Google Workspace is releasing a Drive security update that will alter the links of some files in an effort to keep them secure when sharing them. This addition to the link will be a unique resource key. Once the update has been applied to a file, users who haven’t viewed the file ever before will have to use the new link containing the resource key. The original Drive file link that predates the update will not take them to the file!
If a user has, in fact, viewed the file prior to the resource key being added to the URL, they will be able to continue doing so without it. A key will also be applied to folders and shared drives going forward. Needless to say, this is a highly recommended update that administrators should consider applying, despite its effects on their organization’s files. Luckily, admins can see how many users, folders, shared drives, and files are affected by this change by keeping an eye on their Alert Center in the dashboard.
Any users who have been impacted by this will receive an email from Workspace detailing the affected files between July 26th and August 25, 2021. Once they receive said email, they will have to converse with their admin before September 13th to determine any necessary action steps for the items in question (like removing the update from those items manually) – after which date Google will automatically apply a resource key to all of them.
In order to apply the security update, you can go to your Admin console, and then click ‘Apps’, ‘Google Workspace’, ‘Drive and Docs’. From there, just select ‘Sharing settings’ and ‘Security update for links’. There will be three options which I will detail below. Choose one and click ‘save’. Even if you don’t have any impacted files on your Alert Center, you should select one so that files that move into your organization in the future will not be affected.
- Apply the security update with no option for users to remove it—The default for EDU, this option applies the update to all impacted files in your organization.
- Apply the security update, but users can remove it for specific files—The default for non-EDU, this option applies the update to all impacted files in your organization.
- Remove security update (not recommended)—Links to your files remain the same. There’s no option to remove the security update from folders.