Google is making some employees work without the Internet to keep them safe from cyberattacks

Google hq
(Image credit: Wikimedia commons)

Google is reportedly running a pilot scheme to encourage employees to work without access to the Internet in a bid to reduce their risk of cyberattacks.

Under the program, the company is reportedly limiting access to most areas of the Internet, with a few important exceptions such as internal pages and some Google domains, such as Gmail and Google Drive.

According to a recent post by CNBC, after initially teasing the pilot program to more than 2,500 employees, the final version looks to have listened to feedback by offering workers to opt out. Other Googlers keen to join in can also put their names forward, too.

No Internet working

According to an internal memo seen by CNBC, “Googlers are frequent targets of attacks.” 

The company is responsible for some of the world’s leading technologies, including the most popular search engine, a new AI chatbot, free office software, and a mobile OS, and a sophisticated cyberattack could spell disaster for both the company and its customers.

Google is also looking at limited root access for some employees, who in turn will no longer be able to run certain administrative controls or install software without the authorization of designated employees.

The move is hoped to cut down on exposure to malware, ransomware, and other cybersecurity risks amid growing cases globally.

Many large corporations have been subject to attacks in recent weeks following the exploitation of a vulnerability in file transfer software MOVEit, which Microsoft is credited with first attributing to the notorious Clop ransomware group, including some government agencies that have failed to remain immune from the attacks.

TechRadar Pro has since learned that Google is indeed piloting an internal program removing Internet and root access from fewer than 2% of company workstations, which does not currently affect laptops or phones and is being carried out on an opt-out basis.

A Google spokesperson told TechRadar Pro in an email: "Ensuring the safety of our products and users is one of our top priorities. We routinely explore ways to strengthen our internal systems against malicious attacks."


Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!