Google offers Advanced Protection Program for system administrators

System administrators who work with Google’s G-Suite will soon be able to determine which users can receive extra security. This concerns users who are more at risk of being hacked, such as high-ranking people in an organization.

This makes Google’s Advanced Protection Program available to all Enterprise users. The company announced this during the Cloud Next ’19 network conference. The Advanced Protection Program has been around since 2017 and was initially intended for high-ranking individuals or users at high risk of abuse, such as CEOs, system administrators and journalists.

Users who are signed in to the program can only sign in with a hardware token to their Google account, such as Google’s own Titan Security Key or a Yubikey. Simultaneously with the announcement, the Titan Key will also be available for purchase in Canada, France, Japan and the United Kingdom. Google recommends setting two: one for the user and one for the system administrator.

In addition to requiring the use of keys, Google will also block access to Gmail and Google Drive by third-party apps. These are programs such as third-party email clients that are not trusted by a system administrator. Finally, program participants and system administrators get more advanced capabilities to scan emails and attachments for phishing and malware.

The new protections will be available to administrators of G-Suite and Google Cloud Platform, and to Cloud Identity customers. Individual users could already sign up for the program, but had to do it themselves. Now system administrators can tackle it at the organization level and choose who to add.

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