Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, or Education Standard customers can request the beta until January 20, 2023.
Google is trying to help Gmail business and education users make their messages more secure. On Friday, the search giant has announced a new beta version of Gmail client-side encryption for organizations subscribing to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, or Education Standard. The new beta was recently launched and can be opted in until January 20, 2023.
What’s in the beta?
The new option allows your users to send and receive encrypted emails both inside and outside your domain. The encryption protects the email body and all attachments, including inline images, but does not protect the email header, subject, timestamp, or recipient lists.
In addition to the encryption already used by Google Drive, Google Meet, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, the new Gmail encryption is designed to keep data private and confidential while meeting legal and compliance security requirements.
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Organizations can use their own encryption keys to secure their Gmail messages, in addition to the standard encryption provided by Google. Client-side encryption is designed for Gmail on the web and ensures that all data is encrypted before it is sent to or stored in Google’s cloud-based storage. This means that Google’s servers cannot decrypt the information or access your encryption keys.
Access the new encryption on the client side
For organizations that sign up for and set up the beta, the new client-side encryption is disabled by default. IT admins can enable it at the domain, organizational unit, and group level by logging into the admin console, selecting Security, choosing Access and data management, and then enabling client-side encryption. End users who want to add encryption to a Gmail message can click the lock icon and select the additional encryption option.
How do I register my organization?
For now, the client-side encryption beta is only available for Gmail on the web. Google promises that the option will reach the Gmail mobile app for both Android and iOS in an upcoming release.
Admins who want to sign up and use the beta should review the steps and requirements appropriately Google help page.
After preparing their accounts and environments, administrators need to Gmail CSE Beta Test Application Form with contact details and a test domain name to try out the beta. You then need to enable and set the option for a chosen group of test users who can try out specific features.
Interested administrators should also read Google’s About client-side encryption help page for more information on the overall technology.