New Google Workspace Updates Deliver Enhanced Security and Efficiency
You’ve likely already heard about the enhanced Google Meet Enterprise, a key component of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). But that’s not the only news to come out of Google Cloud. Google rolled out other new Google Workspace updates at the end of April.
These five features further position Google Workspace as the leader in efficient, connected and collaborative workplace tools, a must-have in today’s growing remote-first environment.
Let’s take a look at what they are and how they will help you, whether you’re trying to effectively manage a remote team or are a member of the new deskless workforce setting up shop at home. Teams increasingly need to access files from different locations and collaborate on them together, no matter where they are.
New Sharing Dialog
Google Cloud has updated the interface you use to share files from Google Drive, including Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms. It replaces the previous sharing interface and delivers a simplified, more customized experience.
A separate, task-focused interface gives you options to share a file, update permissions or view who has accessed files. You can quickly see who has access to the file. It’s separated by individual and group sharing. A “copy link” button makes it easier to get a file link without changing link permissions.
These new sharing features are rolling out over the next month and will be available to Google Workspace and Drive Enterprise customers, and users with personal Google Accounts.
Automatic Google Meet Hardware Shutoff
How many times have you walked into a conference room to find a display still running with no one in the room? Not only does this use power, but it also can shorten the display’s lifespan.
Check your Google Workspace admin console to activate a power-saving option for Google Meet hardware. When enabled, a signal via HDMI from the hardware shuts down the equipment after 10 minutes of inactivity.
This feature is “OFF” by default in the admin console and must be manually activated. It’s now available to all G Suite users.
The setting also will turn on displays 10 minutes before a meeting in Google Calendar is scheduled to begin or when users interact with a touch-panel controller.
Enhanced Windows 10 Device Security
You already are able to manage and secure Android, IOS, Chrome and Jamboard devices through the Google Workspace admin console. Now you’ll be able to add Windows 10 devices to that lineup. The rollout started on April 27.
This latest enhancement allows you to use Google Credential Provider for Windows to:
- Allow your workforce to use their existing Google Workspace account sign-in credentials to log in to Windows 10 devices and access apps and services with a single sign-on.
- Add an extra layer of security and protect user accounts with Google’s anti-hijacking and suspicious login detection technologies.
Customers using Google Workspace Enterprise, Google Workspace Enterprise for Education and Cloud Identity Premium also are able to ensure that all Windows 10 devices that use Google Workspace remain updated and secure and comply with organizational policies.
This new update also allows your IT team to use the Google Workspace admin console to wipe devices and push device configuration updates to Windows 10 via the cloud. This bypasses the need to connect to a corporate network, streamlining the process.
New Data Protections for IOS G Suite Users
Previously IOS device users could move data between corporate and personal accounts on the same device. You could prevent them from moving data from managed to unmanaged apps, but you weren’t able to keep them from sharing data between accounts when apps support multiple accounts or via cut/copy/paste actions where they could copy the text of a corporate email into a personal account.
Now you can protect sensitive data on IOS devices with new security controls that make it difficult for your corporate data to be shared to a user's personal account. Android devices already have this protection through Work Profiles.
Controls apply to Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Slides. You can choose to restrict copy/paste data belonging to Google Workspace accounts to other accounts or restrict the ability for use to drag and drop files from specific apps within their Google Workspace account. This does not prevent them from pasting or dragging/dropping files from their personal accounts to their corporate Google Workspace one.
This enhanced security feature is available for iOS devices using Google Workspace's basic or advanced mobile device management. It also works with basic mobile management alongside a separate enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution.
It is available only to Google Workplace Enterprise, Google Workplace Enterprise for Education customers and Cloud Identity Premium customers.
Beta Offering: Context-Aware Access for SAML Apps
If you’re a G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Enterprise for Education, Cloud Identity Premium or Drive Enterprise customer, you’ll eventually get the beta version of the new feature Content-Aware Access (CAA) feature. CAA for SAML is only enforced at time of sign-in.
It’s designed to create granular access control polish to SAML apps based on such attributes as user location, device security status and IP address. This new feature will work for customers using “Google as their primary identity provider (IdP) to enable access to third-party apps from pre-integrated SAML apps or custom SAML apps.”
When you launch CAA for SAML, you’ll reduce your chance of encountering unintended access to specific apps and their data. According to Google Cloud, some of the use cases include:
- Restricting access to your CRM app to only users on the corporate network.
- Only allowing access to a cloud storage app for users with an up-to-date operating system and an encrypted device.
- Giving only IT admins permission to access certain tools from a remote location.
- Developing regional-based permissions for access to certain apps.
CAA for SAML controls use the same infrastructure as CAA for Google Workplace, so you’ll get pre-configured access levels and users groups, as well as end-user messaging.
If you have been using Google Workspace across your organization, it’s the perfect time to try out these new features. If you’re new to this productivity solution, it’s time to start diving into what this workplace cloud collaboration suite can do for you and your teams whether you work in a brick-and-mortar office or from dispersed locations.