Tag Archives: Security and Compliance

Block compromised mobile devices using context-aware access

What’s changing 

Using context-aware access, you now have the option to automatically block access to Google Workspace data from compromised Android and iOS devices. A device may be counted as compromised if certain unusual events are detected, including devices that are jailbroken, bypassing of security controls, modification of restricted settings, and more.

Creating a new rule to block compromised mobile devices


Blocking message for compromised iOS and Android devices






Getting started


Rollout pace

  • Block access to Google Workspace data: available immediately for both Android and iOS.
  • Remediation message: available immediately for Android, available on May 9, 2024 for iOS. 

Availability

Available to Google Workspace
  • Enterprise Standard and Plus
  • Education Standard and Plus
  • Frontline Standard
  • Enterprise Essentials Plus
  • Cloud Identity Premium

A simplified experience for Workspace users to add 2-Step Verification (2SV) methods

What’s changing

We’re simplifying how users turn on 2-Step Verification (2SV), which will streamline the process, and make it easier for admins to enforce 2SV policies in their organizations.  

Here are some of the important changes with this change:

  • Users may add “second step methods” (such as Google Authenticator, or a hardware security key) before turning on 2SV. This is particularly helpful for organizations using Google Authenticator (or other equivalent time-based one-time password (TOTP) apps). Previously, users had to enable 2SV with a phone number before being able to add Authenticator.

  • Users with hardware security keys will have two options to add them to their account on the “Passkeys and security keys” page:
    • ‘Use security key”: this registers a FIDO1 credential on the security key even if the key itself is FIDO2 capable.
    • ‘Create passkey and follow instructions to “use another device”: this registers a FIDO2 credential on the security key, and will require users to use the key’s PIN for local verification (this creates a passkey on the security key).
    • Note: users will continue to be asked for their password along with their passkey if the admin policy for “Allow users to skip passwords at sign-in by using passkeys” remains turned OFF (this is the default configuration).

  • If an enrolled 2SV user turns 2SV OFF from their account settings, their enrolled second steps (such as backup codes, Google Authenticator, or second factor phone) are not automatically removed from their account. Before this change all second factors would be removed when the user turned 2SV off. Note: When an administrator turns off 2SV for a user from the Admin console or via the Admin SDK, the second factors will be removed as before, to ensure user off-boarding workflows remain unaffected

Getting started

Rollout pace


Availability

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google accounts 

Resources


Workspace Data Protection rules are now available for Gmail in Beta

What’s changing 

Launching first to beta, we’re introducing data loss prevention rules for Gmail. Data protection rules help admins and security experts build a stronger framework around sensitive data to prevent personal or proprietary information from ending up in the wrong hands. This functionality is already available in Google Chat and Google Drive, and in Gmail you’ll be able to create, implement, and investigate rules in the same manner. 


Admins can create data protection rules to flag sensitive information from using your organization. These rules are applied to outgoing messages sent internally or externally and admins can choose whether all content (including attached files and images), the body of the email, email headers, or subject lines should be scanned. You can configure your rules to look for sensitive text strings, custom detectors, or select predefined detectors. If a message violates a rule, admins can choose to:

  • Block message — the sender will receive a notification about message delivery failure and more information about the policy they violated.
  • Quarantine message — the message will require review and approval by an admin before delivery. If the message is rejected by an admin, the user may receive a notification about it.
  • Audit only — the message is delivered, but it is captured in rule log events for further analysis. This is particularly advantageous because it allows admins to assess the impact of rules before introducing them to your end users.

Data loss prevention for Gmail are available for select Google Workspace customers (see the “Availability” section below) — no additional sign-up is required to use the feature. 

