Thursday, September 23, 2010

Google Apps now more secure than many banks

Who knew that Google would make it's free app offerings more secure than many banks make account access? Mark Hachman at PCMag.com reports that Google Apps Taps Phone for Two-Layer Security.

It's pretty cool. It's only available right now for enterprise customers right now, but it is going to be available soon for everyone who uses Google Apps and has a cell phone via sms texting. There are apps for Android and Blackberry phones, with an iPhone app in the works. This is a good thing. It makes it much more difficult to hack into someone's Google Apps and gives yet another multi-factor authentication option.

After reading the PCMag story, I checked the "Krebs on Security" blog to see if he had anything to say about the new Google Apps feature. He blogged about it earlier this week. In Google Adds 2-Factor Security to Gmail, Apps he notes that the free two factor authentication offered by Google is better than that offered by many banks. The lousy online security offered by many banks is a topic Brian Krebs talks about a lot, and one I talked about in regard to Plains Capital Bank suing their customer last year. Brian saw a bonus in Google's new feature that didn't occur to me, although it seems an obvious way to pay for people making free use of it. Offer the service to banks. Google can probably offer the service at a nice profit for Google and still be far cheaper than solutions that require banks to buy hardware. The hardware will be provided by the customers. It's a win for everyone.