University Business October 2019 - 24

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Multifactor authentication strengthens
cybersecurity across university campus
Ellucian's layered approach protects information at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

A

fter spending decades as a
healthcare executive, Aaron
Walton understands the importance of keeping information safe.
Soon after he became president of
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania,
he oversaw a cybersecurity upgrade
that featured multifactor authentication (MFA), among other measures,
to secure the school's network, users
and devices.
"Safeguarding information is critical,
particularly in today's technological
environment," says Walton. "We owe
it to our students and staff to protect
their data and privacy. That's why we
made cybersecurity a focus through
our partnership with Ellucian Managed Services."

'Passionate about cybersecurity'
"Our president is passionate about
cybersecurity because he knows how
it impacts the entire university," says
Chris Brown, the university's executive director of technology. "But it's
not just about MFA. It's making sure
endpoints are protected, servers are
secure, adequate firewalls are in place,
and patches and updates are done
regularly. Most important is training end users to identify suspicious
emails and handle them properly-
giving them the tools to keep themselves secure."
Brown works for Ellucian Managed Services, which contracts with
the university to provide information
technology solutions. Cheyney, located about 25 miles south of Philadelphia, partnered with Ellucian
2 1/2 years ago, about the time Walton came on board.
The university's layered approach
to security includes MFA-a six-digit
code in addition to a password-to

"We used to get four or five alerts per day ...
We've seen those numbers drop since
implementation of MFA."
access any university computer on
campus or remotely through a virtual
private network or remote desktop
gateway. The code comes through a
key fob, mobile phone app or telephone call.
Pilot program informs rollout
Deployment of the new process began
after IT tested it for three months, and
10 university employees-representing various departments and levels of
security and tech savvy-used it for
45 days. Feedback from that pilot was
key to the smooth rollout across the
800-student campus.
"It's extremely important to listen
to end users to understand where
hurdles may exist," Brown says. "Understand that it takes a while for some
people to adopt this. It's important to

educate them and let them know why
you're adding this extra layer."
Improved cybersecurity
During implementation, each of the
university's 200 faculty and staff members met one-on-one with an IT professional to ensure "comfortable understanding" of the system and each
person's role in protecting information,
Brown says. "That personal touch typically takes about two minutes per person, and it is worth every second."
Cheyney has already seen improvement. "We used to get four or
five alerts per day, meaning a password was compromised or a user's
information was found on the dark
web," Brown says. "We've seen those
numbers drop since implementation
of MFA."

For more information, please visit ellucian.com/cloud1


http://www.ellucian.com/cloud1

University Business October 2019

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University Business October 2019 - Cover1
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University Business October 2019 - 1
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