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Duo Multi-Factor Authentication

Information and FAQs about Duo MFA

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) offers an extra layer of protection for your Northumbria account and the files and devices associated with it.  With Duo, at the point of logging in to your Northumbria account, a prompt will be sent through to your personal device where you can approve log in.

Look out for your email from Duo with details about how to get started.  We've created this page to answer some Frequently Asked Questions.

We have created this short video to introduce Duo Multi-Factor Authentication:

Click here to open the DUO help video






We have created a guide to help with the enrolment process:

Please access our Duo self enrolment guide here. 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are generally 3 types of protection that you can use to protect your accounts, files, systems and devices. Something you know (i.e passwords), something you have (i.e a secondary device like your phone) and something you are (includes any part of the human body that can be offered for verification, for example your fingerprint)

We can use 2 of the above (hence multi factor authentication).

MFA means your information is safer because anyone trying to gain access without your knowledge would need to know your password and have your phone (or other chosen secondary device) at the point of trying to login. You may have seen it used when logging in to your social media accounts or online banking, and it is being widely adopted by universities to protect their staff and students’ information.



Push authentication via Duo will work anywhere that the USA doesn't have sanctions. You can also access the app to generate an authentication code.

Click here for an article on sanctioned countries

Duo is the multi factor authentication software/ app that we have chosen for all staff logging into Northumbria systems, and accounts. It provides secure mobile authentication for quick, push notification-based approval to verify your identity with a smartphone. It is free to download on the Apple and Android stores to supported devices.

Multi Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security for your Northumbria accounts. It uses a second factor, such as a message to your mobile to verify it is actually you accessing your account. It is a way of protecting your personal files and the wider University estate from some of the most common forms of cyber attacks.

This means that even if someone had your username and password, they would not be able to get into your account without that extra proof of identity.

You may have seen it used when logging in to your social media accounts or online banking, and it is being widely adopted by universities to protect their staff and students’ information.



You will only need to authenticate when you are using protected services and systems where you are normally asked for your University username and password.

Many systems including Office 365 applications (Teams, Outlook etc), the Student Portal and MyAccess are protected by Duo. You will need to authenticate each time you log onto a new device.

The process to authenticate takes on average less than 20 seconds using the Duo Mobile App.

You will receive an email from the Duo portal. You will need to click the link the enrolment link and follow the prompts.

We have also prepared a guide to help you to complete your enrolment, and we would encourage you to read this in full.

We recommend registering for Duo as soon as you receive your invitation email. After then, when you try to access any system which requires you to MFA, you will be redirected to the Duo Portal to enrol.

The email will be from (subject will be “Duo Security Enrollment”)

No. Duo Multi Factor Authentication is required for anyone who logs into any Northumbria service, account, file or system to better protect their own account and the whole IT Infrastructure. Failure to enrol with Duo will mean you are prevented from accessing files and systems which require MFA authentication.

The registration process will normally take less than 10 minutes.

Downloading the app and using push notifications is the quickest and easiest way to authenticate with Duo, though you can also use SMS and phone calls if you dont wish to use push notifications.

If you do not wish to use your mobile device for Duo or your device is incompatible, we can assign you a Duo Access token. Duo Access tokens are devices which generate 6-digit one-time passwords for the secondary authentication.

To request a Duo Access Token you should contact the IT Service Desk.


Log a Ticket:

As long your mobile is connected to your home Wi-Fi or mobile data, you will be able to use the app without issue.

If you cannot use the push notification, you can use the app to generate a passcode to authenticate rather than using the push notification.

Anytime you sign into any Northumbria service, account, file or system which is Duo enabled you will be expected to authenticate regardless of whether you are working at home or on site.

If you are unable to use your phone for a day to log in, we can assign you a bypass code that will allow you to log in without needing a mobile device. This is granted for 10 hours only.

To request a bypass code you should contact IT Support which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via one of the following methods.


Log a Ticket:

If you're keeping the same number on your new device, your mobile may carry over your enrolment and Duo will continue as it did before.  Additionally, iPhone users who have iCloud setup, will notice that it carries over your information when you sign-in with your Apple ID.

If this hasn't worked, or if you've changed your number completely, we'll need to send you a new enrolment link.  Please contact the IT Service Desk to request this


Log a Ticket:

Duo is not restricted in China, however students may have some issues whilst trying to enrol or authenticate whilst in China.

Due to regulations China has on phone calls, the call back method of authentication can be unreliable. SMS method of authentication works as normal.

As the GooglePlay store is not available in China, to download the DUO mobile app on android please follow this link to the APK that is available from duo -

APK for Android users

For iOS users there are no known issues or restrictions for users in China.

If you are not receiving emails or are struggling to log into your Northumbria email account you will need to remove your account and re-add it, below are supported platforms and their solutions to fix these issues.

Outlook App

If you are having issues using the Outlook app, you will first need to remove your account and re-add it. To do this follow the steps below:

  1. From the main Outlook view, select File in the upper left of the screen
  2. Select Account Settings from the Account Settings dropdown
  3. Select the account you wish to remove, then click remove
  4. Click Yes to approve
  5. To add the account, navigate back to File
  6. Select Add an account
  7. Enter your Northumbria Username and Password


Mail for Windows

To resolve this issue whilst using the Mail App for Windows, you will need to remove and re-add your email account.

To add an account on the app:

  1. Go to the Mail app on Windows
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Manage Accounts, then add account
  4. Choose your account type (
  5. Enter your Northumbria Username and Password
  6. Once the account has been added successfully you should be prompted with Duo.


MAC Mail Client

  1. If you have trouble with your email using the Apple mail client, follow the guide below:
  2. Launch Mail. (Click the icon in the dock or go to the Applications folder to open it.)
  3. Add a mail account:
  4. If you have not previously configured an account in Mail you will be prompted to add an account. Click Exchange and then click Continue.
  5. Otherwise, go to the Mail menu and click Add Account > Exchange and then click Continue.
  6. Enter the following information:
  7. Full Name: the name you want displayed on your outgoing mail
  8. Email Address: (do not use an email alias)
  9. Password: your ID password
  10. Click Sign In
  11. You will be prompted for a two-step authentication. Authenticate to continue.
  12. Select the apps you want to use with this account and then click Done.

1. As soon as you login to the computer in the lecture theatre or classroom, and you need to access your OneDrive or any other Office 365 application, you need to sign in with your Northumbria credentials.

2. This may popup to prompt you, but if it doesn’t you can click the cloud icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen (beside the clock)

3. You will also need to authenticate with Duo at this point, so have the device you registered for Duo with you.

We have self-help guides and articles available in all the usual places you will look for information.

Duo also has a Knowledge Base where you can search by keywords: Duo Knowledge Base


For any other issues contact the IT Service Desk:


Log a Ticket:



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