Technology Services is working on a new way for you to log in and access your Puget Sound accounts. Our goal is to provide you with a single point of entry into your university accounts and enhance security by using a two-step login process. We will go over some new terminology and an overview of what you can expect.
Okta is the name of the system we are utilizing to deliver the new sign on experience and increase protection for your accounts. It will also serve as a centralized application dashboard and provide easier password management.
Single sign-on is a login process that allows you to use one set of credentials across multiple systems and access those systems with just a click of a button.
For most campus members, this means you will only need to log in once per day and will only need to remember one website, login.pugetsound.edu, to access all your Puget Sound accounts. The login screen will look different, but you will still use your current Puget Sound username and password.
Once you are successfully logged in, you will be presented with a dashboard of common Puget Sound systems such as Canvas, Google Drive, and myPugetSound. By simply clicking on the application you are trying to access, you will be logged in to your account without needing to enter your credentials again. Throughout the day, you will continue to have one-click access to those systems through the dashboard. You can still go directly to the website of an application (e.g. Canvas), but you will be redirected to sign in via Okta if you are not already logged in.
Every system needs to know who you are. Instead of proving your identity to every single system by signing in with your username and password, SSO allows various systems to look to a single trusted source to verify who you are. In this case, the trusted source is Okta. Okta acts as a liaison for you when you want to access other systems by vouching for your identity.
Multi-factor authentication is a login method that provides enhanced security by asking you to provide two forms of identification, or, factors. These factors generally refer to something you know (e.g. password), something you have (e.g. mobile phone), or something you are (e.g. thumbprint).
Currently, campus account holders are required to provide a username and password to sign in. For additional security, you will also be asked to verify the login attempt by either responding to a prompt on your mobile device or entering a numeric one-time code that would be sent to you. This may sound familiar as it is similar to how you might sign in to online banking.
The first time you sign in to login.pugetsound.edu, you will be asked to set up a second factor of your choosing. Every subsequent time you sign in, you will experience the two-step login process which will help protect your account and data.
One important thing to note: the prompt will always follow a successful sign-in attempt with the correct username/password. If you receive a prompt but did not personally try to log in, do not confirm the login attempt or provide the code to any other party. Further, this may indicate that your credentials have been compromised and we would recommend changing your password and/or calling the Service Desk.
As phishing, ransomware, and data breaches continue occurring in our digital landscape, simply requiring a username/password for login may not be enough to protect your account from malicious attackers. If your credentials become exposed and an unknown party tries to use it to access Puget Sound systems, it will be significantly more challenging for them to take over your account or gain access to your sensitive data if a two-step login process is in place.