Google to Offer Two-Step Verification to Secure Google Apps

September 20, 2010, By Jeff.Orloff

Passwords have long been viewed by security experts as the weakest link when it comes to protecting resources. Every day passwords are stolen through malware and malicious websites or people are tricked into giving them up. Since its common practice to use the same password over multiple sites and accounts, many businesses shy away from cloud based applications for fear that compromised passwords could allow attackers easy access to sensitive data and resources.

Google two-step verification

Google verification

To ease fears for organizations considering a move to Google Apps, Google has added two-factor authentication to the mix.

By enabling this feature through the control panel, users of Google Apps Premier, Education, and Government can require the user to enter not only a password when logging on, but a verification code sent to the users mobile phone through an SMS text, a voice call, or an application installed on a smartphone.

“This makes it much more likely that you’re the only one accessing your data: even if someone has stolen your password, they’ll need more than that to access your account,” explained Eran Feigenbaum, director of security for Google Apps, in the Google Enterprise Blog.

To make things easier on users, there is also a feature that allows them to designate trusted computers that once verified the two factor authentication wil no longer be required.

Google also plans on making the code for the smartphone authentication app open source for businesses who wish to customize the app or integrate it with other security software.

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