April 22, 2024

UT requires enrollment in two factor authentication soon

Students, faculty and staff will need to sign up for 2FA by Oct. 22 to secure their online UT accounts. OIT personnel discusses the benefits for 2FA.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville will be requiring two factor authentication for all students, faculty and staff starting on Oct. 22.

What is two factor authentication? 

Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, is a second layer of protection for all online UT accounts.

For example, after a student enters the NetID and password for their account, a prompt will appear. The student can choose either a push notification or passcode to be sent to their phone through the DUO Security app.

In addition to that app, they can use a hardware token if they do not have an electronic device to download the app on. After authorizing their log in status, the student will have access to their accounts.

They can also opt in for the “remember me for seven days” option.

The Office of Information Technology’s Senior IT Project Manager Shane Colter addressed the need for 2FA:

“We see about five to 40 phishing scams a month that a variety of faculty and students fall for,” Colter said. “[2FA] eliminates that risk of an account getting compromised because a hacker or a phisher can no longer get access to your information without that second factor of authentication.”

As of Oct. 14, Colter says 9,700 students have yet to enroll in 2FA.

Colter also discussed the process of choosing DUO for 2FA:

According to Colter, after OIT tested many different software, OIT deemed DUO the easiest interface for faculty, staff and students to use.

Additionally, he explained how OIT was able to compromise some added features with this new authorization:

“We were able to compromise with things such as the seven day remember me policy,” Colter said. “Another incentive two step authorization gives [is] enough security that we’re now letting students, faculty and staff have non-expiring passwords.”

OIT brought these incentives to offset any inconveniences found by UT faculty, staff and students as they transition and become accustomed to 2FA.

More information about 2FA is listed online.

Featured image courtesy of DUO Mobile’s website 

Edited by Ciera Noe and Grace Goodacre

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