Two-Factor Authentication Hits Higher Ed

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Two-Factor Authentication Hits Higher Ed

A college student prepares to use a laptop and cell phone to do two-factor authentication and make changes to her student refund.

In August, the Department of Education sent an email alerting institutions of a highly effective phishing campaign that exploits many schools’ single-factor authentication process.

The scam

An official-looking email is sent to students telling them to confirm their updated bill or risk a late fee. Students click the link to a look-alike webpage and enter their login information — accidentally giving hackers access to their account and ability to claim federal student aid funds.

The risk to institutions

The Department of Education has made it clear that “Any funds disbursed inappropriately may become the responsibility of the institution.”

This means that institutions have to spend time and resources creating their own two-factor authentication verification systems or search for vendors who can help them as soon as possible to avoid costly attacks and information breach.

The solution

Nelnet Campus Commerce responded quickly to the Department and created an automatic two-factor authentication feature included in our Student Choice Refunds solution. This feature saves our partners time, energy and money, but most importantly, helps maintain compliance with dispersing Title IV funds.

Clients can turn on this new feature at no additional cost.

For more information, request information or you can connect with your representative.



Becky brings a decade of writing experience and nine years in higher education to Nelnet Campus Commerce. She's a social media strategist, dog enthusiast and guacamole connoisseur.


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