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Grow Your Business Technology

Google Updates Google Apps with New Security Tools

Google Updates Google Apps with New Security Tools
Credit: Google

Managing devices and cloud-based apps isn't easy for small businesses. In addition to managing users, administrators have to maintain security and troubleshoot cyberattacks. But not all small businesses can afford to hire IT professionals to manage these security tasks. If you use Google Apps or Google for Work, however, there are new tools that can help.

Google launched two new features today (Nov. 24) to help Google business users take more control of their security. The new Devices and Activity dashboard and security wizard provide businesses with improved tools to better manage and beef up the security of Google Apps devices and Google for Work accounts.

"Security in the cloud is a shared responsibility, and keeping your company information secure is at the core of what we do every day," wrote Eran Feigenbaum, director of security for Google for Work, wrote in a blog post announcing the launch. "By making users more aware of their security settings and the activity on their devices, we can work together to stay a step ahead of any bad guys." [Google for Business: A Small Business Guide]

Here's what's changing and how the new security features can help your business.

Devices and Activity dashboard

Having mobile access to Google Apps lets users stay productive anytime, anywhere. But it also poses a huge security risk if devices are hacked into, lost or stolen. Keeping an eye on these devices and their activities is key to maintaining security.

To help businesses monitor devices, the new Devices and Activity dashboard delivers enhanced security insights by providing a comprehensive list of all devices that are currently signed in to Google Apps or have accessed it within the last 28 days.  The dashboard also tracks activities to help identify suspicious behavior. If anything seems unusual or if there is a security breach, a separate setting lets users immediately change passwords and secure accounts.

Security wizard

Businesses with Google for Work accounts can now boost their security by updating their security settings with the new security wizard. Step by step, the wizard guides users through different security areas to better secure their accounts.

Completing the security wizard will only take a few minutes, Google claims, and administrators can update the following security areas:

  • Account recovery. Add a recovery phone number so Google can reach and alert you if they detect any unusual activity on your account.
  • Recent activity. Monitor activities and identify suspicious behavior.
  • Account permissions. Check, set up and change account permissions for what users can and can't do with their accounts.
  • App passwords. Check passwords across apps and Google for Work accounts.

Any settings assigned through the wizard are considered as administrator settings. This provides even more security, as these settings take precedence over any security changes that individual users make on their accounts.

To start using the security wizard, sign in at g.co/accountcheckup.

Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.