Duke University Uses DUO Security

Duke University quickly learned how collaboration and security could be improved by offering LastPass DUO and secure password sharing to the full team.

LastPass Outcomes

Greater productivity

Improved security

Secure password sharing

“Being able to point our community to LastPass when they’re concerned about their password and account security has been beneficial to our awareness efforts.” Shaun Juncal Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Customer Overview

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.

As a result of the Duke gift, the original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman’s College of Duke University until 1972, when the men’s and women’s undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.


Duke University’s IT Security Office provides the strategy and tools required to protect the university’s users, systems, and data. The team not only detects and responds to security incidents, but they also provide security awareness initiatives across campus, designed to better protect Duke’s faculty, staff, and students.

One of the key strategies for the team is to promote good password hygiene by using a password manager.


Initially a supplement to their security awareness efforts, Duke made LastPass available as a part of their campaign to promote the use of different passwords for each website that students visit. Soon after, they deployed LastPass to specific campus groups that had a need to share departmental passwords, including the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

OIT has made use of LastPass’ specific policies to increase the security around the administrator passwords shared in the tool. For example, policies have been set to require stronger passwords (length, character mixes), making accounts more difficult to hack. Additional custom policies, like timing out when the user is idle or when the browser is closed, further protected access to passwords. After already implementing Duo Security for multifactor authentication (MFA), Duke integrated their Duo implementation with LastPass to require MFA when logging in to accounts.


Several other departments at Duke have adopted LastPass to address their specific needs. These departments were able to improve collaboration with secure password sharing and can better manage changing passwords and access when a departmental employee leaves. Staff can also securely access departmental passwords offline when needed.

LastPass has been part of Duke University’s strategy to create strong security behaviors with the faculty, staff and students, particularly around the security of accounts and passwords. By promoting best practices to eliminate password reuse and securely store passwords, LastPass allows the Duke IT Security Office to achieve a responsible computing culture.

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