Google brings security key to enterprise, education clients

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Google brings security key to enterprise, education clients

Physical hardware aimed at blocking phishing.

Google has offered administrators of its Apps business and education services access to its physical Security Key USB tokens to provide what it says is better protection against phishing attacks.

The company has pitched the product as a more secure form of two-factor authentication - Security Key is a physical hardware token that uses a public key cryptography specification called Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) developed by the FIDO Alliance rather than a verification code.

The verification in this case is activated by physically touching the Security Key following a Chrome prompt once the USB device is inserted into the computer.

Google says the hardware token provides better protection from phishing than traditional verification codes.

The hardware does not require a data connection, but only works on devices with a USB port. The technology does not work on browsers other than Google's Chrome, and requires Chrome version 40 or newer.

Google first debuted the Security Key to its Gmail users last October and to its Apps for Work clients in April.

The company has now added controls for the Security Key to its Apps Unlimited - the premium business product - and Apps for Education services.

It allows administrators to deploy and manage the hardware tokens amongst their user base from within the admin console.

Administrators will be able to revoke access to lost Security Keys, provide back-up codes for account recovery, and track and report the use of the hardware tokens.

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