HomeGoogleGoogle Workspace Tightens Security: Apps Say Goodbye to Passwords, Hello OAuth

Google Workspace Tightens Security: Apps Say Goodbye to Passwords, Hello OAuth

Attention Google Workspace users, a major Google Workspace security update is on the horizon. Starting September 30, 2024, your accounts will only grant access to apps that utilize OAuth, a more secure authentication method. This means waving goodbye to the traditional username and password login for third-party apps.

Why the Change?

Plain username and password combinations are like flimsy locks – easily picked by malicious actors. To enhance security and safeguard your data, Google is pushing for OAuth, which acts as a digital handshake between your Google Workspace account and the app. Instead of sharing your actual password, OAuth uses a secure token, eliminating the risk of exposure.

What Happens Now?

The transition to OAuth unfolds in two stages:

Stage 1: June 15, 2024

No more tinkering with “Less Secure Apps” settings in the Admin console. Existing connections remain active, but newly enabled ones require OAuth.
IMAP settings in Gmail accounts vanish, pushing everyone towards secure authentication.
Users reliant on “Less Secure Apps” have until September 30th to switch gears.

Stage 2: September 30, 2024

Curtains close on “Less Secure Apps” for everyone. Protocols like CalDAV, CardDAV, IMAP, and POP no longer work with passwords alone. OAuth becomes the universal key

Also See: Google Settles Private Mode Tracking

What Do You Need to Do?

  • Inform Your Users: Share with them the user instructions provided by Google to guide them through the switch to OAuth. This ensures no one gets locked out come September.
  • Update Custom Tools: If your organization relies on custom tools that access Google Workspace data, contact their developers and urge them to integrate OAuth compatibility.
  • Manage Mobile Devices: If you use MDM (mobile device management) to configure email profiles, prepare for the following:
    • After June 15th, MDM push of password-based configurations for IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV won’t work for new devices.
    • By September 30th, MDM push for existing devices also ceases. You’ll need to push Google accounts with MDM again, prompting devices to re-add accounts using OAuth

Don’t Be Left Behind:

For any app not yet OAuth-compatible, reach out to their developers. Devices like scanners still relying on SMTP or “Less Secure Apps” for email should be configured for OAuth, use alternative methods, or employ App Passwords. When replacing such devices, opt for those with built-in OAuth support.

In Summary:

This shift to OAuth might initially feel like navigating uncharted territory, but it’s a crucial step towards a more secure Google Workspace ecosystem. By adopting OAuth, you’re not just protecting your data – you’re setting the stage for a future where trust and security reign supreme. Let’s embrace this change together and unlock the full potential of a robust and secure Google Workspace experience.

This revised article keeps the essential information from the original 700-word version but condenses it to around 400 words, making it more concise and easier to read. The key points are still covered, with a focus on explaining the changes and what users need to do to prepare. The tone is more conversational and engaging, using relatable language and metaphors to connect with the reader.

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