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5 things you can do with Chrome Browser to increase employee productivity

5 things you can do with Chrome Browser to increase employee productivity

Whether it’s accessing business apps, collaborating on projects or just checking email, the web browser is increasingly becoming the place where employees get their jobs done. In fact, 76 percent of companies employ browser-based email, and 70 percent have adopted browser-based office applications, according to a recent Forrester study.

Since employees spend a lot of time in their browsers at work, we wanted to share some ways you can customize Chrome Browser to help employees stay focused. Chrome Browser has many built-in capabilities that IT admins can use to pre-install bookmarks, apps, and extensions,centrally manage policies, and provide an optimal web browsing experience.

Here are five things IT admins can do with Chrome Browser to help teams work more efficiently.

1. Use Chrome Sync to get fast and easy access across devices.

With Chrome Sync, an employee’s browser history, bookmarks, apps, extensions and even open tabs can follow them from device to device throughout the day—even as they switch across Windows, Mac and Chrome OS platforms. IT can also manage bookmarks centrally through policy, pushing out links to important sites and web apps that users can access from any device when logged into the browser.

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2. Help users stay secure through Safe Browsing.

With Safe Browsing, Chrome Browser automatically notifies users when a site may be malicious, so they can avoid it. This means employees can avoid threats that might result in spending hours recovering from an infected device instead of getting things done. IT can allow users to decide if they want Safe Browsing turned on, or they can set a policy centrally to enable or disable it.

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3. Block intrusive ads so employees can stay focused.

Intrusive ads can be a drain on anyone’s peace of mind. By enabling Chrome Browser’s automatic pop-up blocker through set policies, IT teams can help employees stay on task without being distracted. Chrome Browser now automatically filters links to third-party websites disguised as play buttons or other site controls, or transparent overlays on websites that capture clicks and open new tabs or windows.

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4. Use a standardized homepage for employees.

IT admins can set employees’ homepages to internal sites so they have the latest tools and most up-to-date information. And with Group Policy or Cloud Policy, IT can easily set different homepages for different groups in the organization.

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5. Pre-install apps and extensions for easy access and security.

IT admins can make it easy for employees to access the apps and extensions they need to be productive while maintaining the right security policies. They can deploy selected apps and extensions tailored to an employee’s department or role, whether they’re internally built or public, like productivity or CRM apps, giving them easy access to the tools needed to do their work as soon as they open their browser. Visit Device management > Chrome > User Settings in the Admin Console or check out these instructions.

These are just a few ways IT admins can manage Chrome Browser to support user productivity. To get started with managing Chrome Browser for businesses, visit our website. And for information on how to set up, manage and configure Chrome Browser for your enterprise, check out our help center.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Connected Workspaces, Google Cloud

How Topcoder crowdsources solutions to tough coding challenges with Chrome Browser

Editor’s note: Today’s post is from Kyle Bowerman, Community Architect for Topcoder, a crowdsourcing marketplace that connects businesses with designers, developers and data scientists to build technology solutions. Topcoder uses Chrome Browser as its development environment, creating extensions to GitHub and simulating various device environments.

Companies need developers who can create apps that solve complex problems. Developers want to show off their coding skills. That’s where Topcoder comes in—we connect the talents of a global community of 1 million developers to companies with coding issues to solve.

The process is simple: companies come to us with programming requests, and we create crowdsourcing challenges that let our community of developers demonstrate what they can do. The size and scope of these challenges can vary—some are exploratory and open-ended, like choosing the best grid library for JavaScript; others are very task-based and specific, like building a new screen for a mobile app. When developers from our community create a solution, they win prize money, and our enterprise customers get the apps and technology solutions they need.

Since our community develops on browser, our choice of browser as a development environment is very important. When we started Topcoder in 2001, we used Firefox’s development tools. However, we switched to Chrome Browser when it was launched in 2008 because, from our perspective as coders, it’s the best environment for development. The development tools in Chrome Browser remove roadblocks to fast delivery of projects—like the need to test apps on physical devices, or worrying if the solution will work on every browser. Because of this, we develop for Chrome Browser first, then test to be sure our apps work just the same on other browsers.

