Google has been on the offensive of late when it comes to addressing questions and concerns as it relates to the viability of their solutions in corporate enterprise type IT environments. Snuggled inside an announcement about over 3 million businesses going Google with the use of their Google Apps solution, they slid in this nice little note about upgrading their password policy.
Google is implementing a semi two-factor authentication mechanism by allowing administrators to force users to sign in with the combination of their password (something they know) and a one-time verification code provided by a mobile phone (something they have). It doesn’t require any special tokens or devices. You can also indicate when you’re using a computer you trust and don’t want to be asked for a verification code from that machine in the future.
Initially, the capability will only be available to Google Apps Premier, Education and Government Edition users however in the coming months, Standard Edition and hundreds of millions of individual Google users will be able to enjoy(or dread) this feature as well. Administrators for Google Apps Premier, Education, and Government Editions can activate Two-step verification from the English version of the Admin Control Panel now, and Standard Edition customers will be able to access it in the months ahead.
Google seems to be getting serious about truly moving into the enterprise arena and finally creating a formidable opponent for Microsoft, many have tried and failed, but if any company can do it, Google is that company.