New Security Feature Protects Sensitive Employee Information
Beginning Thursday, July 14, Georgia Tech employees will be asked to verify their identity online by completing a simple math problem (used to confirm that the user is human and not a computer) and entering the last five digits of their Social Security number when accessing all features of the employee self-service area of TechWorks. These features include payroll, tax, and compensation and benefits information. Employees currently enrolled in two-factor authentication will not have to provide this additional layer of identity verification.
The “Verify Identity” feature is a collaborative effort between Georgia Tech Human Resources (GTHR) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT), introduced as a demonstration of Tech’s commitment to securing online data. This type of action is recommended by the FBI as an important secondary step to protect sensitive data.
“This additional verification process for Tech employees is a short-term one to help ensure it’s really you who wants to view your information,” said Herb Baines, OIT’s chief information security officer and deputy chief information officer. “Georgia Tech takes its data security very seriously, and we hope this extra layer of protection provides employees with the assurance they need that their personal information is safe.”
While extra precautions are being taken now to secure personal information accessed through TechWorks, Georgia Tech’s cyber security strategy ultimately includes two-factor authentication for access to web-enabled systems and applications. Two-factor authentication is already being implemented in some campus departments, with plans for deployment to all campus constituents this year. The service is currently available as an opt-in selection for all Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff.
For the interim verification process, employees such as foreign nationals who do not have a permanent Social Security number will be required to enter their birthdate until they receive their permanent Social Security number. Once a permanent Social Security number is issued, these employees may access their information via TechWorks using the new verification process.
For questions or additional information, contact Georgia Tech Human Resources at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on implementing two-factor authentication in your department, contact OIT at 2FA@oit.gatech.edu.