Google launched multiple new security features for Gmail users as part of the first major update since the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) service was announced last year.
The DPL was rolled out for Google Apps Unlimited to help users and businesses keep confidential data out of emails. Today’s update was launched at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.
With the DLP feature, businesses are allowed to establish some rules regarding the kind of potentially confidential information can leave and enter its corporate firewall through email.
One of the most important new features launched by Google today is the fact that DLP now uses optical character recognition in its scanning of the attachments for potentially sensitive information.
Anything from driver’s license numbers, credit card information, to Social Security numbers will be protected, as well as a set of words called “objectionable.” Swear words and secret codenames for projects fall under this category.
That is not to say that the DLP could not scan attachments before; it could, but until now, the tool wasn’t able to identify a Social Security number in an image file, for example.
But now, the DLP can do a better job at scanning the files and react in accordance with the rules set by admins; the service can either reject or quarantine emails if the company’s settings say that kind of information cannot be sent over email.
Meanwhile, Google has also launched a set of new default content detectors for the DLP, which will make it easier for the administrators to scan email for sensitive information or personally identifiable data.
This new feature will be available in a number of new countries and will “offer broader coverage of HIPAA data,” as Google put it.
Today’s Gmail update also makes it easier for admins to handle emails individually, depending on the number of rule violations per email. With the new feature, the company could decide that an email that only contains a single credit card number will be quarantined, for instance, while one with fifteen rule violations will be automatically rejected.
At the same time, admins now have the power to also tighten and loosen detection criteria based on their company’s needs, a feature designed to help avoid false positives.
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