Google Cloud Platform – Security keys

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Security keys are a type of two-step verification process to secure your Google account and protect it from any unauthorized access. Some two-step verification methods supported/provided by Google are text message, Google Authenticator, and security keys. The text message and Google Authenticator methods require you to have your mobile phone. Google sends a OTP and Google Authenticator is a downloadable app that can generate OTP tokens on your mobile. Hackers are known to use a phishing attack to attempt to steal your password and OTP.

Security keys are not susceptible to phishing attacks. Security keys are small USB hardware dongles that generate a cryptographic signature when touched. This signature is used in lieu of an OTP. Being USB devices, a security key requires a computer with a USB device. Security keys are powered by the FIDO U2F open authentication standard, which means you can buy this key off the shelf and configure it to be used with GCP.

To register a security key, you will have to go into your Google account settings. Once registered, every time you log in with your username and password, you will be prompted for the security key. Insert the security key and tap it to be able to log in.

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