Google launches new data protection service for businesses and enterprises
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Google has introduced a new service for businesses and enterprises, the Data Protection Insights Reports, to protect the data that they store on its cloud services. Google’s Drive feature is used excessively by all consumers but is not as regulated as it should be. That’s why Google has introduced this new service. This service falls under the company’s Workspace updates and is created to make business admins aware of the data they are holding on cloud. 

Through a blog update, Google specified the purpose of this update and other specifics.  

Data Loss Protection (DLP) guidelines are essential for the safe and secure operation of a business. Specifically, Google’s data protection insights reports will notify admins about the sensitive data stored within the company’s files. 

The reports would also provide important methods to prevent the leaks and breaches of the said data. Moreover, businesses would be able to draft new and sensible policies around the issue of data loss using these reports. 

What will the reports show?

The reports will highlight most importantly, the number of files in the organization which contain sensitive information. Details about the type of sensitive information – passports, bank details, passwords, etc. – will be provided. 

The reports will also confirm if these files have been shared externally. This will include details about how the file containing sensitive information has been shared – via an email invite, or open-to-anyone link, or sharing from personal Drive accounts, etc.  The report is also expected to contain suggestions for acting on data protection insights. 

This service became operational on October 21, for Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus customers on a periodic basis. Only business or enterprise admins will have access to this report, and will also have the ability to turn the service off whenever they wish to do so. 

Obviously, only those consumers – businesses and enterprises – who store their data on Google Drive will receive these Insights reports. 

How does Google create these reports?

Google scans the files stored on Drive for its insights report. The company has created specialized detectors to help in the periodic DLP scan by finding and assessing sensitive data stored on Google’s cloud. 

A set of 50 detectors works on all files in Google’s threshold. This large number of scans creates the issue of false positives, where a scan might flag certain non-sensitive content to be sensitive. However, these false positives won’t create harm but are only measures to exercise precaution for data security purposes. 

Operationally, the 50 detectors are created by Google according to the country of origin of the business. For example, if a business in the USA is opting for an insights report, then Google would look for these specifics in its files:

Driver’s License Number
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
National Provider Identifier (NPI)
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
Passport
Social Security Number (SSN)
Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures (CUSIP)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approved Prescription Drugs
American Bankers Association (ABA) Routing Number
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Number

However, for a  business in India, Google has only one specific detector, the Personal Permanent Account Number (PAN). 

Beyond these country-wise detectors, Google has also come up with a few global detectors, which include commonplace credentials like IP addresses and credit card details. 

In conclusion, this is a powerful initiative by the Silicon Valley giant to protect its users against the threat of data breach.

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