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RSA: What is RSA and how to request a RSA token


6.0 - Updated on 2021-12-15 by Brittany Bossarte

5.0 - Updated on 2021-02-18 by Carlos Salazar (Inactive)

4.0 - Updated on 2020-11-03 by Fang Wang

3.0 - Updated on 2020-11-12 by Kenneth Kasper (Inactive)

2.0 - Updated on 2020-11-12 by Kenneth Kasper (Inactive)

1.0 - Authored on 2020-03-17 by Quinton Healy

RSA: What is RSA and how to request a RSA token

Intended for:

Users that want to learn about RSA and/or how to request a RSA token.

Scenario/Use case:

This article describes what RSA is, how Fermilab uses RSA, and how to request a RSA token. This article also provides links to other RSA articles that may be useful to users.


What is RSA?

The RSA token is a hardware device or an application that generates a random code every 60 seconds.

This code is used, along with the RSA PIN number that you choose (see how to create a PIN below), to authenticate and access a resource like a server, VPN or Email.

How Fermilab uses RSA

Fermilab users must use RSA to access email as a multifactor method (MFA for email).

It can be used to establish a VPN connection to Fermilab networks.

It is a resource that requires a multifactor authentication (MFA).

How to Request an RSA token

There are two types of RSA tokens you can choose:

To obtain an RSA soft or hard token:

  1. Fill out a RSA Token Request form (use your Services account to log in).  If you would like a hard token and you are onsite, you can visit the Service Desk (Wilson Hall Ground Floor) to obtain the token directly.

  2. All users are required to participate in a Zoom video meeting and present the Service Desk staff member with their valid government-issued ID (driver's license, passport) before the token will be issued. The Service Desk staff member will verify that the individual on the video call is the same individual as presented in the ID. The Service Desk normal business hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm CST, Monday through Friday, Phone: 630-840-2345.

  3. Before you can use your token, you need to set up your PIN. Please review the following for how to set up your PIN, How to create your PIN for an RSA token.

RSA tokens cannot be transferred. If you get a new device, you must request a new RSA token if you need one. (Please indicate in “Additional comments” that you are replacing an old token.)

RSA Links

The following KB articles may be useful: