Google has lifted the lid on an update for its productivity software suite that will help clarify why users are locked out of their applications.
As explained in a new blog post (opens in new tab), IT teams that rely on the Context-Aware Access feature to establish granular access control can now provide end users with more information about the conditions under which they can use their apps.
Previously, employees whose access to Google Workspace services had been blocked had few options but to get in contact with the IT department, but the new tool should increase the likelihood that users can resolve issues without assistance.
Hybrid working and identity management
Since the rise of hybrid working, identity and access management has become all the more important for businesses, with employees no longer operating exclusively from within the relative safety of the corporate network perimeter.
The objective is to ensure remote employees can access all the resources they need for work, without creating gaps in the security posture that could be exploited by cybercriminals.
As part of this process, many IT departments choose to establish a strict set of conditions that must be met in order for applications to work as intended, via features such as Context-Aware Access.
“Context-Aware Access allows admins to assign granular access control policies to apps based on attributes such as user identity, location, device security status, IP address, etc.,” explained Google. “When a user or device does not meet the requirements, they will be unable to access the respective apps.”
Until now, the only course of action for employees locked out of their apps has been to submit a ticket to the IT desk, which Google says creates “unnecessary delay, churn and support calls”.
With the latest Workspace update, however, IT admins can opt to provide blocked employees with additional context surrounding the reason for their ban, arming them with the information they need to resolve the issue themselves.
The feature is currently rolling out to all premium customers, who should gain access within the next two weeks. Unfortunately, the new tool will only be extended to customers on the Enterprise Plus, Education Plus and Cloud Identity Premium subscription plans at this time.