2.14.2020 4:18 PM

Tech

Google Nest devices are getting new security features to prevent unauthorized access

Google's bring 2FA and reCaptcha to its smart home hardware.

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Smart home products are supposed to bring convenience to their owners but hackers keep ruining things by severely compromising hardware security and harassing unsuspecting users. Google Nest is no stranger to those attacks, but now the company is introducing more protection for accounts, according to a blog post by Google Nest's head of security and privacy, Cory Scott.

What Google says — "We’re always exploring how to protect your privacy and security while also giving you control over the ease of access to your account and what you share," Scott wrote. "After all, devices like cameras and smoke alarms are essential in emergencies.

"However," he added, "an extra layer of defense gives you more control over your home devices in the long run by making sure only trusted people and devices can use them." Here's what will be different for Google Nest users from now on.

Two-factor authentication — According to the company's blog post, Google will implement two-factor authentication for Nest owners beginning in spring. Account owners will also be notified by account@nest.com when a login attempt is made. Users will then need to enter a six-digit verification code, failing which the account will be inaccessible.

reCAPTCHA Enterprise — To tackle automated attacks, Google has also introduced reCaptcha Enterprise for Nest owners, which won't require any activation on the user's end. It's already present for Google users and now integrated into Nest accounts.

B+ for effort — Google's smart home ecosystem has been slammed time and again for not offering sufficiently stringent security. This move might win some public trust back by promising better, stronger, more thorough security features. It's the least Google needs to do if it wants a place in our homes.