August has been a very busy month for Gmail. After introducing the native translation feature for its mobile app earlier this month, now it is getting new security features to protect it from bad actors and cybercriminals. These features will add a layer of security to sensitive actions within Gmail, that can lead to dangerous outcomes. Google will evaluate when certain tasks such as adding a forwarding address, creating or editing filters, or enabling the IMAP access status are performed. After its evaluation, if Google feels the action could be considered risky, it will ask the user to verify their identity.
Google explained this further in its blog post where it stated, “Through a second and trusted factor, such as a 2-step verification code, users can confirm the validity of the action. If a verification challenge is failed or not completed, users are sent a “Critical security alert” notification on trusted devices”.
Gmail gets new security features
As per Google, the following tasks will be added under this verification system, and users may have to complete 2-factor authentication in order to be permitted to complete these actions. These actions include:
- Filters: creating a new filter, editing an existing filter, or importing filters.
- Forwarding: Adding a new forwarding address from the Forwarding and POP/IMAP settings.
- IMAP access: Enabling the IMAP access status from the settings. (This feature is only visible to those who are permitted by the Workspace admin)
Users should note that this feature, at the moment, only supports those who use Google as their identity provider and the actions taken within Google products. This means SAML users will not be supported right now.
At this time, the feature will be available to all Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google accounts. That means some organizations or individuals with business accounts may not get this feature. Google may release it for all users in the future, however, there is no information about it.
The rollout for these features has already begun starting August 23. The feature is being gradually rolled out and will reach all users in the next 15 days. Full rollout is expected by September 6, and full visibility of the feature should be achieved within 1-3 days after that.