End-to-end encryption has been added to Gmail by Google Workspace in a new security update that aims to provide an additional layer of security when sending emails and attachments online. Identity services that grant access to encryption keys will continue to be under the control of customers.
Although the update is still in the beta stage, Google’s support center allows eligible Workspace customers who have Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, or Education Plus accounts to submit an application to test the program. Customers of Gmail Workspace will discover that Google’s servers are unable to decrypt any delivered sensitive data or information after the encryption update has been completed.
The support center states that the application window will remain open until January 20, 2023. Once users have accessed the feature, they will be able to select the padlock button when composing their email to enable additional encryption. Emojis, signatures, and Smart Compose are just a few of the features that will be disabled once the feature is turned on.
In an email to Gizmodo, a spokesperson of Google, Ross Richendrfer, stated that the introduction of client-side encryption “across Workspace’s services is really important for our users.”
He referred to the initial announcement that Google made in June of last year, in which it stated that the new feature improves client-side encryption software by allowing users to control the encryption keys and choose who will have access to their data on their own.
Richendrfer said in the email, “Client-side encryption is especially helpful for organizations that store sensitive or regulated data, like intellectual property, healthcare records, or financial data.”
Users’ administrators will monitor and manage the encryption feature, which comes after Google began working to add additional encryption features to Gmail.
When Google launched its new enterprise offerings, which allowed businesses to encrypt spreadsheets and documents, client-side encryption, or CSE, was added to Google Drive last year. CSE is already available for apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides and Google Drive. It’s also available in Google Meet and Google Calendar’s beta stage.
According to Google’s announcement, “Google Workspace already uses the latest cryptographic standards to encrypt all data at rest and in transit between our facilities.” “Client-side encryption helps strengthen the confidentiality of your data while helping to address a broad range of data sovereignty and compliance needs,” the statement went on to say.
Notably, this beta comes after end-to-end encryption was added to the majority of Apple’s iCloud services, with the exception of mail, contacts, and calendar.
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