Over the next few weeks, Google Workspace Enterprise Plus and Education Plus users will be able to enjoy a more secure hybrid work environment. Now that the “new normal” has been established and Google’s services have become essential to its development for many, the company is looking to put more control of security, data privacy, and trust directly into the user’s hands.
New client-side encryption, which makes your data across Drive indecipherable even to Google, is becoming available first via a beta before it rolls out to everyone. Basically, you are directly in control of encryption keys and the identity provider used to access those keys. This is being done in an effort to help you strengthen the confidentiality of your data while helping address “a broad range of data sovereignty and compliance needs” according to the Google Workspace Updates blog. Encryption encompasses Docs, Sheets, and Slides as well as all supported file types in Drive itself such as PDFs, Office files, and more.
In the near future, Google also has plans to enable this new client-side encryption across its other services like Gmail, Meet, and Calendar, beginning with Meet this fall. For now, after signing up for the beta or awaiting the arrival of the encryption’s rollout, you’ll need to choose a key access service partner. Your choices are Flowcrypt, Futurex, Thales, and Virtru as these are the ones that have built their tools in compliance with Google’s specifications. Even still, they share no information directly with Google and your key to decode encrypted Workspace files is kept a secret from the tech giant at all times.
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