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Two-Step Verification for Google Apps Accounts

Two-Step Verification for Google Apps Accounts

20 Sep, 2010

Online security is a serious issue. With more and more businesses moving to the cloud, the simple password system doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Google has now unveiled a two-step verification system for Apps which adds another layer of security to the login process.

“Today we are changing that with the introduction of a more secure sign-in capability for Google Apps accounts that significantly increases the security of the cloud: Two-step verification,” Eran Feigenbaum, Director of Security, for Google Apps, announced.

“For the first time, we’re making it possible for organizations large and small to use this technology in just a few clicks for free. In the coming months, we’ll also be offering this same security to our hundreds of millions of individual Google users,” he explained.

The new security feature is pretty straight forward. If two-step verification is enabled, users will need to provide the password as well as an authentication code sent to their mobile phones.

Google has taken steps to ensure that no one is left out. The code can be sent via SMS, voice – through an automated phone call – or generated by a mobile app. The app is now available for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices.

For now, the feature is available for paid Google Apps users, the Premier, Education and Government Editions, using the English version of the dashboard. Admins can enable the feature to require users to log in with the two step verification system.

The feature will be added to the Google Apps Standard Edition in the coming months and later for all Google accounts. Once available, users will be able to set up the feature to ensure that their account is safe.

The two-step verification system is based on an open standard to enable others to integrate their technologies in the future. The code for the mobile apps will also be open-sourced.

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