Google is expanding client-side encryption capabilities across Google Workspace, making the enhanced encryption generally available for three advanced Workspace plan types in Gmail and Calendar after enabling the security control for Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets and Meet last year.
Client-side encryption (CSE) is now generally available for Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Plus and Education Standard customers. According to Google, Workspace currently encrypts data at rest and in transit via secure-by-design cryptographic libraries. CSE enhances that by ensuring customers have sole control over their encryption keys, and thus total control over access to their data.
CSE for Gmail on the web was launched in a beta in December for those Workspace plans, and Google is now expanding access to the security tool to help reduce the burden of compliance for enterprises and public sector organizations.
This allows users to send and receive emails or create meeting events with internal colleagues and external parties with the peace of mind knowing that their sensitive data–including inline images and attachments–has been encrypted before it reaches Google servers, the company says.
In an announcement blog, Ganesh Chilakapati, group product manager of Google Workspace, and Andy Wen, director of product management for Google Workspace Security, say this allows users to continue to collaborate across Workspace while giving IT and security teams peace of mind that sensitive data stays secure and compliant with regulations.
“As customers retain control over the encryption keys and the identity management service to access those keys, sensitive data is indecipherable to Google and other external entities,” the Workspace leaders write.
According to Google, the feature will be off by default, but IT admins can enable the security control at the domain, OU and Group levels.
End users will need to act to add CSE to any message by clicking the lock icon and selecting additional encryption before composing the message or adding attachments.
CSE is not available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Education Fundamentals, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.
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