Google Workspace, the company’s productivity(opens in new tab) and collaboration(opens in new tab) suite, is set to receive a new client-side encryption(opens in new tab) feature that is hoped to boost security for customers of all sizes.
The announcement is one of a handful of security upgrades for Google Workspace and Google Drive(opens in new tab), designed to enhance data security in new hybrid work(opens in new tab) environments.
The lack of end-to-end encryption in Google Workspace has been a major source of criticism, with some businesses opting for less feature-rich alternatives that offer built-in encryption.
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However, the addition of client-side encryption gives Google a chance to pitch itself to industries with regulations that mandate the use of end-to-end encryption, most notably finance and healthcare.
The new encryption controls will be rolled out for beta testing in the coming weeks.
Google Workspace security
According to Google, the client-side encryption feature will first be rolled out for the most popular Workspace services, including Drive, Docs(opens in new tab), Sheets(opens in new tab), and Slides(opens in new tab).
Google says the feature will be extended to Google Meet(opens in new tab) later in the fall, with some suggesting it will eventually make its way to Gmail as well.
Initially, the feature will reportedly enable Google Workspace users to store their encryption keys with one of four partners, namely Flowcrypt, Futurex, Thales or Virtru.
However, TechCrunch(opens in new tab) reports that Google will publish details later in the year to enable businesses to set up their own in-house key service, enabling them to take charge of their encryption keys.