Google has announced that users of its Nest products will soon be required to activate two-factor authentication for their accounts, stepping up security in Google’s part of the Internet of Things ecosystem.
2FA has already been available to users of Google’s Nest smart devices, which include things like speakers, smoke detectors, and thermostats. But, as TechCrunch reports, the company has decided to make this a requirement shortly after Amazon announced similar plans for its Ring smart doorbell devices.
This could signal a broader shift in the IoT industry as concerns mount over potential security threats. The past week alone has brought news of vulnerabilities in Philips Hue smart bulbs that could let hackers access the devices and the broader networks on which they run, and an accusation from US government officials that Huawei has built secret back doors into its mobile networks, which may hint at similar practices with respect to the tech giant’s smart home products.
For Google Nest users, 2FA security will be applied at the time of account creation, when they’ll receive a special activation code in an email from Nest. Users also have the option of using 2FA security options associated with their Google accounts.
At least one of Google Nest’s smart home devices – the Nest Hub Max – also features facial recognition technology, though this hasn’t yet been leveraged for security purposes, and is instead used to provide a more personalized user experience.
Google hasn’t set a firm date for when 2FA security becomes mandatory, but indicated in its announcement that this will happen sometime in spring of this year.