KSU Bolsters Digital Security

KENNESAW, Ga. | Feb 20, 2019

Two-factor authentication to protect credentials

Kennesaw State is taking new steps to reinforce the security of student and university data, adopting a new two-factor authentication policy and service to protect student and employee credentials for university accounts.

KSU deployed Duo, a third-party authentication service widely adopted by University System of Georgia institutions, in late 2018 for faculty and staff using select campus applications. In March, KSU students will begin using the service to access their KSU digital accounts.

Two-factor authentication is a method of confirming an individual’s identity using two separate elements: something a user knows – traditionally, a password – and something a user has, such as a registered mobile device or landline phone.

The Duo service adds a second layer of security, keeping accounts secure even if a password becomes compromised.

“Two-factor authentication is a critical, industry-standard service,” said KSU Vice President of IT and Chief Information Officer Jeff Delaney. “This is the single most important technology that we have implemented to help combat malicious activity, and the campus community will see its benefits for years to come.”

To access a Duo-protected account such as KSU email or Owl Express, account holders must have both the account password and a registered secondary authentication method, which can be created through the duo.kennesaw.edu website. Once registered, students will use their password to log in and then use their registered device to authenticate — generally a push notification or by entering a code.

Here are some important milestones for students:

  • March 1: Duo will be required to access KSU email and Office 365
  • March 9: Duo will be required to access Owl Express and DegreeWorks (following scheduled system maintenance that weekend)
  • May 9: Duo will be required to access D2L Brightspace

Duo will be required for Owl Express access and registration for summer and fall 2019 classes. Students are encouraged to visit duo.kennesaw.edu and register a secondary authentication method at their earliest convenience.

According to KSU’s University Information Technology Services division, the University receives thousands of malicious emails daily, and although most are routed to a user’s junk folder or blocked, some are delivered and successfully manipulate the recipient to disclose their credentials. As phishing attacks have become more complex, the effectiveness of passwords alone has eroded to the point of being inadequate to protect student and institutional information.

To learn more about two-factor authentication at KSU, visit uits.kennesaw.edu/duo or contact the KSU Service Desk at studenthelpdesk@kennesaw.edu or 470-578-3555 for assistance.

– Thomas Dale

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.