Multifactor Authentication Required for University VPN Access

 January 19, 2018

TO:  Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:  Richard Biever, Duke University Chief Information Security Officer
RE:  Multifactor Authentication Required for University VPN Access

Effective February 6, multi-factor authentication (MFA) will be required to access the Duke Campus Virtual Private Network (VPN) (note that this requirement is already in place for the Duke Health VPN service).

If you have already signed up for MFA, no further action is required at this time.  All VPN users will be contacted directly regarding this new requirement, but you should feel free to share with your department.

Why use MFA? This requirement is being made as part of Duke’s continuing online security protections, and is consistent with protections used across the Internet. MFA (also called advanced or two-step authentication) provides an additional layer of security when logging in or performing transactions online and at Duke by requiring you to use a second factor, typically via a phone or separate passcode, to authenticate.

What sites use MFA? Duke’s IT Security Office strongly recommends using multi-factor authentication for not just the VPN but when using any NetID-protected services.  It is already required for access to certain critical systems or systems storing sensitive data, such as Duke@Work and Box.

Where can I get MFA? You can sign up for MFA here: and we recommend signing up as soon as practical in order to better protect your account and information overall, and in preparation for its upcoming required use with the VPN service.

How do I use MFA? After you sign up for MFA, when you access the Duke VPN on February 6, you will be able to choose from the same MFA options available on other services, namely the DUO app, a text message, a phone call, or a hardware token called a YubiKey.

I want to know more! For more information on Duke’s VPN, please go to For more information on MFA, please go to

I need help! If you have any problems connecting to the VPN, please contact your local IT Support or the Service Desk via chat or phone (919-684-2200).

You can verify the authenticity of this message by visiting