Google has announced a bunch of new security features for Gmail, Google Chat and Google Meet as part of its latest G Suite update. In an official blog post on Tuesday, the company said that the the incoming update will provide even stronger security in the three aforementioned apps. Google also announced new ways to help IT admins manage and secure devices in the Admin Console.
Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) Support in Gmail
One of the major new features is the support for Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) in Gmail. It will enable organizations to validate ownership of their corporate logos to eradicate spam and online forgery. “Once these authenticated emails pass all of our other anti-abuse checks, Gmail will start displaying the logo in existing avatar slots in the Gmail UI”, said Google.
The logo will be visible in places where email recipients see the avatars of the sender. The technology will prevent malicious actors from posing as reputable organizations to deceive Gmail users. Google will start the BIMI pilot in the coming weeks with a limited number of senders. It will be generally available in the coming months.
New Security Controls for Google Meet
Google will also soon roll out new security controls to ensure that only intended participants can enter video chats in Google Meet. These options will initially be available on education and consumer accounts before being available for enterprise customers. The move comes weeks after the infamous Zoom fiasco, where random strangers were entering Zoom chat rooms and disrupting meetings.
As part of the plan, Google says it will give meeting hosts increased control over who can ‘knock’ and join their meetings. Once an attendee is ejected, they won’t be able to re-join that meeting unless they’re re-invited. Also, if someone’s knocking request has been denied multiple times, they will be barred from sending more requests to join that meeting.
Google is also giving hosts advanced safety locks so they can better protect meetings. This will enable hosts to decide which methods of joining (via calendar invite or phone, for example) require users to obtain explicit approval to join. Engaging safety locks will block all anonymous users’ attempts to join a meeting. These security measures will be in addition to the existing security setup to prevent brute force attacks.
New Security Features in Google Chat
Google is introducing Gmail-style phishing protections to Chat. As part of the plan, all links sent via Google Chat will undergo real-time checks using Safe Browsing data. Any malicious link detected by those scans will be flagged as such. In the coming weeks, users will be able to report and block Chat Rooms if they suspect malicious activity.
Additional Security Controls for Admins
In addition to the above, Google is also introducing a redesigned the devices page in the G Suite admin console for more intuitive navigation. It is also integrating G Suite with Apple Business Manager to provide G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Enterprise Essentials, Cloud Identity Premium, and G Suite Enterprise for Education admins the ability to simply and securely distribute and manage company-owned Apple iOS devices. Google also announced a few other enhancements to G Suite security. You can check them out on the official Google Cloud blog.