Physical security keys eliminate phishing at Google

Google’s 89,000+ employees have had zero phishing incidents since switching to hardware security keys in 2017

Google Proves That Hardware Security Keys Are The Way To Go

None of the employees faced any phishing attack, while they used this physical security key.

Google attributes its success to products called security keys, or USB devices that you need in addition to a password to log in to a protected account.

One of the Titan Key devices will work with Bluetooth and support mobile and desktop devices, while the other plugs into a USB port.

YubiKey Neo
YubiKey

Employees at Google are required to use a physical security key, and have been testing the Titan offering for over a year. Physical keys are typically considered more secure than two-factor-particularly SMS-based two-factor authentication since SMS messages can be intercepted. So far only 10 per cent of Gmail users have multi-factor protections enabled seven years after the security was added to the webmail service. About 71 percent of all targeted attacks start with phishing attempts, according - it's how hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee in 2016 and it's the top attack vector against all manner of targets.

On the Google Cloud website details for the security keys that Google are looking to bring to the Google Store are sparse although there is an image of them.

The only difference is that this two-factor authentication is generally used with a password and a special code that is generated over your smartphone.

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Google really wants to make security keys an integral part of account security.

Your company may already require you to have two-factor authentication turned on, meaning that when you log in with a username and password, you have to enter a second code, usually texted to you or delivered through an app. Numerous world's big websites already support two-factor authentication through security keys, including Facebook and Twitter. By using some hardware anyone can buy: USB security keys.

The new keys will be available in either USB or Bluetooth to connect to a person's computer.

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Yesterday, Google shared a rather surprisingly statistic when it claimed that none of its 85,000 employees have had their work accounts compromised since early 2017. Yubikey also sells more expensive U2F keys created to work with mobile devices. The keys will also likely support FIDO U2F protocol to keep up with industry standards. Google now plans to share some of the security capabilities it developed to protect its own assets with Google Cloud customers.

The keys are similar to those offered by Yubico - so similar, in fact, that the company has gone out of its way to stress that it is not manufacturing the devices for Google.

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