step 2: Add Alternative Verification Methods” under “MFA Initial Setup Procedure”.

Changing the Default Sign-in Method

One of your verification methods (usually the first method added) will become your “default sign-in method”. When you sign in, the system will automatically choose the default sign-in method as your verification method. The default sign-in method can be changed following the steps below.

  1. Find “Default sign-in method:” on the Security info page.
  2. Click “Change” on the right of the default sign-in method.
  3. For “Which method would you like to use to sign in?”, select the verification method you wish to use, and click “Confirm”.

Editing Verification Methods

The verification methods, “Phone”, “Alternate phone”, and “Office phone” can be edited by following the steps below.

  1. Find the method you wish to edit in the list of verification methods on the Security info page, and click “Change” on the right of the specific method.
  2. Enter your new phone number in the popup screen, and click “Next”.
  3. Verify your phone number (via text or call). Follow the same procedure as when adding a new phone number.

Note that authenticator apps, such as Microsoft Authenticator and Google Authenticator, do not have a “Change” screen. If you wish to change the settings of an authenticator app, add a new authenticator app with new settings and then delete the old authenticator app.

Deleting Verification Methods

Please follow the steps below to delete verification methods you no longer want to use.

  1. Find the method you wish to edit in the list of verification methods on the Security info page, and click “Delete” on the very right of it.
  2. For “Are you sure you would like to delete this method for your account?”, click “Yes”.

Note that if you delete all the verification methods (i.e. all authenticator apps and phones) on the list, you will be prompted to go through the initial setup procedure upon the next sign-in. (Even if “Email” and “App password” are left in the list, they do not work as verification methods.)

Troubleshooting MFA Verification and Account Lockout Issues

Below are procedures to recover your UTokyo Account when you cannot sign in using MFA due to malfunction, phone number change, etc.

Once you have recovered your account, it is strongly recommended that you change your MFA settings so that multiple verification methods are available. Your settings can be changed in the Security info page as explained in the above “Changing MFA Settings” section.

Use Alternative Verification Methods

If other verification methods are already set up, first try signing in with those methods.

To sign in with other verification methods, click the “Having trouble? Sign in another way” or “Use a different verification option” link in the verification screen that appears (after entering your password). A list of verification methods that you set up (including the default sign-in method) will be displayed.

Reset your MFA Settings

If none of the verification methods that you set up are available for use, you need to reset your MFA settings. Please contact the office of academic affairs of your faculty/graduate school (for students) or your division’s human resources team (for faculty members) for reset.

When you sign in to your UTokyo Account for the first time after the reset, you will be prompted to go through the initial setup procedure again. Please follow the instructions of “Step 1: Set up the First Verification Method” and “Step 2: Add Alternative Verification Methods” in the “MFA Initial Setup Procedure” section to set up new verification methods, and sign in to UTokyo Account using them going forward.

Others

How to Cancel MFA Application / Terminate MFA Use

We strongly recommend that you use MFA for security reasons, but if you need to terminate MFA use for unavoidable circumstances, please contact the office of academic affairs of your faculty/graduate school (for students) or your division’s human resources team (for faculty members).

If you cannot verify your identity using MFA and are locked out of your account, you can resolve the issue by resetting your MFA settings as mentioned in the above Troubleshooting MFA Verification and Account Lockout Issues section. In this case, there is no need to terminate MFA use.

Different Identity Verification Procedures at Sign-in

The normal procedure of signing in using MFA is first entering your password and then verifying your identity using your MFA verification method.

However, the identity verification procedure at sign-in may differ as follows.