Keeping Google Apps accounts secure is important to us, and we've recently added two security features that can better protect user accounts. The first helps businesses deploy 2-step verification and the second enhances integration with Microsoft Active Directory®.

Since we launched 2-step verification, we’ve seen millions of users enable it and thousands more do so every day. 2-step verification requires two means of identification to sign in to a Google Apps account: something you know (a password) and something you have (a verification code from your mobile phone). Even if someone has stolen your password, they'll need more than that to access your account. This additional layer of security greatly reduces the chance of unauthorized access via account hijacking or other means.

Starting today, domain administrators can require the users in their domain to use 2-step verification. This new feature will help Google Apps customers accelerate their deployment of 2-step verification.

For businesses that use Microsoft Active Directory® (AD), we’ve added new capabilities to synchronize and manage passwords. Businesses can manage password policies (e.g. password strength, reset intervals, etc.) using AD and then synchronize from AD to Google Apps when passwords are changed. Passwords are transmitted hashed and encrypted during synchronization.

Learn how to configure this new 2-step verification policy in the Google Apps help center. Download the Google Apps Password Sync for Active Directory (GAPS), and learn how to configure it in the help center.