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How Duke University tripled their security coverage with 1Password

Duke logo

Tasked with providing an education that "seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with University," Duke University serves just under 17,000 students. 

 Duke University and its associated healthcare network, Duke University Health System, are located in Durham, North Carolina.


  • Education
  • Healthcare

Use Cases

  • Increased EPM adoption
  • Fostering a culture of security
  • Secure credential sharing

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Duke students walking through campus outdoors
Duke students walking through campus outdoors

Key results

  • Password manager adoption tripled after migration.

  • Simple admin controls allow for more focused setup and training initiatives.

  • 1Password's support library and learning resources help Duke shore up their own documentation.


Duke University is one of the most storied and prestigious learning institutions in the United States. Duke and its healthcare arm, Duke University Health System, are home to tens of thousands of students and employees.

With so many constantly signing in to Duke’s digital services network, security is a top priority for Duke’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). And like any IT leader, IT Security Office Senior Manager Nick Tripp knows that password security is the backbone of a sound security approach.

Password managers make life easier, more secure. We're all aware that the main problem with passwords is it's hard for users to create strong passwords.

Nick Tripp

Senior Manager, IT Security Office

The trick, though, is getting everyone to use their password manager to generate and store strong passwords. Having adopted a 1Password competitor years ago, many on campus simply didn’t use it. And even those that did struggled to integrate it into their daily workflows.

Great security starts with a great user experience

“We discovered that groups weren’t doing [password management] properly. At least five groups were logging into the same account and just using one vault. Most people were just using their personal accounts. They weren’t necessarily storing Duke data. If they were, it was all mixed together. We had very few IT support groups using it in a coordinated way.”

Tripp knew there was a better way. "I personally use 1Password for all of my own accounts and had a 1Password Families account prior to this. That's shared between me, my wife, my two kids, and my mother-in-law to make sure that good password hygiene is happening."

And he wasn’t the only one. Tripp explored other password management options “for the sake of due diligence, but enough people used 1Password personally that we knew what the best option was.”

If Duke was going to strengthen its password management, a change was in order. "We got approval from both CISOs (of Duke University and Duke University Health System). Then we got approval from our CIO and IT advisory committee, and similar governing bodies.”

Duke students dressed in blue walking on campus
Duke students dressed in blue walking on campus

Tripling adoption with 1Password’s legendary ease of use

The results were more than Tripp had hoped for. “We’ve seen significant uptake from staff and students. We tripled enrollment during the migration from our previous password manager.”

And because IT finds it easier to manage, the implementation is more focused and deliberate.

“My team and the Health Security Office are doing training and onboarding groups. We’ll spend an hour initially and come back and do 30-minute sessions as needed. We’ve found that once people understand the concepts, which doesn’t take long, it’s a really smooth transition. I’d chalk that up to the user experience in 1Password, which we clearly think is superior to every other product we’ve looked at.”

In the end, security tools are only effective if they’re easy to use.

We have more people than ever doing password management – by a lot – which is a win for security overall.

Nick Tripp

Senior Manager, IT Security Office

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