UPDATED 02:54 EST / APRIL 01 2015

Google Drive for Work gets added security features to protect data

google drive for work

Nine months after launching Drive for Work, a premium cloud storage offering for business users, Google has announced that it will roll out a host of new security features to both Drive for Work and Google for Education. Over the next few weeks, Google will introduce a series of new sharing controls, security features and custom alerts to make the IT department’s life easier.

New security features for IT admins

First on the list of changes is more granular sharing settings. Admins will be able to allow a particular business unit to share files outside the company domain while restricting others from this type of sharing. For example, the sales department may need to share files with customers while research should not be able to share files at all.

For further security, admins will be able to set up custom Drive alerts and track events via Drive audit. If, for example, you want to know if files containing the word “confidential” in the title are shared outside the organization, you could get an alert for that. Other alerts, such as download, print and preview, are also in the works.

IT will also be able to configure custom alerts for events – like new app installs or if a user deletes a shared calendar – to be sent directly to an admin’s inbox.

More control for users

In an effort to free up time for busy admins, users can now be allowed to reset their own passwords. This also means users won’t have to wait around for an admin to assist them, causing valuable work time to be lost.

Users will also have access to Information Rights Management (IRM), allowing them to disable downloading, printing and copying of files they are sharing on a file-by-file basis. IRM is available for all types of files stored in Google Drive, including those created in Google Docs.

A very neat addition to the feature set is the ability to share files with anyone, regardless of whether or not they use Google Drive. Users can share files using any email account, and the other party will immediately be able to view the file without first being required to sign in to a Google account. To make this feature secure, admins have the ability to disable this type of sharing for certain departments while enabling it for others.

Coming down the road, says Google, is the ability for businesses and schools to set up trusted domains to more easily work with partners or customers, as well as the ability to expire access to shared files after a certain time period.

Here is a short overview video:

Screenshot: SiliconANGLE via Google

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