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Google: Security vs. Convenience – You Don't Have to Choose

Google is introducing a physical hardware key to provide platform access for high-priority end users, as well as protections for G Suite and virtualized and containerized apps.

Mitch Wagner

July 25, 2018

3 Min Read
Google: Security vs. Convenience – You Don't Have to Choose

SAN FRANCISCO – Google Next 2018 – Security and convenience are opposites in computing, but Google is looking to change that with new cloud access controls, including a hardware key for end users.

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is also rolling out new security tools for virtualized and containerized apps, as well as G Suite, in news announced Wednesday at its annual cloud conference.

Start with end-user access controls: The Titan Security Key, available now, is a physical key that end users carry with them, providing a second authentication factor for high-value users, such as Google Cloud admins.

Additionally, Context-Aware Access defines and enforces access policies based on a user's device, location and other attributes.

Figure 1: Photo by Google Photo by Google

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Shielded virtual machines on the Google Cloud Platform, available now in beta, are hardened by security controls defending against rootkits and bootkits. For containers, binary authorization provides security controls ensure only trusted container images are deployed on Kubernetes Engine. And Container Registry Vulnerability Scanning identifies security vulnerabilities early in the deployment pipeline.

For transparency, insight and control, Google is rolling out a Cloud Hosted Security Module, which is a hardware security module for cloud applications; access transparency to show how and why customer data is accessed; and improved geo-based access controls for its Cloud Armor service to protect against denial-of-service and web attacks (See Google Straps On Cloud Armor.)

For G Suite, Google is introducing G Suite Security Center Investigation Tool to identify security issues, triage threats and take action; and G Suite Data Regions to control the geographical location of G Suite data, for compliance purposes. (See Google G Suite AI Talks With Your Colleagues So You Don't Have To and Google Brings the G Suite Heat.)

Cloud providers are scrambling to offer security as a differentiator. Amazon Web Services Inc. recently launched Secrets Manager, to protect information such as database credentials, passwords and API keys, as well as firewall and configuration services. (See Amazon Automates Cloud Security.)

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) recently introduced denial-of-service protection as well as security tools for Kubernetes running on bare metal. (See IBM Launches 'Continuous' Security & Kubernetes on Bare Metal.)

And Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) recently updated its Tetration analytics for multi-cloud security. (See Cisco Automates Security in 'Any Data Center & for Any Cloud'.)

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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