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Enabling Two-Step Verification for Google Apps

BetterCloud Monitor

July 10, 2012

2 minute read

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This post is part of Google Apps Admin Awareness Month, our month-long series where we spotlight a different tip for Google Apps administrators every day in July. Have a tip to share with your peers or have you always wondered how to do something in Google Apps? Let us know on Twitter @bettercloud.

What is Two-Step Verification?
Ever worry that your employees are accidentally leaving important company login information lying around? Or do you lose sleep over your domain’s security? Fortunately, as a Google Apps admin, there is a simple solution. Two-Step Verification, made available for free by Google, gives your users’ accounts and your entire domain added security.

Similar to those cumbersome fobs you see bankers walking around with, two-step verification provides users with something they have (a verification code) and something they know (their self-created password). Google auto generates and sends a unique verification code to users via text or voice message, after the first traditional log in step has been successfully completed. And if you’re traveling and don’t have cell service, you can print one-time use codes.

How Do I Enable Two-Step Verification?
As a Google Apps administrator, you can access two-step verification through the Google Apps Control Panel (here’s our Gooru guide if you’re new to the Control Panel). Once you’re in the Control Panel, go to the Authentication section listed under Advanced Tools.

Make sure the users you are enabling two-step verification for have self-enrolled in the feature – you can verify their account status in Reports. If the user has not enrolled in two-step verification, they will be locked out of their Google Apps account. Admins can also delegate two-step verification to groups and organizational units.

Why Should I Enable Two-Step Verification?
Two-step verification significantly increases the security on an individual user’s account and your entire domain. The feature largely protects against attempts to log into secure accounts after a computer or mobile device has been lost or stolen. Plus the feature sures up weaker passwords. Though the initial set up process requires more than a few clicks, two-step verification is a must-have for all Google Apps domains.

About Google Apps Admin Awareness Month

At BetterCloud, we’ve seen first hand the impact Google Apps can have on a business: extreme cost cutting, streamlined management processes, enhanced collaboration and mobility and much more.

During our time as an independent software provider focused 100% on the Google Apps platform, we’ve interacted with thousands of organizations using Google Apps and realized that so many helpful features of the platform go unused by administrators.

This July, we’re devoting the BetterCloud blog to educating Google Apps administrators on the wide array of tips, tricks and features available in the platform. These features not only add crucial functionality, but save you time and effort!