Two-Factor Authentication Comes to Northwood

The return from winter break marked a new era for Northwood’s online security with the launch of Duo, a two-factor authentication program that requires Northwood users to authenticate on their phone when they login to Microsoft products like Teams, Office, and Outlook.

Two-factor authentication is the simplest, most effective way to make sure users really are who they say they are. The program Duo was added to prevent the hacks widely reported at government, university and business  and to ensure more reliable and safer online experience for Northwood students and staff.

Duo is used in schools, companies or organizations wishing to have enhanced cybersecurity. The program ensures security by asking the owner of the device to accept access into their personal accounts every time they log in. For the Northwood community this is used whenever a student or faculty member uses their Outlook or Teams app. For example, if a student opens Outlook, Duo will redirect them to their app and ask if they are the one trying to access Outlook. Upon approval, the student can go back to their email and continue safely. The Duo app is found in the Apple App Store or on Google Play and can be linked easily with students’ Northwood accounts.

Northwood’s Technology Director Jeffrey Martin managed the launch of Duo at Northwood. “As part of our security overhaul, we upgraded our MFA platform to Duo Security. Duo is very secure, reliable and easy to use.” Martin thinks Duo is well-suited for Northwood’s needs. “It also offers a flexible approach that allows us to better support our diverse student body both on campus and remotely around the world,” Martin said. In adopting the Duo technology, “we have almost completely eliminated security breaches on our user accounts and greatly improved our ability to protect users from identity theft,” Martin said.  

Security is the main goal of adding DUO however for some students it is seen as tedious. Adding another step to entering a student’s outlook can seem annoying at first, however when consider the security it ensures it is a small price to pay.


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