More MFA Mandated in Higher Ed, Selected Results from the 2023 NET+ Multi-Factor Authentication Community Survey  

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By Nick Lewis - Internet2 Program Manager

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

If it seems like you’re seeing a marked increase in use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) throughout the research and education (R&E) community, results from the 2023 NET+ MFA Community Survey support this observation. 

In the three years since we conducted the last survey, 40 percent of institutions now require MFA for all applications using institutional credentials compared to 5 percent in 2020. In addition to application-specific requirements, results from the 2023 NET+ MFA Community Survey highlight the trend of institutions mandating MFA for core user populations on their campuses. 

Survey Highlight: Mandatory MFA Based on User Category

In 2020, 38% of responding institutions stated that MFA was required for the core higher education populations of faculty, staff, and students. In 2023, that figure jumped to 79%.

Graphic for MFA Required by User Category 2020 vs 2023.

Broken down further, 95% of respondents reported that staff were required to use MFA, and 92% indicated the same for faculty. Students were required to use MFA at 77% of responding institutions. 

In addition to these three core populations, these numbers remained relatively high across other categories of users as well: researchers (72%), non-employee affiliates (67%), retirees (54%), and alumni (31%).

Coordination of the survey is a prime example of the Internet2 NET+ Program working with community members to identify trends in how they use cloud services, so campuses can collaborate and share best practices. 

The full survey report with data analysis is available exclusively to NET+ Duo subscribing campuses. Please contact the NET+ program if you would like access to the full report.

Our Thanks

The NET+ Duo Service Advisory Board and Internet2 sincerely thank the academic and research organizations that responded. The survey elicited a total of 269 responses from 225 institutions in 10 countries. Combined, responding institutions’ services impact the learning of more than 3 million students. And a special thanks goes to RuthAnne Bevier for pulling everything together and completing the report.

About the Survey

The NET+ Duo Service Advisory Board sponsored and developed the 2023 NET+ MFA Community Survey to understand how the higher education community uses MFA services. The survey announcement was distributed digitally via online discussion lists and took place March 14 – April 14, 2023. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Nick Lewis.