Google Drive, Meet are set for a welcome security upgrade

Representational image depecting cybersecurity protection
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has revealed that client-side encryption will soon be available for desktop data in Google Drive (opens in new tab) and Google Meet (opens in new tab) to further secure information stored in its cloud storage (opens in new tab) service and video conferencing software (opens in new tab).

This announcement builds on the news from earlier this year when the search giant announced that a beta for client-side encryption (opens in new tab) would be coming to Google Workspace (opens in new tab) for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides with support for PDFs, documents and all other files stored in Drive.

Google has faced criticism in the past for the lack of end-to-end encryption in Google Workspace which led some businesses to opt for alternatives with less features that offered built-in encryption (opens in new tab). Now though, organizations in the finance and healthcare industries, which mandate the use of end-to-end encryption, will be able to use the company's online collaboration tools (opens in new tab) as their data will be secure.

Key access service APIs and partners

In addition to expanding its client-side encryption beta to include Google Drive and Google Meet for desktop, Google also announced that key access service APIs are now publicly available for anyone to use.

At the same time, the company is adding Fortanix and Stormshield as key access service partners for customers looking for a dedicated partner that integrates with key access service APIs. Other previously announced key access service partners include Flowcrypt, FutureX, Thanles and Virtu.

Google's client-side encryption beta is available to both Google Workspace Enterprise Plus and Google Workspace Education Plus customers now that can apply here (opens in new tab) to join. However, customers already participating in the beta will need to reapply for access to the Google Meet functionality though they will be able to reuse their key service configuration.

With the addition of client-side encryption, Google is taking data encryption a step further by giving its customers direct control of their encryption keys (opens in new tab) and the identity provider (opens in new tab) used to access these keys.

Looking to improve your organization's security? Check out our roundups of the best identity management software (opens in new tab), best antivirus (opens in new tab) and best malware removal software (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.