The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a globally and locally exponential increase in the level of use of Microsoft Teams. However, the Microsoft 365 suite is a constant target of attacks aimed at compromising login and privileged accounts. Datanet specialists can help you control the security risks of working from home with Cisco Duo Multifactor Authentication Solution.


At the end of April, the Microsoft Teams collaborative work solution had 75 million daily active users. The jump of 31 million, compared to March, makes Teams the Microsoft solution with the fastest adoption. However, the popularity increase of Microsoft Teams (part of Microsoft 365) is directly proportional to the evolution of security risks. As early as 2018, the Office 365 suite (recently renamed Microsoft 365) was the main target of phishing attempts (according to Vadesecure), used to prepare more complex attacks.

Also in 2019 there was an intensification of Account Takeover (ATO) attacks targeting Office 365 accounts by using compromised authentication data. Most organizations try to prevent such risks by asking employees to change their access passwords periodically. However, not all users comply with these requests, and some of those who do so reuse their credentials used for personal purposes. This allows hackers to gain undetected access to corporate accounts by purchasing stolen passwords. However, the target of intrusions is the compromise of privileged accounts, which belong to decision-makers and IT administrators.


The solution: Multifactor Authentication 

Cisco DUOTo prevent these security issues, Datanet specialists propose a security approach tailored to fit working from home. You can read more about the benefits of the “Zero-Trust” security model in the article “ZERO TRUST security model, benefits and implementation possibilities”.

Switching to multifactor authentication (MFA) is a key element of this approach, and our recommendation is Cisco Duo. The solution is a market leader in MFA applications and was recently declared “Best Authentication Technology” at the SC Awards Europe gala. Duo is compatible with both Microsoft Teams and the rest of the 365 suite, but also with Active Directory, Windows Logon and Remote Desktop. These features allow Datanet specialists to adapt the multifactor authentication solution to the specific work scenarios of each company.


Cisco Duo Multifactor Login for Work at Home in Teams 

Duo ensures the authentication of Teams users by applying several methods of identity verification. The solution uses, in addition to the access password, a unique code, randomly generated and with limited validity, as the second authentication element. The unique code can be sent by SMS or phone call. Duo can also be used in conjunction with U2F-compatible hardware token systems. Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) is an open standard that provides simplified two-factor authentication (2FA) with specialized USB or NFC devices. However, the solution does not affect the end-user experience. They benefit from the advantages of the Single Sign-On (SSO) connection scheme, with which a single authentication action is sufficient for several applications.

Duo allows you to improve the security of your computer systems by analyzing your authentication data. It delivers detailed information about who and what resources they access. With this information, our specialists can help you define and apply custom rules based on geolocation criteria, the number of login attempts, time slots, device used.


Adding and management of devices 

Cisco Duo simplifies the process of adding new devices and managing them remotely. This allows companies to enforce security policies on Teams users’ personal devices and when used for business purposes. Duo checks the compliance level of each device with a set of requirements defined by the administrator. This can block access to company applications and data for devices that do not meet these requirements.

Duo facilitates the definition and application of specific policies on user groups or equipment, by correlating and integrating with Active Directory. With their help, companies can identify and block access attempts of unauthorized users and unregistered equipment. Thus, critical data is protected, wherever it is stored – in on-premises infrastructures or in the Cloud. Any non-compliance is automatically reported by Duo, and administrators manage alerts through a single interface. This ensures the visibility of all equipment and facilitates rapid intervention when needed.

In the context of an increased number of security incidents, we recommend that you apply multifactor authentication to Microsoft Teams users working from home using Cisco Duo. Cisco-certified Datanet Systems specialists will work with you to prepare and enforce access policies. You will thus obtain a high level of protection of the company’s data and applications, regardless of users’ location and type of terminals used.

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