DUO: Our Authentication Ally

DUO: Our Authentication Ally

DUO: Our Authentication Ally

With a staggering 81% of compromised user accounts accessed through stolen or weak passwords, user authentication poses one of the greatest cybersecurity risks in 2018. Whether through remote connectivity, shared services or email, there are no shortage of widely used technologies that (conditions permitting) make industrialised cybercrime and sophisticated hacking a walk in the park.

Despite its availability and the additional protections afforded, adoption of multi-factor authentication (MFA) remains relatively low. For Options and our clients, however, it is a fundamental component in our cybersecurity defences. Here’s our analysis of the challenges, benefits and why we’ve chosen DUO as our authentication ally.

The (User) Challenge

It’s no surprise that user manipulation, carelessness and human error account for the vast majority of cyber breaches. But what kind of user activities weaken our defences? In an effort to remember passwords, users typically choose easily memorable (and potentially guessable) passwords. Similarly, reusing passwords across multiple apps and sharing login credentials with friends, colleagues and family members also lessens our defences. With the rise of targeted phishing and social engineering, even sophisticated infrastructure is not immune to the perils of poor authentication practices..

So Why DUO?

Securing sensitive data in tandem with providing frictionless access is a crucial business necessity for Options and our clients. We wanted a MFA solution that facilitates secure remote access and a user-friendly experience that doesn’t inhibit productivity. We’re delighted that DUO ticks all the right boxes!

Password Resilience

With DUO, a username and password will not be enough to access protected systems or applications – protected desktop access simplifies the process by reducing the password change frequency. What’s more, this complies with recently revised industry standards and best practise.  All welcome news for anyone fed up with complex and endless password reset notifications!

The Push Factor

When moving to MFA, DUO really is a game changer. The application’s Push feature allows users to authenticate with a mobile application. No more PINs or token countdown timers – simply push / swipe the DUO App notification on your smartphone and you’re done!


Providing a secure login that doesn’t require the use of multiple logins and technologies is a key part of Options’ platform flexibility. Being able to offer one app that covers our core suite of services (desktops, Citrix, VPN, JIRA, Confluence, email) delivers efficient security integration and dramatically improves the security experience for our users.

In-Built Phishing Tests

DUO has responded to the rise of Phishing (emails containing malicious content designed to trick unsuspecting users into divulging usernames and passwords) by offering simulated Phishing testing . This is a great way to educate users on how to spot a phishing attack and prevent falling prey to them.

In Summary

Information security continues to dominate board-level concerns for our clients and their investors. With the help of DUO, we can monitor and control access down to the most granular level possible and ensure our clients are protected from the ground up. DUO not only fulfils this requirement, but does it in a way that meets both the security demands of the industry and the excellence of our managed services.

Sophie McDonald, Options Security Specialist

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