Google Apps gets better password protection

Now administrators can set password length requirements and view password strength indicators to ensure passwords – no matter how long -- are up to the test.

Google has upgraded its security for Google Apps which allows users to avoid passwords favoured by hackers in the latest wave of attacks.

The new features, introduced last Thursday, complement recent security upgrades to the Google cloud and its enterprise applications including Secure Socket Layer options, single sign-on, and administrative controls for data distribution and publication from Google Docs, Calendar, and Web sites.

Google Apps security director Eran Feigenbaum said the improved security allows IT managers to set password length and type requirements and view current threat indicators.

“Helping businesses, schools and organisations keep information safe is critical, and we've been providing Google Apps customers with a spectrum of capabilities to help ensure that only authorised users have access to information accessible,” Feigenbaum said on a Google blog.

“We can assess password strength in real time and help administrators spot passwords that were relatively secure in the past that are more vulnerable to the latest patterns of attacks.”

Information on the most vulnerable passwords is collected from the Google account authentication system which monitors attacks across the Internet.

Feigenbaum said user password data is stored using salted hashes and includes the length and strength of log-in information to help administrators to maintain security.

The feature is available to Premier and Education Edition administrators through the administrative control panel.

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