Without the development tools, like the plug-in library, built into Chrome Browser, there’d be no way developers could work at the speed our customers need. Let’s say the challenge is to fix a problem with an app’s “submit” button on a particular phone model. With Device Mode in Chrome Browser, our developers can simulate all kinds of devices instantly—even screen sizes and resolutions—without needing to test on the actual physical device. This can be a critical time-saver—we don’t have to go back to the customer and say, “sorry, we’ll get back to you in a few weeks after we find that device and test the code.” We trust Chrome Browser will help our developers create solutions that will work no matter which device they’re accessed on.

Extensions are another tool we use to connect developers to challenges faster, so companies get quality coding work done fast. We created an extension that takes GitHub issue tickets and quickly turns them into Topcoder challenges. The extension exposes our challenges to the coding community in just a few seconds, instead of days. We also created an extension that lets developers search GitHub for Topcoder challenges by keyword, and look up other Topcoder developers.

With Chrome Browser, our developers get a better development environment, our enterprise customers get the apps they need, and all of us get a great browser experience in the process. That’s a winning solution for everyone.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Connected Workspaces, Google Cloud

We've been busy! 20+ Google Cloud security announcements from March

As Urs said last week, security is one of the biggest issues of our time, and with the cloud, we are able to tackle it together. At Google Cloud, we’re always working to help organizations keep up with evolving threats, protect their sensitive data, and empower innovation—all while giving them control and visibility. That’s why over the past several days we’ve announced a broad range of security products and enhancements. With so much to share, we thought it would be helpful to put all the news in one handy location.

Here’s a recap of our security announcements in March.

Chrome Enterprise

1. New enterprise mobility management (EMM) partnerships

We announced four new partnerships with EMM providers to help IT admins manage and implement security policies across their full fleet of devices from a single place. Cisco Meraki, Citrix XenMobile, IBM MaaS360 with Watson, and ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus now support Chrome Enterprise.

2. Chrome OS Active Directory enhancements

Building on our initial integration with Active Directory last August, we’ve added a number of enhancements to help admins manage Chrome OS alongside legacy infrastructure. These include the ability to authenticate to Kerberos and NTLMv2 endpoints on local networks directly from Chrome OS, support for common enterprise Active Directory setups like multiple domain scenarios, and improved existing certificate enrollment flows.

3. Expanded management capabilities in Chrome Browser and Chrome OS

Chrome Enterprise lets admins fine tune more than 200 security policies and grant secure, authorized employee access to online resources. This month, we added even more controls, including per-permission extension blacklisting, disabled sign-ins, and device-wide certificates.

Cloud Identity

4. Cloud Identity

Cloud Identity is a new, standalone Identity as a Service (IDaaS) solution that offers premium features such as account security, application management and device management in one place. With Cloud Identity, employees get simple, secure access to their business-critical apps and devices, while administrators get the tools they need to manage it all in one integrated console.

Google Cloud Platform

5. Access Transparency

Trust is paramount when choosing a cloud provider, and we want to be as open and transparent as possible. Access Transparency gives you near real-time logs when Google Cloud Platform administrators access your content, offering an audit trail of actions taken by Google engineers and support whenever they interact with your content on GCP.

6. Cloud Armor

Cloud Armor, our new Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and application defense service, is based on the same technologies and global infrastructure that we use to protect services like Search, Gmail and YouTube. Global HTTP(S) load balancing provides built-in defense against infrastructure DDoS attacks. Cloud Armor works in conjunction with global HTTP(S) load balancing and enables you to customize defenses for your internet-facing applications. Its capabilities include IP blacklisting/whitelisting, geo-based access control, custom rules via a rules language and defense against application-aware attacks like SQL Injection.

7. Cloud Security Command Center (alpha)

The new Cloud Security Command Center (Cloud SCC) is a security and data risk platform that lets you view, analyze, and monitor an inventory of your cloud assets, scan storage systems for sensitive data, detect common web vulnerabilities and review access rights to your critical resources—all from a single, centralized dashboard. Detect threats and suspicious activity with Google anomaly detection as well as security partners such as Cloudflare, CrowdStrike, Dome9, Palo Alto Networks, Qualys and RedLock.

