Google Workspace’s new security feature scrambles your data before it’s uploaded | #android | #security


Data privacy and security are important aspects of our internet usage today. And with more workplaces adopting remote and hybrid work than ever before, security is crucial. Google knows this and constantly updates its services to be as safe as possible. Last year the tech giant introduced client-side encryption in beta for Google Workspace. As promised, the feature is now stable and available to several Workspace services and supports multiple file formats.

With the announcement, Google’s plan to enable client-side encryption across Workspace is closer to completion. A host of productivity tools like Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, alongside many file formats, such as PDFs and Office files, are currently getting the feature. Google says client-side encryption for Meet will leave the beta phase and become widely available in May. The company’s not stopping there, though, as it promises to introduce optional end-to-end encryption for all meetings later this year.

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But why client-side encryption? Google says it uses the latest encryption standards for Workspace, keeping data safe both in storage and when being transferred between its facilities. But all this happens on Google’s servers, and the company could technically still get access to your files, which is not good if you need to work with sensitive data.

However, by adopting client-side encryption, you can encrypt all your sensitive information before uploading them to Google’s servers — that’s right, even Google can’t decipher it. In addition, client-side encryption gives you complete control of private encryption keys and the identity provider to access them. In other words, even if someone accesses your account and downloads your data, it will stay encrypted until you grant them the decryption keys.

Of course, the client-side encryption feature is optional and off by default, meaning that you or your company can choose to activate it or not. If you do enable it, you’ll have to choose a key access service partner from a list of six partners that Google says have tools built per its specifications — Flowcrypt, Fortanix, Futurex, Stormshield, Thales, and Virtru. If you don’t like any of those options, you can also build your own key service using Google’s API specifications.

Google’s new client-side encryption feature has started rolling out to Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides users, but it may take 15 days before you see it. It’ll be available to Enterprise Plus and Education Plus customers.

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