Duo Logo

Get Duo, but be prepared!

Duo is here and if you’re not yet using Duo to authenticate to your Swarthmore College accounts and systems, then it’s time to get on board!

As our CITO, Joel Cooper, said in his email to the faculty and staff a couple of months ago:

“the number and frequency of phishing attacks and identity theft on the Internet continues to increase in frequency and sophistication. After a series of incidents last year in which hackers stole Swarthmore login credentials, we began moving as a campus to two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is an easy-to-use technology which greatly improves the security of your Swarthmore login credentials and the sensitive information they protect, including your personal files, such as recommendations and other information stored in the cloud, and critical College information to which you have access.
You might already be familiar with two-factor authentication (2FA) as it is has been widely adopted on social media sites, email services like Google and Yahoo, banking sites, and e-commerce sites like Amazon.  Two-factor authentication combines something you know (your username and password) with something you have (e.g. a numeric code or a mobile device).  The system we are implementing is called Duo and has already been adopted successfully at many colleges and universities.”

The process is easy, but you want to be ready to get it going before you click that “Enroll”  button. That means that you should have your relevant personal devices with you, including your cell phone/smart phone, tablets (iPad, Android), and your home and office phone numbers ready to enter into the system. If you’re using a smart phone or tablet, then you should also install the Duo Mobile App on those devices before you get started as well. (Don’t be fooled, it’s the green Duo icon, not the blue Google Duo app!)  Just make sure that you set up more than one method of providing that second factor authentication when you get Duo set up! Once you get started with the setup – make sure you complete it then and there!  You can’t just stop in the middle…  if you do, a personal Help Desk visit will be required to get you back in.

If you are planning to travel overseas and need to access Duo abroad, you’ll also want to stop by the Help Desk to pick up one of the portable 2nd factor authentication devices, such as a YubiKey or DigiPass, so you don’t have to rely on being on the network with your phone where it’s incompatible with push notification or texting.  The YubikKey is solid-state and works with Google Chrome and a USB 1.0 type connector, so if you use different browsers, it’s less useful, and those with new Apple laptops that only have USB-C connectors will need an adaptor.  The DigiPass generates a one-time use, 6-digit passcode on demand, that will let you complete the login process, and it doesn’t rely on the network either, but we do need to register it to your account before it can be used.  The Help Desk will be happy to help you get that set up!