Aiming to protect users from hackers and political operatives, Google is gearing up to enhance its online security tools.
Citing two people familiar with the company’s plan, news from Bloomberg reported that starting in October, it will roll out its Advanced Protection Program, which will provide increased security tools for online accounts, such as email or other services. The program will be offered to corporate executives, politicians and other individuals who have higher than average concerns about security.
According to the report, one of the tools will block the ability of third-party apps to access data through a customer’s email or via files that are stored on Google Drive, reported Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the plan. The new security program means users will no longer need to have two-factor authentication. Google will continue to add new products to the suite on an ongoing basis to protect against new threats.
The move on the part of Google comes at a time when many people are expressing concerns about the widespread hacks over the past year. In addition to ransomware and malware campaigns, hackers have been going after high-profile people and their emails, particularly in the political arena, when possible Russian hacking gained widespread coverage. During Hillary Clinton’s failed bid for the White House last year, campaign chairman John Podesta was the victim of a hack, which resulted in the release of embarrassing emails that could have been harmful to the campaign.
This isn’t the first time Google has added new features or otherwise overhauled its account security systems this year. According to Bloomberg, the company has made such moves several times, particularly as it is trying to attract more business users for its Gmail and document apps. For about five years, the company has sent alerts to users if they are targets of state-sponsored hacks, reported Bloomberg.