It’s easier than ever to share ideas across the world. But as technology keeps advancing to connect us, so do the techniques of those with bad intentions. The number of records breached in 2014 was staggering; weak usernames and passwords remain the leading cause. The introduction of 2-Step Verification added a layer of security for your Google Account, but we knew more could be done.
That’s why Google, working with the FIDO Alliance standards organization, developed the Security Key—an actual physical key used to access your Google Account. It sends an encrypted signature rather than a code, and ensures that your login cannot be phished. And using this key saves you time—when you need to verify your Google Account on a Chrome browser, the key’s light will flash. Just tap it and the signature sends automatically. In fact, when we rolled the Security Key out to Googlers last year, they loved that it was so much faster than when they had to enter a code.
New Google Apps controls to manage Security Keys
Businesses like Yelp and Woolworths started piloting the Security Key at work and have been looking for ways to scale adoption. Cameron Roberts, Google Apps SME at Woolworths Limited told us, “We have a large workforce and it’s imperative that all of our accounts are secure. The Security Keys are a great step forward, as they are very practical and more secure.” Ryan de Temple, IT Engineer for Security at Yelp said, “As we roll Security Keys out to our users, we realized the importance of a management toolset to audit and revoke keys, as well as reports on key enrollment activity.”
In the coming weeks, Google Drive for Work admins will be able to easily deploy, monitor and manage the Security Key at scale with new controls in the Admin console with no additional software to install. IT admins will see where and when employees last used their keys with usage tracking and reports. If Security Keys are lost, admins can easily revoke access to those keys and provide backup codes so employees can still sign-in and get work done.
Admins can order Security Keys from online retailers or directly from a manufacturer. Multiple models are available and prices start at $6 per key. You can have a smaller model permanently in the USB slot, so it’s available at your fingertips or carry a larger removable model on your keychain or in your wallet. We hope you also take advantage of what the Security Key can do to help protect your organization.
Eran Feigenbaum, Director of Security, Google for Work