Customers of Google’s G Suite office productivity software will soon be able to access an investigative tool that lets them identify problematic users without having to sort through traffic logs, the company plans to announce Tuesday.
Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene is about to hit the stage at Google Cloud Next in San Francisco Tuesday morning, kicking off the company’s major cloud event before thousands of customers and partners by announcing the new capabilities alongside new infrastructure services for two key Google-influenced open-source projects, Istio and Kubernetes. G Suite, the cloud software package that includes Google Docs and managed Gmail, is one of the key parts of Google’s enterprise cloud business, which is bringing in around $1 billion a quarter in revenue for the search advertising giant.
The new security features build on the security center Google introduced earlier this year for G Suite customers. It “allows admins and analysts to do advanced queries to determine if they were impacted by a security breach,” said David Thacker, vice president of product management for Google Cloud, in a briefing ahead of Google Cloud Next.
Phishing — the art of getting target email recipients to click on something they shouldn’t — is one of the main attack vectors for those bent on breaching corporate networks, and it’s really hard to detect all those clicks at companies with hundreds or thousands of employees. The new security feature, which is being released as part of the G Suite Early Adopter Program also introduced earlier this year, allows administrators to see which users have shared data with external threats and act accordingly.
Alongside the new security feature, Google is also introducing data regions, allowing international customers to select the region in which user data is stored. Some companies are subject to data-protection laws in which relevant data must be stored in a given geographic region, and G Suite will now allow customers to manage their Google Docs in line with those policies.
Google Docs customers will also be able to use smart replies — borrowed from Gmail — and new grammar suggestions to speed up and clean up their documents.
G Suite is a key part of Google’s overall cloud competitive position, given Microsoft’s success in transitioning Office customers to the cloud-based Office 365 over the last several years. There are more than four million companies paying Google to use G Suite services, it said in a press release.