Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) at NC State

Enroll in NC State’s two-factor solution to keep your account and NC State secure.

Duo Security adds two-factor authentication to services at NC State such as Google Workspace, MyPack Portal, WolfWare and many other online services. Note: Generic and Alumni email-only accounts use Google 2-Step Verification.  

Get Started with Duo/Manage Settings

About 2FA at NC State

Learn more about how we use 2FA and how it keeps us safe.

Don’t be confused by its many names — multi-factor authentication (MFA), two-factor (2FA), or 2-step verification. Just think of it as another layer of protection for your most vital accounts. When you activate two-factor authentication, you will be required to log in with both your password and an additional security measure, such as one of these:

  • code delivered via mobile app, text, or voice call
  • USB security key (What is a security key?)
  • push (or pop-up) notification on your smartphone

Two-Factor at NC State

At NC State University, we primarily use Duo for two factor authentication. Duo protects all services for accounts (employees, students, affiliates, no-pays and other unity account holders.)

  • All employees and all students are required to enroll in Duo Security.
    • Employees include all faculty, staff, no-pay employees, and retirees.
    • New students and employees have 14 days to enroll in Duo starting from their first login date.
    • Employees can learn more about this requirement by referencing the Onboarding Center’s New Hire Checklist, HR email communications or by contacting their manager.
  • NC State Generic and Alumni email accounts are required to enroll in Google 2-Step to access the following:
    • Google Workspace apps (for Generic accounts only)
    • Gmail in the Alumni domain (for email-only alumni accounts)
  • All system administrator / root accounts such as .admin/.re, or other non-unity accounts, must have 2FA.


Why Use Two-Factor?

  • The university receives about one million email messages daily. Fifty percent are either spam or phishing scams.
  • On a monthly basis:
    • more than 200 people in our university community fall for a phishing email, and
    • 150 accounts are disabled due to compromised credentials.
  • When your Unity credentials are compromised, criminals have access to:
    • everything stored in your Google account, including Google Drive, and
    • your sensitive data stored in the MyPack Portal, including W-2 Forms and payroll, billing and account information.
  • Up to 98 percent of email breaches can be prevented by two-factor authentication.
  • NC State must employ 2FA to be compliant with
    • various state and local policies and
    • standards such as NIST 800-171, PCI DSS and ISO 27002.
  • Research data is becoming our most highly regulated area, requiring controls such as encryption and two-factor authentication for grant acceptance.

Two-factor Benefits

The main benefit of enrolling in two-factor authentication is a significant increase in protection of your account from hackers. Here’s how that that protection works:

  • Two-factor adds an extra barrier between your personal information and the bad guys. To access your account, they would need to know not only your username and password but also a security code.
  • Two-factor can help keep attackers from accessing your email, documents, payroll, personal information, or research data.
  • Two-factor requires additional verification each time your account is accessed on an untrusted device, application or web browser.
  • If you receive a security code or push notification when you are not logging in to your account, you’ll immediately know that someone else is trying to access your account. That means you should change your password!

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