Skip to content Skip to site navigation

More Reliable Hardware Token Now Available for Two-Step Authentication

New hardware token supplier selected
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

If you use a hardware token for the two-step authentication process to verify your identity and access Stanford systems, a more reliable token is now available.

“We are continuously working to improve your experience with the university's security mechanisms,” said Michael Tran Duff, assistant vice president and chief information security officer for University IT.

Michael Tran Duff, University IT

What is a token?

Tokens are one of several physical devices that you can use as a second factor of authentication in the two-step authentication process. A token generates and displays a six-digit passcode at the push of a button. The device does not need an internet connection.

Why use a token?

Although University IT recommends that you use a smart device such as a smartphone or tablet with the Duo Mobile application, not everyone has one of these devices. Hardware tokens provide one of several alternatives for those without a smart device or for those wanting a backup device.

Why change token suppliers?

The hardware tokens available since early 2015 to the Stanford community proved to be less reliable than expected. The resulting issues have inconvenienced those using the tokens and have increased support calls.

In response, University IT’s Information Security Office decided to switch to a token that uses a different technology to provide better reliability for the roughly 2,000 clients using these devices.

How do you get a new token?

The new tokens are now available to replace existing ones.

If you are experiencing problems with your token or would like to begin using one as your primary or backup two-step authentication device, you can obtain one at the ID Card Office, located on the second floor of Tresidder Union. Be sure to bring your Stanford ID card and your current token if you are requesting a replacement.

Learn more

To learn more about the new tokens, visit the two-step authentication page on the University IT website.

Share Feedback

DISCLAIMER: UIT News is accurate on the publication date. We do not update information in past news items. We do make every effort to keep our service information pages up-to-date. Please search our service pages at