Google tightens security with two-step sign-in for cloud apps

Google has introduced a two-step sign-in capability for Google Apps accounts aimed at increasing the security of the cloud for businesses.

Google has introduced a two-step sign-in capability for Google Apps accounts aimed at increasing the security of the cloud for businesses.

Two-step verification requires two means of identification to sign into a Google Apps account. As well as a username and password, a unique verification code is sent via SMS, voice call or application to a mobile phone and is required to log into the account.

"Until today, organisations looking to secure their information beyond a password have faced costs and complexities that prevented many of them from using stronger security technologies," said Eran Feigenbaum, director of security for Google Apps, in a blog post.

But Graham Titterington, principal analyst at Ovum, said the two-step verification fails to provide businesses with all the security measures needed.

"Corporate cloud services leave the data almost open to anyone on the internet - the only thing protecting them is a username and password. Two-factor authentication makes this 'front door' somewhat stronger, but it does not provide a complete security architecture by a long way," he said.

The two-step verification is built on an open standard and is available free of charge. Google is also open sourcing its mobile authentication application to allow businesses to customise it.

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