Gmail is getting the security upgrade it's always needed

(Image credit: Google)

Google has announced that corporate users of its email service will soon benefit from a new security feature that should help prevent data from falling into the wrong hands.

As revealed at Google Cloud Next, the company’s annual cloud computing showcase, both Gmail and Google Calendar are set to receive support for client-side encryption (CSE).

Under this system, data will be encrypted on the end user’s device before being transmitted to datacenter servers, which means not even Google will have access to the encryption keys necessary to gain access.

The new feature will make its way to Gmail by the end of the year, and to Google Calendar in 2023.

Gmail security

At a basic level, the new security feature will mean that emails composed in Gmail are readable by the sender and intended recipients exclusively. It will also prevent anyone from reading any messages that might be intercepted in transit.

Google says it has always used “the latest cryptographic standards” to encrypt data that lands on its servers, to ensure bad faith actors cannot gain access to sensitive information. However, the new system will give businesses direct control over their encryption keys and the identity management provider used to access those keys.

“Above all else, a secure environment is a requirement no matter your location or device,” said Google, in relation to the broader range of security features announced at Cloud Next.

“We also want to help customers strengthen the confidentiality of their data, while addressing data sovereignty and compliance requirements.”

Until now, client-side encryption has been available exclusively for Google Meet and Google Docs data, but in recognition of the importance of watertight security across the board, Google is now extending the feature to other portions of the Workspace productivity suite.

Separately, also in support of this broad objective, Google announced it is bringing data loss prevention to Chat, allowing admins to put in place controls that protect against leaks in real-time, and new data sharing options to Drive that will give businesses tighter control over how files are shared.

TechRadar Pro has asked Google when customers can expect to benefit from these additional security upgrades.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.