Following a series of Google Apps login phishing attacks (specifically on Google Docs) in 2017, Google made several improvements. At the time, while we welcomed Google taking steps to address the phishing problems, it caused issues for WordPress plugins.
Specifically, the updates made it challenging in cases where customer installation required individuals to create a Google Cloud project with their own OAuth 2.0 Client IDs.
To make things easier and safer for legitimate users who need to create Google applications, we recommended that Google:
- Allow users to authenticate against an OAuth ID they created using the same account as the one being used to access the app.
- Allow admins to whitelist specific ID/Secrets on their domain and also allow any regular Gmail account to whitelist for their own use.
- Provide a clearer error message where unverified apps encounter ‘Invalid Scope.’
- Deliver documentation explaining the new verification processes they have rolled out.
- Offer a more robust and selective solution than joining the ‘Risky’ Group (Google already confirmed to us they are aware this cannot be a permanent solution).
Since then, we have even more suggestions for WordPress users using Google Apps login to deter attackers.
Why should you add a Google Login button to your WordPress site? It’s simple.
- It’s more efficient. Instead of trying to remember yet another password, Google’s one-click login allows access without having to reset accounts. (It takes far less admin work as well.)
- It’s more secure. Particularly, if you opt for Google’s multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution, even if a hacker does get through the first wall — he or she will also have to track down a second piece of data, such as the user’s fingerprint or voice, to break in.
- It improves the onboarding of new users. In the past, it took a while for a new WordPress account to be set up, leading to a greater potential for churn. With Google login, user profiles are automatically populated, leading to immediate engagement.
Read on to learn how to improve your site with Google login.
A popular feature of Google Apps Login Enterprise version has always been the ability to specify role mapping rules – so that members of different Google Groups can have different WordPress roles assigned to them.
The only problem was that some companies didn’t have relevant Google Groups already set up (e.g. for firstname.lastname@example.org to contain their Marketing team), but instead had their G Suite domain arranged around different Organizational Units to control access to various G Suite features.
Google recently rolled out ‘Team Drives’ to their G Suite business customers. One big problem for enterprises using Drive is that there is always one ultimate owner of any files shared within Drive. So popular files can be shared by employees, but if the owner happens to leave the company, or decides to reorganize their own ‘My Drive’, the files can be lost to everyone else.
Team Drives aim to overcome this by providing storage space completely outside of anyone’s ‘My Drive’, truly belonging to the organization rather than any individual.
Google has announced a new name for the Google Apps product – it’s now known as G Suite!
The change was made on 29 September 2016, and you can find out more from Google here.
There appear to be no major changes to the product. Google Apps has simply been renamed – in no way to make things confusing for users!
During the transition, we will use “Google Apps” and “G Suite” interchangeably on this web site and throughout our products. Over time, as everyone adjusts to “G Suite”, we will phase out use of “Google Apps”.
Green Dot Public Schools is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 to help transform public education in historically underserved communities in the USA.
The U.S. Department of Education considers Green Dot to be a national leader in school turnarounds, and they are the only charter school operator to lead the successful turnaround of a 3,000-plus student high school.
They have been using our Google Apps plugins for WordPress for a few months now, and reported to be very happy with them! We caught up with Rena Banka, IT Project Manager at Green Dot, for a short interview to find out how they are using our plugins to integrate Google Apps and WordPress.
Let’s say you want better security for your WordPress site. Maybe you want your employees to always access their WordPress account by authenticating through Google (which you see as easier to manage rather than requiring all users to maintain separate username/passwords for WordPress as well as Gmail). You’ve also read about brute force attacks on WordPress so hope that Google login will guard against those. You might also have installed a plugin such as Limit Login Attempts to prevent multiple login attempts from the same IP address – likely a sign of a brute force attack (although increasingly such attacks are performed from distributed IPs).
This post explains how to configure Google Apps Login Premium/Enterprise versions to secure your site in this way – and also explains why brute force attacks will never succeed against WordPress when protected by Google Apps Login, so in fact your Limit Login Attempts plugin is now completely redundant!
Google Apps can now be used as a Single Sign-On (SSO) solution for a wider range of cloud applications – specifically, those that support the SAML 2.0 standard.
Our Google Apps Login plugin has always allowed users to sign into WordPress sites – via their Google Apps accounts – using a different authorization mechanism called OAuth 2.0. This is a modern protocol designed for ‘web scale’, to be used across web browsers and mobile devices.
However, many ‘enterprise’ services prefer to use the older SAML 2.0 even though it is restricted to web browsers and is more complicated to implement. This is largely because SAML can also provide extended ‘authentication’ information, controlling users’ permissions once connected.
The fact that Google Apps accounts can now be used as a Single Sign-On for a wider range of services is great news for customers of Google Apps Login. Using Google to sign on to far more services will reinforce your employees’ use of ‘Login with Google’ when they connect to your WordPress site using our plugin.
You can read Google’s official announcement. And there is a great explanation on the difference between SAML 2.0 and OAuth 2.0 here.
Thousands of WordPress pages contain embedded Google Drive files and folders thanks to our Google Drive Embedder plugin. It’s easy to embed a file: when composing a post in WordPress, click our ‘Add Google File’ button to bring up a dialog box where you can search for the file or folder you want. That works well if you know how to search for the Drive file, but if you only know which folder it is in, it can be harder to find.
We have sometimes been asked if our Google Drive Embedder Enterprise plugin can be used to embed folders within a tab of a BuddyPress Group. That way, each group – maybe a department within a company – would have a space on the intranet to share commonly-used files; but rather than getting lost inside WordPress’ file system, the files would also be immediately available on Google Drive as well. Even better, it would be possible to drop files straight into the corresponding Drive folder and have them show up straight away in the BuddyPress Group without even having to log in to WordPress at all.