Colleges, universities team with National Cyber Security Alliance, Internet2, Duo Security and EDUCAUSE to promote multi-factor authentication use among students and faculty
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 6, 2018 – With National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) fast approaching on Oct. 1, higher education is teaming up with nonprofits and industry to rally around cyber education through an ongoing, nationwide initiative that encourages students and staff to better secure their online accounts using multi-factor authentication (MFA).
As phishing incidents and data breaches continue to disrupt organizations in all industries, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), Internet2, Duo Security and EDUCAUSE are teaming up to promote the importance of MFA on all campuses. MFA provides an extra layer of security beyond your username and password to protect against account hijacking. According to a 2016 EDUCAUSE survey of higher education IT leaders, 73 percent of respondents said they were either tracking, planning, had partially deployed, or had fully deployed the technology on their at their schools.
“Passwords alone are no longer fit for use in any industry, including higher education where systems contain sensitive employee and student data,” said Brett McDowell, executive director of the FIDO Alliance, an industry consortium developing open, interoperable authentication standards. “We support this initiative and its intention to shed light on the password problem and need for strong authentication for access to all campus systems.”
Internet2 has managed a program in collaboration with Duo since 2012. Duo continues to focus on making MFA available to campuses and engaging with the community on deployment challenges specific to higher education. Now, the Internet2 Duo program includes 154 participating campuses with MFA deployments reaching more than 1.2 million faculty and staff and almost two million students, based on IPEDs data from 2017. This is only a subset of the overall higher education community adopting MFA.
“We are pleased to be able to support a concerted effort to bring better cybersecurity and an added layer of protection at colleges and universities across the country,” said Russ Schrader, NCSA’s executive director. “Each of us plays a role in securing the internet and MFA makes everyone – from students to faculty to administrators ‒ safer. This is a great example of the joint efforts that occur not only during October but year round to bring industry, government and non-profit together to promote cybersecurity best practices and behaviors.”