Google Improves Two Step Verification For G Suite Customers
Google takes account security very seriously and has just announced an improvement to how two step verification occurs for G Suite customers. Back in February 2017, Google introduced an encrypted prompt for customers attempting to sign into a new device. This prompt requires a data connection but is a more secure way compared with using the SMS message option. The announced improvement shows those G Suite customers using the SMS verification technique customers a preview of what the Google Prompt looks like, and also provides them with an opt-in to the new way of doing things.
The reason for this change is because Google Prompts are tied into your Google account, rather than a telephone number receiving SMS messages. SMS messages are more vulnerable to phishing attempts compared with your existing Google account. There are other benefits for G Suites users and system administrators, as using the Google Prompt ensures that security policies are immediately sent to the device in question.
Two step verification is a means of improving the security of any given account by using another piece of information to verify that it is a legitimate account sign in. The advantage of two step verification is that it means should your account password be compromised, any attempt to sign in to a new computer will be met with another challenge. In the case of Google Prompt, another computer will ask if this is a legitimate sign in request. The Google account cannot be set up onto a device unless the attempt is verified. Google have published more information on their two step verification here, and whilst it’s not perfect, it goes a long way into keeping your account safe.
Meanwhile, G Suite users and administrators can look forward to improved security, and users who opt out of the Google Prompt will no doubt enjoy six months of reminders! Those customers using the Security Keys two step verification won’t see a change with this improvement. The change to G Suite two step verification is being rolled out from mid-July onwards and will take several days.