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G Suite Admins Blog > G Suite Admin, G Suite Business

Do you enforce 2SV for end users? For Admins?

turn-on-2-step-verification.pngHere at Coolhead Tech, we like to cover all of the most important features in Google Apps. Recently, 2SV is seeing a surge in popularity, especially for businesses and workplaces using cloud-based solutions like Google Apps. In this article, we'll be discussing 2SV: what it is, how you can benefit from it, and who it should be enforced on.

What is 2SV?

2SV is an industry-recognized shorthand for "2-Step Verification". 2-Step Verification is a popular form of authentication that ensures beyond reasonable doubt that all access to a user's account is controlled by them. This is because the two steps in the name are actually two steps: password entry, then authentication. Authentication in this context is enabled by a mobile device, such as an Android or iOS phone. 2SV verification adds an extra step to the sign-in process by requiring that the person signing in has their mobile phone.


Why should I use it?

If you're bothering to read a blogpost about security and 2-Step Verification, you very well know why you should be using it. Any added layers of security you can put between your business' data and malicious third parties are sorely necessary in today's world of digital espionage and major security breaches. Think about it: there's all kinds of ways for a user's password to be stolen. They can let slip and tell someone, somebody can watch them enter it, they could have it written down somewhere that people can find it...or it can just be guessed. These are human errors that are exceedingly common in the world of technology, and can lead to major security breaches.


With 2-Step Verification, the person signing in needs to have access to that person's mobile device. Without that access, sign-in attempts won't work. People keep their smartphones with them at all times- that's another product of today's society, since everyone wants to stay connected. People may lose or have their smartphones stolen, but in the case of this happening they can easily contact their Apps Admin or simply sign into their accounts on a trusted device, disable 2SV themselves and change their passwords.


The extra steps required to break an account with 2-Step Verification are immense, and nigh impossible to do without drawing any attention. This is why 2SV is so much stronger than having just a password.


Who do I enforce it on?

And now, the main question of the article. Who do you enforce 2SV on: users or administrators? The security benefits laid out above indicate that enabling 2SV comes with huge benefits to security, preventing unauthorized access not just to people's accounts, but also to the data of the business at large.

The answer, then, should be obvious: everyone should have 2SV. Very few people in our modern day go without having a smartphone, and for the ones who do, the business can provide a smartphone or they can simply shop for a cheap Android phone.


Android phones that support mobile authentication can come as cheap as $10 USD, with supported data plans upping the total cost to somewhere around $40-50 per individual user. This is something your employees should reasonably be able to cover on their own, since you're paying them and all.


Google Apps Support: Setup 2 Step Verification


Here at Coolhead Tech, we cover topics like this and other things related to Google Apps and other cloud platforms for businesses. To read more posts like these, feel free to head to our blog for the latest on Google Apps for Work and Education. If you're located in or around Austin, Texas, you can also contact us for a free consultation here.