Google is soon set to roll out a new update that specifically enhances the overall security of its two-factor authentication system, but only for its high-profile users. The move comes as a result of the ongoing investigations into the alleged Russian hacking and the aftermath of the Equifax breach.
According to a report by Bloomberg, which cites two people familiar with the matter, states that Google will introduce an ‘Advanced Protection Plan’ for its high-risk users starting in November.
The new service will be specifically targeted at high-profile users such as diplomats, corporate executives, celebrities, and others who are much more susceptible to risk.
Furthermore, the report also adds that it remains unclear whether the service will be available to ‘regular’ users.
To recall, Google announced support for two-factor authentication back in 2014. The feature was essentially introduced to offer improved protection from hackers and phishing sites. In addition, it also removed the need to physically enter codes from a handset.
Two-factor authentication usually requires a username and password, and then access to a device which receives or generate one-time code. That device can be a USB drive, a dongle, or an app on a registered smartphone. Besides, security codes can be sent via text message to a registered number.
The company’s upcoming Advanced Protection Plan would further bolster its two-factor authentication method by adding a second physical hardware alongside the USB Security key.
Therefore, a user’s Google account can be accessed only when both devices have been detected. This enhanced system essentially doubles the hardware requirement. As it uses both a USB security key alongside a secondary hardware key. Without having either of the two, a user’s Google account is potentially inaccessible.
Also, the upcoming security plan will not only restrict all third-party applications from accessing a user’s Google Drive files, but also promises to offer constant security updates so that customers keep their account secure using the latest security methods.