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Google's Advanced Protection Cybersecurity Now Available to Nest Users

June 04, 2020 / Swati Lunge
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  • Google's had an extra-high level of cybersecurity that can be applied to people's accounts if they're particularly at risk of malicious hacking attempts or online attacks.

  • Google account signed up for both the Advanced Protection Program and for use as a Nest account in your smart home.

  • Nest devices and the Advanced Protection Program at the same time, tying up a feature that's apparently been heavily requested by the relevant users for some time .


Here's something you might now know - for a while now, Google's had an extra-high level of cybersecurity that can be applied to people's accounts if they're particularly at risk of malicious hacking attempts or online attacks. This covers professions like journalism, politicians, activists and election workers, among others, and has been around since 2017, giving people extra layers of security to ensure they're safe from attacks. It limits access to your Google accounts and services more rigidly than otherwise, to make sure that unauthorised processes can't get access. However, until now it's had a slightly annoying drawback. Namely, you couldn't have your Google account signed up for both the Advanced Protection Program and for use as a Nest account in your smart home.


Now, though, a blog post from the security team at Google has confirmed that users can use both Nest devices and the Advanced Protection Program at the same time, tying up a feature that's apparently been heavily requested by the relevant users for some time. That makes sense, at it's always annoying to be locked out of mutually useful services, not least when cyberattacks on people and organisations' smart devices are becoming more and more prevalent. Google has been beefing up security for its Nest devices in the last few months, leading up to this change, including the addition of reCAPTCHA verification layers to make it harder to people to spoof logins. All of which should hopefully serve to reassure anyone worried about security risks from their smart home.



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The scheme has been expanded to include additional Google services, including GSuite, the Google Cloud Platform, and the Chrome browser. In March, the tech giant expanded APP to cater to Android devices.

~ Google


The Advanced Protection Program was originally introduced to provide an additional layer of security for Google accounts considered to be at a higher risk of compromise or cyberattacks, such as those used by journalists, lawyers, political figures, and civil rights group members. Over time, the scheme has been expanded to include additional Google services, including GSuite, the Google Cloud Platform, and the Chrome browser. In March, the tech giant expanded APP to cater to Android devices. Previously, users were not able to connect their Google accounts to the APP program and Nest home devices at the same time. Seamless integration, therefore, has been constantly requested by users, the executive says.

Google's APP-Nest integration follows reports of vulnerabilities in Nest security cameras and device hijacking, including a case in Wisconsin involving a couple reportedly subjected to taunts made by a hacker through their Nest camera .


Google's APP-Nest integration follows reports of vulnerabilities in Nest security cameras and device hijacking, including a case in Wisconsin involving a couple reportedly subjected to taunts made by a hacker through their Nest camera. The introduction of the Advanced Protection Program to the Nest family also builds upon recent changes made by Google to try and bolster the security posture of its products. Google has already rolled out login notifications to Nest users to warn them when a login attempt has been made, and back in February, the tech giant rolled out two-factor authentication (2FA). Anyone that has not enrolled in the scheme or moved their Nest account to a Google account will need to perform extra security checks via email. reCAPTCHA Enterprise was also recently integrated with Nest accounts to mitigate the risk of credential stuffing attacks, in which stolen or easy-to-guess credentials are automatically applied to devices in order to hijack them.


When passwords are changed on Nest products, Google now also performs a search on behalf of users to see if they have potentially been exposed in third-party data leaks. Earlier this year, Google rolled out several new security features to Nest, including requiring two-factor authentication for users who had yet to migrate their Nest accounts to Google accounts. To enroll in Advanced Protection, users need two physical security keys — a main and a backup — and a phone running Android 7 or higher or iOS 10.0 or higher. Android users can enroll their phones and activate the built-in security key, while Apple users need to download the Google Smart Lock app. Even the most security-conscious users can be tricked by a sophisticated phishing attack. To protect you from this threat, Advanced Protection goes further than traditional 2-Step Verification. In addition to a password to sign in to your Google Account, it requires you to use either a physical security key


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