New Layer of Security Added to A-State IT Systems

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JONESBORO – Students, faculty and staff at Arkansas State University will have another layer of data security while using A-State’s MyCampus portal for conducting business with the institution.

Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20, A-State’s Information Technology Services will implement a new software package, Duo, that provides “multi-factor authentication” for accessing sensitive user data.  Multi-factor authentication means the user must provide two forms of identification, a password and a confirmation code.

Henry Torres, chief information officer, said implementation of Duo will create a much more secure online environment, thus protecting campus clients.

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“You may be familiar with such systems from the business world that require you to complete an extra step, such as entering a code to change your password, update a billing address, etc.,” said an all-campus email from Torres and Dr. Len Frey, vice chancellor for finance and administration, to those who use the campus computing system.

A soft rollout that starts tomorrow will last four weeks.  ITS is encouraging students, faculty and staff to opt in early so they can assist ITS with working through any unforeseen issues.

Duo will work within the MyCampus portal, which is the site where campus users go to pay their bills, check financial aid status, review payroll records, register for parking passes, and conduct numerous types of business with the university.

“To activate Duo, you will be asked to register a phone number at which you can be reached,” Torres explained.  “This number will be used to confirm that when someone is attempting to login to your MyCampus account, that person is in fact you.  You can choose to receive a phone call, text message, or if you’re using a smartphone, you can download an app for a push notification.”

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The next time an individual attempts to access MyCampus, the Duo program will alert the user and request verification of the attempt to log in.

“You are provided a string of numbers to key in as verification.  If you use the mobile app, it asks you a question allowing you to answer with one click,” Torres added.  “This system adds a very valuable layer of protection against compromised passwords and the risks associated to your data.”

Effective Wednesday, April 18, all users will be required to use Duo to access MyCampus.  Other A-State systems and applications will be added to the list of Duo-protected systems as needed, as part of the ongoing initiative to strengthen online security.

ITS has posted answers to “frequently asked questions (FAQ)” regarding Duo implementation on the MyCampus login page.  For answers to questions not covered, one may contact the university’s information security team at ITSecurity@AState.edu or (870) 972-3770.

This and other news releases also available at: AState.edu/news

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