Two Factor (Toopher) Success

Posted on: January 22, 2015

Between Friday, January 9, and Wednesday, January 21, 2015, the new two-factor authentication process using Toopher was put to a real-world volume test. After the Payroll office sent out W-2 availability notices the response was huge:

  • 15,711 W-2s were claimed online, requiring two-factor authentication
  • 10,813 new two-factor pairings were completed, bringing the total number of EIDs paired with Toopher to 26,050
  • 22,193 two-factor authentications were completed successfully
  • 509 two-factor pairings were reset by ITS Customer Support Services (CSS). This is required when a customer loses their phone or upgrades it without first unpairing

That is a lot of activity in less than two weeks. Great job to everyone in Payroll Services and ITS who worked so hard to make this transition successful!

Though things proceeded well, there were some frustrations the first two days with some delays in SMS texts and an intermittent Your authentication has expired error message on the “My W-2” page after successfully authenticating. The Identity and Access Management (IAM) team worked with Toopher and Payroll Services to quickly address these issues and prevent them from recurring. Special kudos to the ITS Customer Support Services (CSS) staff for helping hundreds of employees over the phone and in person with two-factor authentication questions and issues.

Launched in July 2014, Toopher helps to protect the security of online information by providing an additional layer of authentication when you access sensitive applications. Authentication is the process by which a system attempts to determine you are who you say you are when you login. Two-factor authentication, using both the standard UT EID login process and the additional authentication step with Toopher, benefits all of us by preventing faculty and staff payroll information from being compromised. Before the implementation of Toopher and two-factor authentication, Internet fraudsters had successfully stolen paychecks from more than 25 people on campus. Since the implementation, there have been no such incidents reported for those using two-factor authentication.

This year, UT System will require two-factor authentication for other types of high risk IT services on all campuses. UT Austin continues to work with UT System to find creative approaches to enhance our cyber-security moving forward.

If you havent yet claimed your W-2 do so soon. Beforehand, please sign-up for increased security and peace-of-mind with two factor authentication .

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