Create data protection policies for Gmail alongside Drive and Chat

Build flexible conditions with selection of predefined and custom detectors of sensitive information

Set up a rule with Audit Only action applied to messages sent outside of organization. The severity level for event logging is set up to ‘Medium’ and alerting via Alert Center is turned on 

Detailed information about the event in the Alert Center

Overview of DLP incidents in the Security Dashboard with further option to investigate audit logs in detail

Who’s impacted

Admins and end users



Why it’s important


In addition to detecting sensitive content, DLP in Gmail offers additional benefits such as:

  • Simplified deployment and data protection policies management with rules for Gmail, Drive and Google Chat unified into the same area and workflow.
  • Advanced detection policies with flexible conditions, wide selection of predefined detectors for global and regional information types, custom detectors (Regular Expressions and word lists), targeting on specific parts of a message (header, subject, body). 
  • Granular configuration of policies scope, defining sender audiences (at domain, OU, and group levels) and recipient audiences (internal, external, both).
  • Actions with various levels of restriction such as block delivery of message (Block), quarantine message for review (Quarantine), and log event for future audit (Audit only).
  • Tools for incident management and investigation such as the Alert Center, Security Dashboard and Security Investigation Tool.



Additional details

How does DLP in Gmail compare to Content Compliance rules?
Content compliance in Gmail does offer similar functionality in that you can create rules to prevent messages that contain specific content from being sent. However, unlike DLP in Gmail, admins have no way to preview the impact of these rules before deploying them broadly.


Further, content compliance offers a variety of features that are better suited for filtering content. For example, you can:
  • Set up a metadata match on a range of IP addresses, and quarantine messages from IP addresses outside of the range.
  • Route messages with content that matches specific text strings or patterns to a specific department, suited the best to process information.


Getting started

  • Admins: 
    • Data loss prevention rules can be configured at the domain, OU, or group level. DLP rules can be enabled in Gmail in the Admin console under Security > Access and data control > Data protection. Visit the Help Center to learn more about controlling sensitive data shared in Gmail.
      • Note that you can modify existing DLP rules for Drive and Chat to also apply to Gmail. 
    • DLP events can be reviewed in the Security Investigation Tool or Security > Alert Center, if alerts are configured in rules.


    • We recommend selecting “Audit only” when you’re setting up a rule. When selected, messages that match the conditions of a rule will be delivered with the detection being logged. This allows you to rest new rules and monitor their performance, or to passively monitor the  environment without interrupting email flow for your users.

    • Note on asynchronous and synchronous scanning: With DLP for Gmail, data protection rules are scanned asynchronously, which means that the message is blocked or quarantined after it leaves the sender’s mailbox and before being dispatched to the recipient. We’re working on the ability to scan data protection rules synchronously when a user hits “Send” in order to notify users about sensitive content before the message leaves their mailbox. 


    • Please share your feedback on this feature with us — this will help us continue to improve the experience as we move through beta and toward general availability. You can share your feedback by selecting the “Send feedback” button located in the bottom left corner of your screen of any data protection related page in the Admin console.


  • End users: When configured by your admins, you’ll be notified if your message contains information that violates a DLP rule

Rollout pace


Availability

Available to Google Workspace:
  • Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus
  • Education Fundamentals, Standard, Plus, and the Teaching & Learning Upgrade
  • Frontline Standard
  • Cloud Identity Premium customers

Client-side encryption can now be selected as a data loss prevention condition

What’s changing 

You can now use client-side encryption as a condition for a data loss prevention (DLP) rule. As with other DLP rules, you’ll be able to configure: 
  • If users are warned before sharing externally. 
  • If users are blocked from sharing externally. 
  • The ability to download, print, or copy the document are disabled for commenters and viewers. 
  • Whether these events should be sent to the Alert Center for further investigation. 

Client-side encryption goes beyond the latest cryptographic standards used by Workspace by giving organizations authoritative control and privacy as the sole owner of private encryption keys and the identity provider of the encryption keys. Combining client-side encryption with DLP rules help our admins build an even stronger framework around sensitive data and information.


Getting started

Rollout pace



Availability

Available for Google Workspace:
  • Enterprise Plus
  • Education Standard and Plus


Resources


External participants can now join Google Meet client-side encrypted calls

What’s changing 

We’re enhancing the experience for client-side encrypted Google Meet calls to include support for inviting external participants, including users without a Google account. Admins will need to turn on access for external participants and determine which identity provider the guest uses to join.




