Two-step Verification Requirement

September 20, 2016

Harvard will soon require the use of two-step verification to access many University resources and applications. This additional step will enhance the security of Harvard's information systems, and better protect us from the pervasive threat of online attacks. If you haven't already, please set up two-step verification now on your HarvardKey account,

Here is what you need to know:

  • Harvard faculty, staff, and students will soon be required, on a rolling basis, to have two-step verification activated in order to continue to access HarvardKey-protected resources such as Canvas and Peoplesoft. View the full requirement schedule at
  • For several of you who connect remotely to Harvard’s network and resources using Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, the use of two-step verification will be required sooner, starting September 28.

But why wait? Setting up two-step verification on your HarvardKey account usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Get started at

If the requirement date passes and you have not activated two-step verification, you will simply need to do so in order to regain access to HarvardKey-protected resources and applications, and VPN service.  
What is two-step verification?
Why is Harvard requiring the use of two-step verification?
Where will I need to use two-step verification?
Christian Hamer
Chief Information Security Officer, Harvard University