Two-Factor Authentication is Coming!Sep 12, 2017
What is it?
Two-factor Authentication is the practice of utilizing more than one form of authentication when logging into systems. We typically utilize a password, something you know, to authenticate we are who we say we are. That is a single factor. Two-factor authentication adds another step to logging in by requiring something you have.
- Something you know (eg. a password or PIN). This is the most common type of authentication. We use passwords every day to access our data systems. Unfortunately, something that you know can become something you just forgot, or something that somebody else knows!
- Something you have (eg. a smart card, your cell phone, or your computer). This form of authentication requires that you have your phone, your computer or another object with you any time you want to be authenticated.
Why are we adding this additional step?
Two-factor (2FA) or multi-factor authentication has become one of the best ways to ensure the only person logging into your account is you. By requiring a second form of verification, 2FA is the next level of security—and it offers peace of mind.
Passwords have become the weakest link in information systems authentication and compromised passwords have become one of the largest threat vectors in information security. Passwords can be compromised in a myriad of ways, including phishing and other forms of social engineering, malware, and the use of weak passwords. Once credentials are compromised, stolen passwords are easily leveraged to gain unauthorized access to data, information systems and identities.
What does it mean for you?
The first service to implement two-factor authentication will be the university’s virtual private network (VPN) used to connect to campus resources from remote locations. The two-factor authentication process, which uses Duo Security, asks individuals logging in for a second password to confirm their identity via text, automated voice calls, or through the Duo smartphone app.
OIT is working on creating step-by-step guides for the new process and a resource webpage to aid the transition. The OIT help desk will also be performing testing with users over the next several weeks to inform any changes that are needed prior to the transition. As details are finalized and step-by-step guides are completed, more information will be posted at ucdenver.edu/2factor.