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Google rolls out phishing prevention amongst new G Suite security features

26 Mar 2018

Google’s G Suite Platform has received a facelift, with the rollout of 20 new updates including phishing prevention, mobile device management, security keys for two-factor authentication, Information Rights Management, and additions to its security centre.

G Suite is Google’s collection of cloud-based services for business. They include Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar, amongst others.

In a blog post last week the company explained that while security tools are good at stopping threats at scale, ultimately user adoption relies on ease of use. This, Google says, is why it aims to provide simpler ways for IT admins to manage access, control devices, ensure compliance, and keep data secure.

The new rollouts, most of which will be turned on by default, firstly include anti-phishing prevention through machine learning models. These models will look for threat indicators.

Google says that its updated phishing protection will be able to catch 99.9% of Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams and either send them to the spam folder or flag them with anomaly warnings.

Phishing prevention will also be able to:

  • “Automatically flag emails from untrusted senders that have encrypted attachments or embedded scripts.
  • Warn against email that tries to spoof employee names or that comes from a domain that looks similar to your own domain.
  • Offer enhanced protections against spear phishing attacks by flagging unauthenticated email.
  • Scan images for phishing indicators and expand shortened URLs to uncover malicious links.”

Google has also improved G Suite’s enterprise-grade mobile management solution to make basic mobile device management automatically enabled. Administrators can see which devices are accessing corporate data; they can enforce pass codes and erase confidential data; and they can automatically protect Android and iOS devices.

G Suite admins will also be able to restrict users’ two-step verification methods to security keys only. Google says it recommends security keys over other forms of authentication because they are easy to use and prevent common attacks such as phishing.

Admins will also be able to add and revoke security keys; and view reports on security key usage.

Google has also implemented ‘Information Rights Management’ (IRM) controls for Team Drives to ensure documents are protected.

  • Admins can now limit file access privileges to Team Drives members, or only to users within your domain.
  • Admins can also add IRM controls to prevent users from printing, downloading and copying files within Team Drives. 

Finally, Google says it is offering better security visibility for G Suite admins. Earlier this year the company added its ‘security center’, a tool that unifies security analytics, insights and best practice recommendations.

New additions include:

  • New security charts to show OAuth activity and Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam threats that are specifically focused on phishing emails that may not have links.
  • New mobile management charts to help IT admins examine activity analytics and show when devices have been hijacked, rooted or jailbroken, as well as when other suspicious device activity has been detected.
  • Ways to reorganise the dashboard to focus on what is most important to an organisation.
  • Ways to analyse an organisation’s security health and get custom advice on security key deployment and protection against phishing scams.
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