Google Drive for Work users to benefit from tighter document security controls

Search giant is stepping up security around its cloud productivity platform, with new controls limiting document sharing and deletion

Google Drive for Work users will soon be able to take advantage of tighter data security controls when using the enterprise-focused cloud storage and collaboration platform.

The offering will soon feature refined data access settings that will allow users to stop documents being shared with people outside of their organisation or with other business departments.

IT departments can also ask to be notified whenever documents containing particular keywords are shared outside of the company’s walls, making it easier to keep tabs on sensitive corporate files.

The changes form part of a wider push by the search giant to step up the security around its whole cloud productivity suite, Google Drive director of product management Scott Johnston wrote in a blog post.

“Since we launched Drive for Work nine months ago, we’ve watched as more and more businesses moved to cloud – and seen that they prioritise data security as much as we do,” he said.

“Security ranks at the top of the list of concerns that companies have about moving to the cloud, which is why we’ve put security front and centre in our products from the beginning.”

As part of this, the firm will be introducing additional security controls for all users of its productivity tools, Johnston revealed.

These include new controls banning users from downloading, printing and copying certain documents, which will be made available to all Google Drive users.

IT departments will also be able to receive customised alerts whenever a new app is installed or when certain documents are deleted or shared, for example.

Extended document sharing

The roll-out of these tools, which is expected to happen over the course of the coming month, will coincide with plans by the company to make it easier for Google Drive users to share documents with people who don’t have an account of their own.

Read more about Google's plans

“When it comes to sharing, like giving final inventory lists to your caterer or last-minute logos to your design agency, you want to make sure people can see it right away – whether they use Drive or not,” Johnston said.

“Now you can share with any email address and they’ll be able to view the files you share – without having to sign in to a Google account.”

This feature can, however, be disabled on departmental basis to prevent files falling into the wrong hands.

The announcement is the second Google has made in recent days geared towards helping users of its cloud technologies take greater control of their deployments.

The firm recently announced the beta launch of an Android-based management console for users of its Google Cloud Platform that will allow users to manage and monitor their cloud resources via a smartphone or tablet.

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