Google Improves Password Manager Platform Security

Google’s aim is to improve the management passwords across platforms, including Chrome, Android and iOS. This will improve security across multiple operating systems and browsers for mobile and desktop users, the firm says.

Google Password Manager users will now have the same unified experience whether using Chrome or Android, and iPhone users can now manage passwords through the iOS platform.

Now, Google will update users about compromised credentials, on top of reused and weak passwords. In addition, Google will warn users about compromised passwords on a range of operating systems and platforms, including Android, Chrome OS, Windows, iOS, MacOS and Linux. 

These security enhancements are part of a larger push by Google and its competitors to help users create more secure ways to authenticate their identities. The IT industry at large is rethinking authentication. In May, Microsoft, Google and Apple agreed to expand support for a passwordless standard, to boost security across multiple platforms and devices.

As millions of corporate workers and third-party contractors have shifted to remote work, managing authentication has become a much more difficult and sensitive task for organisations. “Password management software fills an important niche use case,” according to Ant Allan of Gartner. “It can integrate applications that don’t warrant or support integration with an identity provider - (such as) a federated single sign-on or ‘access management’ solution. 

The shift to remote work has created additional work for business security decision makers, because they have limited visibility into how workers do their jobs. Some employees use applications that are not approved by corporate policy while others are using personal email or unsecured devices to access corporate servers. 

These workers often share computers with other family members, too. “We’re now making a more active effort to consolidate our password manager offerings on different platforms,” according to Andreas Tuerk, group product manager at Google.

Google Cloud is making a concerted effort and is aiming to be a one-stop shop for security as it invests heavily in its enterprise offerings. While the password manager tools are for all Google users, they are a significant step towards unified cross-platform authentication. 

Google says that it will notify you through the Password Checkup screen if you're using compromised credentials. Android users will see alerts about weak and reused passwords too. If users receive such a warning, it should be easy for them to correct the issue with the automatic password change feature.

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