New security tools for Google Apps admins

New security tools for Google Apps admins

Google have just released a new set of security tools which are available from within Google Apps to help hard pushed admins better determine which devices are accessing an account. The  Devices and Activity dashboard shows a list of devices and locations from which users have been accessing Google services. This should help administrators identify malicious activity and allow them to easily block an account pending a bit more investigation.

 Devices and Activity dashboard

The Devices and Activity dashboard shows a breakdown of devices and locations

Google have also released the Security Wizard which will walk a user through a list of basic security precautions in an attempt to encourage them to secure their account. The available prompts include setting an alternative email account and phone number so that you can receive password prompts and alerts. You can also set up two factor authentication from the wizard – if you haven’t already then why not? – as well as see which apps can access your data and which devices are accessing your account.

While it’s a good start I don’t think it goes as far as it should, or even could. Whilst the security dashboard shows the devices which access your account, it doesn’t show you any identifying features of those devices, so it’s impossible to know whether the device “Windows” was me on my laptop, or my colleague on his laptop or a hax0r script-kiddy in a coffee shop. It would also be good to be able to have the option to block that individual device from accessing your account, regardless of whether they knew the password or not. A device panic button if you will.

There are a load more basic features I’d like to see in this dashboard to make it truly useful. However for now I think we all should be glad of being made a bit more aware of our account landscape.

Author

Oliver Marshall
Oliver works as a Director at Oakson who provide absolutely awesome IT support in Brighton, UK. Out of hours he's a runner with a limp, has a board game addiction and a owns a dog that looks like a badger.
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