Google Plans 2FA Upgrade with Hardware Replacements

Google is reportedly close to rolling out a new hardware-based replacement solution as an upgrade for current 2-factor authentication setups.

According to a Bloomberg report, Google is due to begin offering the ‘Advanced Protection Program’ wherein the suite places a number of features onto accounts including email and more. The effort is intended to completely replace the use of two-factor authentication with a pair of physical hardware security keys. As things stand, the products will be targeted for politicians, corporate executives and individuals frequently targeted by hackers, according to Bloomberg sources.

The report claims that users will have to plug the hardware into computers wherein the service will require a physical USB key as well as an additional second physical key for greater protection. Further, the ‘Advanced Protection Program’ will also restrict all third-party programs from accessing the user’s emails. The user’s Google Drive files will also be secured against third-party program access.

The software giant first released a program for a USB Security Key in 2014. The device fundamentally adds an additional layer of security by improving existing security measures.

In 2016, the much-publicized infamous hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail email account threw up concerns of a phishing attack linked to the Russian government. So too were the databases of the Democratic National Committee in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential elections. Podesta has since met with House Intelligence Committee officials to discuss the sweeping hack, earlier this year.