Google Apps Gets New Enterprise Security Features - InformationWeek

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11/25/2014
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Google Apps Gets New Enterprise Security Features

Google for Work users can access a Devices and Activity dashboard to spot suspicious logins and a new security wizard to help navigate security settings.

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Google introduced two new security features this week for Google Apps users to help them monitor their accounts for suspicious activity. The updates -- a Devices and Activity dashboard and a security wizard -- give Google for Work users more transparency into and control over their settings, said Eran Feigenbaum, director of security for Google at Work.

"As an IT manager, we realize you spend a lot of time managing devices, applications, and security settings for everyone at your organization," Feigenbaum said in a blog post. "By making users more aware of their security settings and the activity on their devices, we can work together to stay a step ahead of any bad guys."

Google's new Devices and Activity dashboard, which any Google Apps user can access, displays the devices that have been active on your account in the last 28 days, or ones that are currently signed in. This might include laptops, mobile devices, and tablets, for example.

Click on a device to see your last activity on it, including the last date, time, and location that it connected to Google, as well as details such as the browser used to access your account.

[Take advantage of Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and more. See 10 Great Google Apps Tips.]

If you have apps that automatically sync with Google, you'll also see the last time they synced. If you notice suspicious activity, such as an unfamiliar device or location, click the red Remove button to revoke access.

Google is also launching a security wizard feature for all Google for Work accounts, it said. The security wizard guides users through steps they can take to turn on or adjust security features, such as providing contact information for account recovery, reviewing recent account activity, and managing account permissions

After you review each section, Google will mark it with a green checkmark. The recent activity section, for example, will give you additional information from what the Devices and Activity dashboard shows you, including the number of times a device was signed in and the IP address that accessed your account. You can also access information older than 30 days by clicking the Recent Activity link at the bottom.

Much like the Facebook Apps that you grant access to your account and information, Google's account permissions page is worth a look, too. You'll find a rundown of all the applications that are connected to your Google account, plus details on the information they can access. If you're unfamiliar with any -- or no longer use them -- click the Remove button to revoke access.

Google's Feigenbaum said the security wizard tool prioritizes all admin settings for security features that end users are permitted to turn on. Users can access both it and the Devices and Activity dashboard today.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
12/1/2014 | 10:01:44 PM
Vanilla Gmail
I'm happy to see this additional layer of security. I want to see the feature added to the rest of the Google ecosystem as well.
H@mmy
50%
50%
[email protected],
User Rank: Ninja
11/30/2014 | 3:47:55 PM
Re: Yes, enterprise-oriented features
I think its a much needed feature finally here. I hope this will add to enterprise security in positive way.
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
11/29/2014 | 12:59:57 PM
Same Old
The ability to see what accessed your gmail account has been around quite awhile - the user just needed to be aware of the IP address of his various devices. The new dashboard has replaced the logged in IP address with the name of the OS, instead.  
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/27/2014 | 1:34:39 AM
Re: Yes, enterprise-oriented features
@Charlie: I think the security of Google platform is always customizable for the enterprises due to their open source model. But the might have lesser control on the app placed on the app store of Google. So to address this risk for the enterprises, Google has come up with the solution to not only publicize his security but to gain the trust of the people affected from apple hacking stories.
Stratustician
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50%
Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2014 | 2:31:56 PM
Re: Yes, enterprise-oriented features
Could very well be, but it could also be that they are slowly dipping into the MDM arena, which we have seen has already a lot of strong players.  That being said, if Google is able to figure out how to build in some forms of security like this, it might be a great way to push into the enterprise space fully, especially if companies are leveraging BYOD.  The more flexibility that comes with supporting some form of basic enterprise security is a great way to get enterprises to look at Google as a platform, not just a mobile portal.
Thomas Claburn
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50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
11/25/2014 | 5:38:55 PM
Re: Yes, enterprise-oriented features
I suspect it has to do with Google's more focused approach on the enterprise. In the past, it was more organic, with adoption by departments for collaboration. Now there's more of an effort to win companies at a higher level.
Charlie Babcock
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50%
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
11/25/2014 | 5:23:52 PM
Yes, enterprise-oriented features
These are good, enterprise-oriented features to add. The mystery to me is why, at this late date, are they finally finding their way into Google Apps for Work? Google prides itself on hiring only the best people, but I've wondered why those people had so much trouble understanding the needs of the enterprise. Maybe it found a few who do.
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