This page contains general questions regarding two-factor authentication. For specific questions related to technical issues, please see the FAQ website and enter the search term "DUO 2FA" on the search bar.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication uses two pieces of information to establish the identity of a user trying to access a service. One method, your Georgia Tech password, you have used for a long time. Some other factors used for verified identity are fingerprints, retina scans, numeric codes, and portable tokens. Using two of these identity elements together gives a much stronger identity process than just a password alone. You may be familiar with two-factor authentication as it is commonly used in banking, cloud solutions such as Dropbox, email services such as Gmail, or social/productivity sites such as Google+ or Facebook.

Why is Georgia Tech implementing two-factor authentication?

The drive to provide additional protection to everyone on campus was spurred on by a hacking attack that occurred during the Thanksgiving weekend in 2014 which culminated in some staff having their paychecks stolen from TechWorks. After a thorough investigation, the FBI, as well as Tech's Cyber Security team, strongly recommended implementing two-factor authentication as additional protection for Tech’s assets and service.

Two-factor authentication is Georgia Tech’s effort to further secure our network application data, intellectual property, and user accounts by requiring a second level of authentication when accessing Georgia Tech network resources. The upgraded CAS service will continue to offer the first layer of security when you enter your username and password, but will now also support two-factor authentication when accessing Georgia Tech applications. The two-factor authentication service from DUO will provide the second level of authentication. 

How does two-factor authentication work?

Two-factor authentication keeps information safe by requiring you to provide a second layer of security, usually in the form of a generated number, to a login screen before accessing a protected application. Because the second authentication is independent of your username and password, if your password is stolen, the web application using two-factor authentication is safe from attempted hackers.

What is Duo?

Georgia Tech has partnered with Duo Security to provide this two-factor authentication service to our campus. Once your IT support team has enabled two-factor authentication on your Georgia Tech account, in addition to using your usual username and password to log in, you will need to authenticate your identity before accessing protected sites including TechWorks and Office365 as well as the virtual private network (VPN) via Cisco. When you log into these protected systems, you will need access to your device(s) with the Duo app, or a telephone that you have configured for this purpose.

How do I get started with two-factor authentication using the Duo app?

To set up a two-factor authentication account, you will need to visit the Technology Support Center (TSC), located in Clough Commons, or send an email to the IT Lead/CSR for your department. The email addresses are located in the Contacts List. Before visiting the TSC or your departmental contact, review the Pre-Checklist for Two-factor Enrollment Using Duo.

  1. BuzzCard
  2. GT Account used to authenticate to the above services (e.g. gburdell3 or gburdell-fwadmin)
  3. Phone number (mobile, preferred, or desk phone)
  4. Operating System your mobile phone is using if it is a smartphone
  5. Device to install the Duo application (smartphone or tablet)
When is two-factor authentication available to campus?

Two-Factor Authentication using the Dup app is available to staff and faculty although the rollout to staff, faculty and students is planned in stages. If your unit is interested in enrolling, or you’re an individual staff or faculty member interested in becoming enrolled, please consult the Contact List for the email address of your departmental IT Lead or CSR Help Desk. Include your name and department in the subject line. Students who are currently working on campus must enroll in two-factor authentication using Duo within the first week of employment, and all students will be able to enroll in two-factor authentication in 2017.

What should I do to prepare for the installation of two-factor authentication?

Students, faculty, and staff can visit the Technology Support Center (TSC) to enroll their device with the two-factor authentication application. The TSC is located in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Building, Suite 215. Before visiting the TSC, it is highly recommended that users complete the pre-enrollment checklist.

When I upgrade my mobile device to a higher version, the Duo Mobile app is requiring me to upgrade to a newer version. What do I do?

Upgrading the Duo app is preferred when you get a new device or when Duo has a new upgrade.

For more detailed instructions, see additional FAQs on the FAQ website: https://faq.oit.gatech.edu