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Google Extends Password-less Login To Google Workspace Business Accounts In Open Beta

Updated: Jan 5

Google introduces passkey support for Google Workspace, allowing millions of organisations to enhance security and streamline login processes.

passkey
Credit: Getty Images

Google has expanded its passkey support to Google Workspace business accounts, following the successful rollout of passkeys for consumer Google accounts in May.


Referred to as an "Open Beta," this update enables more than 9 million organisations to grant their users the ability to sign in to Google Workspace and Google Cloud accounts using passkeys instead of traditional passwords.


Passkeys, backed by Google, Apple and Microsoft, serve as a password replacement. Rather than entering a password, passkey support utilises the "WebAuthn" standard, exchanging public-private keypairs between the user's device and the website for seamless login. Typically, passkey implementations require a portable device, such as a phone, even when using a PC. Users unlock their phone and establish authentication, similar to app-based 2FA or SMS.


The fundamental concept of passkeys represents a logical evolution from traditional passwords. Initially, passwords were intended to be easily memorable and manually typed into text boxes. Then, password managers emerged, recommending the generation of random strings pasted into website text boxes. Passkeys eliminate the need for text boxes altogether, as the browser automatically transmits the unique "random string" without human intervention. Passkeys significantly enhance password security by eliminating the risk of writing them down, preventing reuse across multiple sites, and making phishing attacks more challenging due to the browser's role in associating passkeys with specific websites.


Although passkeys offer notable benefits, there are some limitations. Currently, support for passkeys is limited on certain platforms. The passkeys.dev "device support" page reveals restricted compatibility with Linux and Chrome OS. Additionally, the passkey implementation by Apple, Google and Microsoft requires synchronisation with the respective OS vendors, without cross-communication. Therefore, passkeys will only synchronise with Microsoft OS products, Google OS products, or Apple OS products. In scenarios involving a combination of different operating systems, such as an Android phone and Windows computers, passkeys will not sync automatically, relying instead on a QR code-based transfer system. For those seeking a password solution outside of major tech companies, 1Password is actively working on passkey support, offering the potential for synchronisation across multiple platforms.


To start using passkeys, consumers can visit https://g.co/passkeys. In the case of business Workspace users, passkeys can be used as a 2FA method alongside a password by default. Workspace administrators must follow specific instructions to enable passkeys as a password replacement. The rollout of this feature in Google Workspace is currently in progress and is expected to reach all business users within 15 days, while passkey access is already available for every consumer.

 
  • Google extends passkey support to Google Workspace business accounts in an "Open Beta."

  • Over 9 million organisations can enable passkey login for Google Workspace and Google Cloud accounts.

  • Passkeys are password replacements backed by Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

  • Passkey support utilizes the "WebAuthn" standard for seamless login using public-private keypairs.

  • Passkeys enhance security and eliminate the need for manual password entry.

  • Passkeys cannot be written down, reused, or easily phished.

  • Limited support currently exists for Linux and Chrome OS.

  • Apple/Google/Microsoft passkey implementation requires OS-specific synchronization.

  • 1Password is working on passkey support for multiple platforms.

  • Consumers can visit https://g.co/passkeys to start using passkeys.

  • Business Workspace users can utilise passkeys as a 2FA method alongside a password.

  • Google Workspace rollout will take 15 days to reach all business users, while consumer access is already available.

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