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VP Evolution Project enables Entra MFA for VIP/ESS access on April 3

Project reduces risk, and improves the user and employee experience.

April 1, 2024 — 

The VIP Evolution project is a multi-year project, with dedicated resources from Information Services and Technology (IST), Human Resources and Payroll, led by a project board of leaders from across the UM community. The project’s focus is leveraging VIP functionality, reducing risk, and improving the user and employee experience.

The project’s next implementation prioritizes the system’s security. On April 3, 2024, the VIP Evolution project will enable Entra MFA (multi-factor authentication) for VIP/ESS. Multi-factor authentication is a crucial tool in safeguarding the university’s sensitive data.

Entra MFA’s successful integration into numerous UM systems makes its extension to VIP/ESS an instrumental stride in fortifying data security.

What will change?

The most noticeable change will be the login experience for all users. As with other MFA-protected university systems, you will now log in using your email address and password instead of your UMNetID. You will then receive a message requesting you verify your identity through Entra MFA.

To prepare our employees for this modification, the VIP Evolution project conducted several information sessions and ran a soft launch to gather feedback. The project team found that the new authentication experience does not drastically impact the overall user experience. However, you will have to log in to VIP/ESS every time you want to access it.

“Validating the logout function is an important security feature to keep private information safe,” explains project architect Lonnie Smetana. “We will have to log in to VIP/ESS even if we are already logged in to university systems in a browser. We must also re-authenticate if we close our browser or if our VIP session times out,” Smetana adds.

What does it mean to you?

Before the implementation on April 3, 2024, all staff should ensure they have set up Entra MFA and are using either the Microsoft Authenticator app or a hardware token to verify their identity. For those already using it, the transition will be seamless – begin using it for VIP/ESS when prompted.

Ensuring our data is protected is a shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play in safeguarding our university from data breaches.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions regarding this change and thank you for your cooperation during this transition.

Please feel free to contact the IST Service Desk with any questions or concerns.

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