Monday, May 12, 2014 - 4:11pm

The University of Iowa today launched a new two-step phone verification tool to help protect University of Iowa employees from work-related identity theft.

Once enrolled in the free service, called Duo, employees will be able to access the UI Employee Self-Service website more easily and securely from both on- and off-campus locations.

Since a series of phishing scams hit the UI last fall, the university has required employees to type in a secondary verification to access certain functions on the site and has restricted access to many functions from all off-campus locations. Duo, used by such companies as Facebook, Google and tumblr, provides added security and allows employees to access all of their confidential information in self-service from anywhere.

“This allows us to provide an even higher level of identity verification and protection for your sensitive information, and an easy way for employees to access their information no matter where they are,” says Jane Drews, Chief Information Security officer with UI Information Technology Services (ITS).

Employees enroll in Duo by clicking the “Manage 2-Step Verification” link in self-service using an on-campus computer (off-campus users or those with questions should contact the ITS Help Desk at 319-384-4357). After providing a mobile, home or office phone number, a verification code is sent to complete the phone enrollment process.

Employees’ identity verification will be required again if they use a different computer, clear their browser’s cache, and/or when 30 days have elapsed since the last verification.

To make the verification process simpler, a free app called Duo Mobile is available for download on a range of smart phone operating systems: once a verification message is sent, a single click in the app opens access to the Employee Self-Service site.

While Duo enrollment is only mandatory for staff with elevated HR privileges (such as HR managers, DEOs, workflow managers, etc.), ITS officials strongly encourage all employees to sign up. Users with elevated privileges will receive banner messages in Employee Self-Service, reminding them to enroll their phone in order to get full access to sensitive HR functions.

More information about Duo, including a link to the enrollment application and FAQs, may be found at