Two-Factor Authentication

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Why two-factor authentication?

Cyber-attacks against businesses, government institutions, banks and universities are on the rise. If any attack is successful, it could mean the compromise of your personally identifiable information such as your name, birth date, social security number, bank account information, and grades just to mention a few.

Sam Houston State University is committed to protecting your data. We have partnered with other Texas State University System schools to implement two-factor authentication by Duo Security, Inc.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to your login credentials by requiring a second factor (like your smart phone) to verify your identity. This prevents anyone but you from logging in, even if they happen to know your password. With two-factor authentication, your accounts and data remain secure even if your password is compromised.

What are the “factors” used for authentication?

The factors that are normally used are:

  • Something you know – A unique username and password.
  • Something you have – A smart phone.
  • Something you are – A fingerprint or retina scan.

In this case, we will be using the “something you know” and “something you have.”

How does it work?

Odds are you are already familiar with two-factor authentication if you have online banking. Most banks will send a text message if they notice that you are logging in from an "unknown" device to ensure that it is you making the attempt. Two-factor authentication will work much the same way on campus. As usual, you will enter your username and password for the application. You will then receive a push notification on your smartphone to verify your identity and to approve the session for the login. You will then be logged into the application.

You will need to re-authenticate every 7 days.

How do I get started?

You will need download the Duo Mobile app from your device’s app store. You will need your device and the app during the enrollment process. Then, enroll using the Two-Factor Authentication Self-Service Portal. Enter your username and password and then select Add a new device from the left-hand menu.

You can find additional enrollment information on our Enrolling page.