The Choice to Adopt Duo Multi-Factor Authentication is Simple and Straightforward

smart phone and laptop
Published | February 6, 2020

Today’s software driven economy and the applications essential to competitiveness have shifted computing into the cloud. Forward thinking businesses and higher education institutions are naturally adapting to this wave of change.

The Cloud and The University Have Become Inseparable

For Washington and Lee University, the cloud has ushered in a variety of benefits. There’s access to enterprise-class technologies, valuable to the unique and enriching learning environment. The cloud offers security benefits associated with restoring sensitive data in the event of hardware failures, breaches and even lost or stolen laptops. A greater range of collaboration opportunities exist with secure document sharing. And, patching software vulnerabilities can now occur when time is of the essence and without disruption to the end-user. In short, the cloud and the University have become inseparable.

Despite all the obvious benefits, moving to the cloud doesn’t exist without risks. According to Microsoft, there are over 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts to their cloud services every single day. The SANS Institute, a private U.S. for-profit company specializing in information security and cyber-security training recently concluded that passwords alone leave a massive attack vector open in organizations. It can’t be overstated that in our present environment, passwords simply don’t matter.

Prevent 99.9% of Attacks on Your Accounts

The simple solution for W&L is eliminating single-factor authentication (i.e., passwords alone) and moving to a more secure method know as multi-factor authentication. The product that we’ve chosen is called Duo. Two things (factors) will be required to gain access to a variety of applications on the University’s network. The first factor is something you know, which happens to be your login credentials (username and password). The second factor is something you have, like a smartphone. If cyber-criminals have access to your login credentials but not your phone, they only have one factor. According to Melanie Maynes, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft Security, this one simple action can prevent 99.9 percent of attacks on your accounts.

To learn how to get started and enroll in Duo, check out our How-To page.

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