How to Set Up and Use a Security Key for Windows

What is a security key?

A security key is a physical device that users must possess to access a system. Authentication data must flow between the user and the system to validate access (prove you are you), a security key is the conduit for making this happen. In our case they are small USB devices that you must plug into the computer that you are attempting to access. 

Please note that CSUMB Hardware does not support any of the biometric options (using fingerprint or face ID). Do you not use this option unless you are configuring a security key.

How do I get a security key?

The IT Help Desk in the library will provide any Student, Faculty or Staff user with an MFA token. To reserve a security key for pick up at the IT Desk in the library:

  1. Fill out the Request a Security Key Service ticket
  2. Once you have filed your service ticket, and we have verified that we have a key available for you, swing by the IT Help Desk in the library with your ticket number and we will issue you a key.

Setting up my security key

Step 1: Obtain your security key. (See section How do I get a security key?)

Step 2: Login into on any computer

CSUMB Okta login box

Step 3: Click on your name in the upper right hand corner of your Okta Dashboard and select settings:

Okta user menu

Step 4: At the settings page click on the Edit Profile button (if you are freshly logged into your account you may not see the edit profile button- if that is the case skip to step 6):

Edit Profile button

Step 5: Provide your password again for your account. You will also be asked for your current second security factor.

Step 6: Scroll down to the Extra Verification box within settings and click the Set up button next to Security Key or Biometric Authenticator:

Extra Verification box located in Okta settings

Step 7: Click on the Setup button at the bottom of the Set up multifactor authentication box.

Set up multifactor authentication box for Security Key

Step 8: Click on Enroll in the Set up security key or biometric authenticator


If you are on a PC, insert your key into a usb port and go to step 9.

If you are on a mac the window might look more like this:

Do you want to allow to start using a security key to sign in?

Insert your key and give it a few minutes and it will take you to step 9.

Step 9: Create a PIN for your security key. We suggest it be at least 6 characters long. You will have to enter this every time you use your security key.

Note: If you are setting up your security key on a Mac using Safari as your web browser you will not be prompted to create a password.

Windows create pin dialog box

Step 10: Allow to see the make and model of your security key by clicking allow. (you might not see this box if you are on a mac- instead you will have done this after step eight).

Allow okta to see your security key

You have successfully enrolled your security key.

You have successfully enrolled Security Key or Biometric Authenticator.

Using my security key

Step 1: Log into your account with your otterID and password.

Step 2: The next box will be your multifactor authentication box. If you see security key selected already you can skip this step.

Click on the triangle next to the multifactor circle to pull up a list of configured multifactor types. Select Security Key or Biometric Authenticator.

Second factor log in box with arrow pointing to expansion carat

Note: Only configured authentication factors will show in the pull-down list. You can have multiple authentication types configured. We suggest you configure at least two so that you have a back-up method.

Step 3: Insert your security key into the USB port on the computer and then tap the circle on the security key with your finger.

Tap your security key on the reader or insert it into the USB port

Step 4: Enter your securit key PIN number that you created when setting up your key.

Note: If you set up your key on mac using the Safari web browser you will not be prompted for a pin number.

Enter your security key pin.

You will then be successfully signed into your csumb okta resource.

If you select "do not challenge me" on the okta log in box you shouldn't have to insert your key for 24 hours. If you do not select that you may be prompted to re-insert your key.

ProTip: You do not have to leave in your security after you've authenticated.

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Article ID: 135538
Mon 11/29/21 8:19 AM
Fri 5/19/23 8:16 AM

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