Duo Multi-Factor Authentication

Towson University uses Duo Multi-Factor Authentication to enhance the security of NetIDs and to prevent data breaches. Duo requires a second form of identification to help you securely login to systems the university wants to strongly protect. Starting in summer 2017, Duo will be rolled out to all faculty/staff over several months.

What is Duo Multi-Factor Authentication?

Passwords are often compromised because of phishing, malware and other types of attacks. Once an attacker has the password to your NetID, your data and the university's systems are vulnerable. 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires the owner of an account to take an additional step to prove their identity. As announced in the T3 article, Towson University uses Duo Security's MFA solution to improve the security of our systems. Ongoing cyberattacks result in organizations relying on MFA to protect their services, their data, and their users. Towson is joining the growing number of businesses and universities that are requiring MFA. 

How does it work?

An individual who is enrolled in Duo will use both their password and a mobile device or landline phone when logging into various TU systems with their NetID. In general, Duo authentication needs to be performed only once per month for most applications on each computer you use, versus every single time you log on.

Verifying your identity with Duo prevents anyone else from logging in as your NetID - even if they know your password. OTS Training provides detailed instructions on how to use Duo for required users.

Who is required to use Duo?

Once Duo is completely rolled out, all faculty and staff will be required to use it. Students, student employees, retirees and Guest NetIDs will not be eligible to use Duo at this time.

The Office of Technology Services (OTS) chooses the systems on which to enable multi-factor authentication based on the sensitivity of the data on those systems, as well as any vulnerability to phishing and other attacks. Duo will be rolled out progressively to a variety of systems over time, but some of the earliest systems to require it will be Office 365, Salesforce, and PeopleSoft.

OTS will communicate with faculty and staff before requiring that they use Duo, and will initially roll it out by department. See the Rollout Schedule below for more information.

Top five Frequently Asked Questions

I'm ready to enroll in Duo. How do I get started?

First, make sure you have reviewed the information on this page. Then, click on the self-help resources link for documents and videos which will guide you through how to enroll devices in Duo. OTS recommends you enroll multiple devices (mobile devices, office desk phone, home landline phone) as soon as possible.

How do I authenticate with my smart phone app if I don't have a cell signal, data, or a reliable Wi-Fi connection?

You can use the Duo mobile app (available for smartphone or tablet) to generate passcodes even if you don't have an Internet, Wi-Fi, or a cellular connection.

If I don't have a supported mobile device, what options do I have for using Duo?

You do not need to have a mobile device to use Duo. Landlines (like an office or home phone) can be used to authenticate via a phone call. In limited circumstances, a hardware token (a small electronic device that may be attached to a keychain and generates a passcode) can be requested by contacting the OTS Faculty/Staff Help Center.

I don't want to log in every day. How do I get Duo to "remember me" for an extended period of time?

When authenticating with Duo through a web browser, you may see a "Remember me for 30 days" option. If the computer is not a shared or public machine, you can enable this option to avoid Duo authentication requests for up to 30 days. This will remain in effect as long as you are authenticating on the same computer/browser, and do not clear browser cookies. If you configured Duo to automatically call your phone or send you a push notification, the "Remember me for 30 days" option may be grayed out or hidden when the Duo prompt first appears. If the option is unavailable, you must click "Cancel" on the blue bar, and repeat the authentication process to access the “Remember me” checkbox.

Is the Duo mobile app free? When I try to get Duo from the Apple App Store, I’m asked for payment information.

Yes, the Duo mobile app is free. However, the Apple App Store requires payment information on record even when downloading a free app.

Resources and Assistance

OTS Training provides self-help resources which include how to enroll and use Duo, a detailed list of FAQs (PDF), and an overview of the service in a"Five Questions With" video.

To enroll your devices in Duo, or make changes to your devices, visit the NetID Tools page and click the "Enroll and Manage Duo Devices" link.

To receive additional assistance with Duo, you can submit a TechHelp service request, or contact the OTS Faculty/Staff Help Center.

Rollout Schedule

Starting in summer 2017, Duo Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) will be rolled out progressively to all faculty/staff and a variety of systems. This rollout schedule will continue to be updated.

schedule of faculty/staff to be enrolled in Duo

  • May/June 2017: Office of Technology Services (OTS) (completed)
  • June - August 2017: Pilot testing outside of OTS (completed)
  • September 2017: Available for any faculty/staff to enroll on their own, as described in a T3 article (completed)
  • Throughout Fall 2017: Departments will be contacted by OTS to coordinate enrollment for remaining faculty/staff (in progress)
  • November 2017: New faculty/staff start enrolling in Duo immediately after activating a NetID

schedule of services which will require Duo

This schedule may change over time. Please check back for updates as systems may be added or removed from the list below.

Please note that some systems require a change to their login experience prior to enabling Duo. When a system starts requiring Duo, only individuals already enrolled in Duo will be prompted for Duo authentication, while individuals not yet enrolled in Duo will log into the system as they normally do.

Office 365 (Email, Skype, OneDrive, SharePoint)

  • June/July 2017: Login experience will change, and Duo MFA will be required for faculty/staff already enrolled in Duo (completed)


  • June 2017: Duo MFA will be required for faculty/staff already enrolled in Duo (completed)

OmniUpdate Campus (OU Campus Content Management System)

  • July 2017: Duo MFA will be required for faculty/staff already enrolled in Duo (completed)

Taleo (Employee Recruitment Tracking System)

  • July 2017: Duo MFA will be required for hiring managers and Taleo administrators already enrolled in Duo (completed)

PeopleSoft, MyTU and MyTUMobile (including PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal, Campus Solutions, Human Capital Management, Financials and HighPoint):

  • October 2017: Login experience will change, and Duo MFA will be required for faculty/staff already enrolled in Duo (completed)

FDS (File Delivery Service)

  • October 2017: Duo MFA will be required for faculty/staff already enrolled in Duo (completed)

Virtual Workspace (when accessing from off-campus)

  • Currently in early planning phase, with a possible rollout during Fall 2017 or Winter 2018

Remote Desktop Connections to Faculty/Staff Desktops in High-Risk Departments

  • Currently in early planning phase, with a possible rollout during Fall 2017 or Winter 2018

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

  • Currently in early research phase, with a possible rollout in 2018

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