Google, along with a handful of other security-conscious companies (FIDO Alliance), are working hard to make account login simpler and more secure using U2F (universal second factor) technology.
It protects your credit cards, bank accounts, retirement accounts, social media accounts, and your email. Once someone or something has access to your email, they have access to just about everything you have access to. It is scary! Hackers can emulate you and your services without you knowing.
We have been working with Google and Google Apps as business products to help provide a great suite of services (email, docs, calendar, notes, etc). One of the greatest benefits of this service is that you can turn on 2-factor authentication. With this turned on, in order to access your email from a new device, a security code is sent to your phone. This code must be entered before access to your account is granted. This provides a huge security blanket for your account.
Google’s new initiative will provide a physical “key” called the YubiKey. This key can be plugged into the USB port of the system or through NFC (near field communication, for smartphones and tablets). When you log into your account, you will need your user name, a simple pin, and your YubiKey. All 3 pieces are needed for access. This key can be enabled to work with all your U2F-enabled accounts.
Google has been heavily testing this key over the last year on over 200,000 accounts. Among other companies that are adapting and testing this concept are Facebook, Microsoft, Agfa, Symantec, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
If you are interested in talking more about your corporate email security, give us a call. Our security-conscious team will be happy to talk through your experiences and ideas, and share ours.
More information on the YubiKey can be found at yubico.com
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