Who’s impacted

Admins and end users


Why it’s important

Meet already encrypts all of your data at rest and in transit between our facilities — client-side encryption gives users direct control of their encryption keys and the identity service that they choose to authenticate for those keys. Adding support for external participants means customers can collaborate with any of their stakeholders safe in the knowledge that only the meeting participants can decrypt the call media. This feature further extends the privacy and compliance capabilities of Google Meet and is the latest security enhancement, alongside encryption for in-meeting chat messages, co-host support, and the ability to join an encrypted meeting from a mobile device. For more information about client-side encryption for Google Meet, see our original announcement.


Getting started

  • Admins: Admins will need to update their IdP/KACLS configurations to open up for external participants and determine which third-party Identity Providers they can use to join a client-side encrypted meeting. Visit the Help Center for more information on providing external access to client-side encrypted content.

  • End users: 
    • Organizing encrypted calls: To turn on client-side encryption for a meeting, go to a calendar event with Meet video conferencing, navigate to Settings (cog-wheel  icon) > Security and select “Add encryption”
      • Contact your administrator to learn about your organization's policies and which external identity services and guests have been configured to allow access. Visit the Help Center to learn more about inviting participants to client-side encrypted meetings.
      • Note that only directly invited participants can join client-side encrypted meetings.

    • Joining encrypted calls: External users will validate their identity using a method supported by the Identity Provider. Authentication methods vary between providers. Some common options could be to log in with an account from e.g. Google or Microsoft, or by receiving an email with a one-time password. Visit the Help Center to learn more about client-side encrypted meetings.

Rollout pace


Availability

Available to Google Workspace:
  • Enterprise Plus
  • Education Standard and Plus

Protect sensitive admin actions with multi-party approvals

This announcement was part of Google Cloud Next ‘24. Visit the Workspace Blog to learn more about the next wave of innovations in Workspace, including enhancements to Gemini for Google Workspace.


What’s changing

To protect our customers from malicious actors taking sensitive admin actions, we’re launching multi-party approvals where one admin must approve certain sensitive actions initiated by another. Multi-party approvals will be required for the following settings:
  • 2-Step verification
  • Account recovery
  • Advanced Protection 
  • Google session control
  • Login Challenges
  • Passwordless (beta)
This feature is available for eligible Workspace customers with multiple super admin accounts — see the “Getting started” section below for more information.


Who’s impacted

Admins


Why it’s important

Multi-party approvals adds an extra layer of security for sensitive actions taken in the Admin console by ensuring no sensitive action happens in a silo and, most importantly, helps prevent unauthorized or accidental changes from being made. This added layer of approval helps ensure actions are being taken appropriately and not too broadly or too often. Additionally, this is more convenient for admins because the action is executed automatically after approval and the requester doesn’t need to take additional action. Multi-party approvals makes super admins aware of what changes are being attempted and gives them the opportunity to accept or reject these sensitive actions.


Outlined below is an example of the feature in action, in this case there is an attempt to make a change to 2-step verification policies:

When 2-step verification changes are attempted, admins will be required to submit the change to a super admin for approval.

Super admins can review and take action on these requests in the Admin console by navigating to Security > Multi-party approval. Super admins will also receive email alerts when a 2-step verification change is requested or any other protected action is attempted.

Admins can open a specific approval request to view more information including who is impacted by the change, what the configuration was before the change and what it will be after the change.

Getting started

  • Admins: 
    • This feature is available for eligible Workspace customers with two or more super admin accounts. Multi-party approvals are OFF by default and can be turned on in the Admin console by going to Security > Multi-party approval settings. Visit the Help Center to learn more about multi-party approvals for sensitive actions.


Rollout pace


Availability

  • Available to Google Workspace Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, and Cloud Identity Premium customers


Introducing a new AI Security add-on for Google Workspace

This announcement was part of Google Cloud Next ‘24. Visit the Workspace Blog to learn more about the next wave of innovations in Workspace, including enhancements to Gemini for Google Workspace.



