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Why we are expanding NetID 2-Step

By Ken Pierce, Vice President for Information Technology

Earlier this week you received an email announcing we are expanding NetID 2-Step on May 1 to SAP, HR Jobs - PeopleAdmin, Performance Management, Jobs4Cats, and several other services.

NetID 2-Step is Texas State's two-factor authentication system. It requires you to log in with your NetID and password, then also to take a second step to verify your identity using something tangible, like your mobile phone, office landline, home phone, or a key fob.

The majority of Texas State University faculty, staff, and student employees are already signed up for NetID 2-Step. We implemented it last fall for accessing the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN) and the Online Toolkit, which includes the place you change your NetID password. We appreciate those of you who have already enrolled.

The decision to expand NetID 2-Step to more services is an important one, as it is a proven way to guarantee the safety of your data and university records. The increased security this sort of tool provides is necessary in these times. Every day criminals attempt to compromise our accounts and steal our protected information. Texas State is not immune. Our Information Security Office wages a daily battle against hackers, phishers, and other criminals who want to acquire your Social Security Number or your banking information. One of the compelling reasons for implementing two-factor authentication is to prevent scams that could lead to faculty and staff having their payroll deposits routed to someone else’s bank account. Yes, it has happened here before.

Information Security practices and regulations require us to protect you as best we can. However, you should also protect yourself by using complex passwords, using different passwords for home and work, and knowing how to detect phishing emails.

It is likely you have some experience with two-factor authentication outside of the university environment. Most banks now require it for certain types of access, as do other organizations such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo who also now offer two-factor authentication as an option for increased security. The use of two-factor authentication is and will continue to grow.

There may be times when you consider the extra step required by two-factor authentication an inconvenience. We are providing you with various options to minimize potential frustration. For example, when using the same browser and checking Remember Me for Hours, NetID 2-Step will be required only once a day – the first time you log into one of the NetID 2-Step enabled services – instead of every time you log in.

If you have any difficulties getting set up in NetID 2-Step, please contact the IT Assistance Center (ITAC). ITAC staff are ready and waiting to help. For more information, including a list of the services that will require NetID 2-Step on May 1, see the NetID 2-Step website.