Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Mountain View, CA, United States (4E) – Google this month is expected to unveil an improved, physical security measure that will upgrade its apparently not too foolproof Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) system used to secure sensitive online data from hacking.
The new service is called the “Advanced Protection Program (APP).”
Meant for use by politicians, executives and other persons that are priority targets for hackers, APP will replace the standard authentication process for services like Gmail and Google Drive with a pair of physical USB security keys.
The new physical security keys, which will require users to keep them plugged in to access additional security controls, should make it more difficult to remotely gain control of someone’s Gmail or Google Drive account.
In 2014, Google released software for a USB Security Key, which is a device designed to improve existing security measures like two-factor authentication or 2FA. Two-factor authentication involves using a second code or password, for example, to log onto email.
APP will also restrict the types of third-party apps and services that connect to a user’s Google account.
It will install a collection of features onto accounts (such as email) that will block third-party applications from accessing data. The program will replace the need to use 2FA to protect accounts with a pair of physical security keys.
When plugged into a computer, the key lets a user create more robust security measures for accounts on Gmail and other Google sites. The new service will continue to require a physical USB key in addition to a second physical key for greater protection.
The program will be updated with new features to protect user data on an ongoing basis.
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