Google director of information security and privacy, Heather Adkins has arrived in Australia to expand the Australian information security team for protection against cyber-attacks, like the Gooligan virus.
The Gooligan virus has been termed as the largest breach to date, leaving users’ email, photos, and documents vulnerable to hackers. According to an ABC report of late last year, more than 1 million Android users around the world have had their devices hacked.
The virus operates by stealing authentication tokens that access data from Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, G Suite, and Google Drive.
Google’s information and security team, with 500 employees worldwide and 24 in Australia are needed to provide constant, consistent protection and responsiveness against such viruses and attacks.
In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Adkins states,
The standard of computer science graduates from Australia is really high. Google has tended to hire these people and send them away, so I think there’s a lot more we can do here.
She will be working to ensure that Google’s own systems do not contribute to the innumerable security flaws in the systems that connect to them.
In addition to hiring more information and security staff, the company has taken several other measures to ensure the safety of its systems and devices. For example, Google’s plan to eliminate passwords and use physical tokens, text message authentication, and biometrics to ensure the safety of accounts. Adkins, in a separate interview with Business Insider, stated,
The idea that we create an ecosystem for better authentication for all users. That way we’re moving towards this world where the password is irrelevant and you have these other factors that help you authenticate. We need to rid the world of passwords, which have always been a terrible way to secure computers.
Additionally, earlier this year, the company announced that it is working on introducing a BeyondCorp model, whereby Google’s authentication process will be based on devices and users, rather than the network itself. The security infrastructure is termed as a ‘zero-trust model’.