What’s changing

As we continue to expand our Gemini for Google Workspace offerings, we're excited to introduce the AI Security add-on for Google Workspace customers. 

At launch, the AI Security add-on will give customers access to the AI Classification capability in Google Drive. AI Classification allows IT teams to automatically and continuously identify, classify, and label sensitive files across the organization. This capability is powered with privacy-preserving AI models that can be uniquely trained for the specific needs of your organization. Classified files can then be protected with existing data loss prevention (DLP) controls. 

Who’s impacted

Admins

Why it matters

Drive Labels enable Workspace Administrators to up-level their security posture by closely monitoring activity on labeled files, and using labels as a vehicle for data loss prevention and lifecycle management policies. The challenge with label-based policies is that they are only effective on files that are correctly identified and labeled. Further, labeling files placed a considerable manual burden on Admins.

This is where AI Classification can help. By training models on customer-identified examples of content that match their data classification definitions, AI Classification can evaluate files where text can be extracted to see if it should be labeled.  This enables organizations to achieve label coverage at a scale and accuracy that is very difficult to accomplish through traditional means and manual Admin intervention. Once labeled, the organization's data can be protected by fine-grained security policies. 


Availability

The AI Security add-on is available for the following Google Workspace Editions:
  • Business Standard and Plus
  • Enterprise Standard and Plus
  • Enterprise Essentials and Essentials Plus
  • Frontline Starter and Standard
  • Google Workspace for Nonprofits 

Resources


Securely migrate existing encrypted messages to Gmail client-side encryption (CSE)

What’s changing 

Beginning today, admins can migrate encrypted emails from other services like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Exchange, or Virtu, to Gmail client-side encryption in the S/MIME format. This enables Google Workspace customers to simplify the migration process by bulk importing sensitive emails as S/MIME messages without compromising their privacy or compliance posture.


Specifically: 
  • S/MIME messages imported from other mail providers are now supported by Gmail CSE 
  • Virtru customers can use our migration utility to encrypt their plain-text archives from Vault or Takeout, and import them as S/MIME messages 
  • Customers can bulk-import any plain-text email archives into Gmail as S/MIME messages

Additional details

The Gmail CSE Migration Utility is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux and supports PST & Mbox file formats. 

Getting started 


Rollout pace 

Web & Android: 
  • This feature is available now.
iOS: 

Availability 

  • Available to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, and Education Plus customers 

Resources 

Select App Access Controls can now be applied at the organizational unit

What’s changing 

Google Workspace Admins can now configure a number of App Access Control (AAC) policies at the Organizational Unit (OU) level. Previously, this was only possible at the domain level. Specifically, this applies to: 


Who’s impacted

Admins


Why it’s important

We know that users rely on a variety of tools to do their best work, including third-party apps. However, not every third-party app aligns exactly with every organization’s security policies. App access controls give customers and partners the ability to control access to third-party apps and how those apps access Google Workspace data. This update gives admins added flexibility, allowing them to set App Access Controls as they see fit at the OU level, rather than across their entire domain.


Additional details

For Google Workspace education editions, the “User requests to access unconfigured apps setting” can now be configured at the OU level. Visit the Help Center to learn more about managing access to unconfigured third-party apps for users designated under the age of 18.

Getting started


Rollout pace


Availability

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers

Resources


User enrollment for managed iOS devices is now generally available

What’s changing 

In late 2023, we introduced user enrollment in beta, an additional option for iOS mobile management. User enrollment separates work and personal data on iOS devices, giving admins control over Workspace data on the device while users retain privacy over their personal data. Beginning today, user enrollment is now generally available. For more information, use our Help Center or reference our original announcement.


Getting started



Rollout pace


Availability

  • Available to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Essentials Plus, Frontline Standard, Frontline Starter, Business Plus, Cloud Identity Premium, Education Standard, Education Plus and Nonprofits customers.