Google boosts security of hosted developer services

Google services like Cloud Storage will now be able to authenticate interaction with applications using certificate-based technology

Google has beefed up the security of its cloud hosted services for developers by making several of them able to authenticate interactions with applications using certificate-based Service Accounts.

These certificates offer a stronger authentication method than shared keys and passwords because they aren't "human-readable or guessable," wrote Google product manager Justin Smith in a blog post.

Cloud-hosted developer services that can now authenticate application requests through Service Accounts are Google Cloud Storage; Google Prediction API; Google URL Shortener; Google OAuth 2.0 Authorization Server; Google APIs Console; and Google APIs Client Libraries for Python, Java, and PHP.

Google plans to add more APIs and client libraries to that list. The feature is implemented as an OAuth 2.0 flow and is compliant with draft 25 of the OAuth 2.0 specification, according to Smith.

IDC analyst Stephen Hendrick said that security remains the main concern among users regarding cloud services, so Google has done well to focus on this initiative.

"Since the cloud is predicated on service enablement, security improvements specific to service invocation are likely to gain attention and garner praise. Initiatives like OAuth 2.0 and Google's decision to align their Service Account support with OAuth is an important step forward in improving cloud security," Hendrick said via email.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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