8. The Cloud Data Loss Prevention (DLP) API

Discover, classify and redact sensitive data at rest and in real-time with the DLP API, now generally available. And because it’s an API, you can use it on virtually any data source or business application, whether it’s on GCP services like Cloud Storage or BigQuery, a third-party cloud, or in your on-premises data center.

9. FedRAMP Authorization

GCP, and Google’s underlying common infrastructure, have received the FedRAMP Rev. 4 Provisional Authorization to Operate (P-ATO) at the Moderate Impact level from the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB). Now, both G Suite and GCP have FedRAMP Moderate authorizations. Agencies and federal contractors can request access to our FedRAMP package by submitting a FedRAMP Package Access Request Form.

10. VPC Service Controls (alpha)

Currently in alpha, VPC Service Controls help enterprises keep their sensitive data private while using GCP’s fully managed storage and data processing capabilities. VPC Service Controls create a security perimeter around data stored in API-based GCP services such as Cloud Storage, BigQuery and Bigtable. This helps mitigate data exfiltration risks stemming from stolen identities, IAM policy misconfigurations, malicious insiders and compromised virtual machines.

G Suite

11. New advanced anti-phishing capabilities

Updated phishing security controls can be configured to automatically switch on the latest Google-recommended defenses. New default-on protections can:

  • Automatically flag emails from untrusted senders that have encrypted attachments or embedded scripts.

  • Warn against email that tries to spoof employee names or that comes from a domain that looks similar to your own domain.

  • Offer enhanced protections against spear phishing attacks by flagging unauthenticated email.

  • Scan images for phishing indicators and expand shortened URLs to uncover malicious links.

12. Default-on mobile management

Basic device management is automatically enabled for your mobile devices that access G Suite. Employees won’t need to install profiles on iOS and Android devices, and admins get added security management controls including the ability to enforce pass codes, erase confidential data, and see which devices access corporate data.

13. New additions to the security center for G Suite

We introduced the security center for G Suite earlier this year. Security center brings together security analytics, actionable insights and best practice recommendations from Google to help you protect your organization, data and users. Last week we introduced new additions, including:

  • New security charts to show OAuth activity and Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam threats specifically focused on phishing emails that may not have links.

  • New mobile management charts to help IT admins examine activity analytics and detect when devices have been hijacked, rooted or jailbroken.

  • Ways to reorganize the dashboard to focus on what is most important to your organization.

  • Ways to analyze your organization’s security health and get custom advice on security key deployment and protection against phishing scams.

14. Built-in protections and controls for Team Drives

New enhancements to Team Drives provide additional security controls, including the ability to limit file access privileges and add IRM controls to prevent users from printing, downloading and copying files. These new security features will roll out in the coming weeks.

Partnerships

15-25. New and expanded security partnerships

We announced several new security partnerships, including:

  • Dome9, which has developed a compliance test suite for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) in the Dome9 Compliance Engine.

  • Rackspace Managed Security, which provides businesses with fully managed security on top of GCP.

  • RedLock’s Cloud 360 Platform, a cloud threat defense security and compliance solution that provides additional visibility and control for Google Cloud environments.

As we said last week, we believe a more secure business landscape is better for everyone, and we’re committed to finding new ways to help businesses be more secure. For more information, check out our security webpage.

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New ways to secure businesses in the cloud

Today we announce more than 20 enhancements aimed to deepen and expand the control businesses have over their security environment. These…

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Connected Workspaces, G Suite, Google Cloud

New ways to secure businesses in the cloud

From collaboration tools that accelerate productivity, to platforms that spur innovation, to AI-powered tools that drive better customer insights, the cloud is increasingly where we turn to transform businesses. It’s also where an increasing number of enterprises are turning to help protect their data and stay secure.

As Urs shared earlier this week, it’s been our belief from the beginning that if you put security first, everything else will follow. We continue to develop new ways to give our customers the capabilities they need to keep up with today’s ever-evolving security challenges. That’s why today we’re announcing more than 20 enhancements aimed to deepen and expand the control businesses have over their security environment. You can read all of our announcements in more detail on our posts covering Google Cloud Platform, G Suite and Chrome Enterprise updates. Here, we’d like to highlight three unique examples of our security functionality.

Unprecedented control to better protect your data

Google Cloud was designed, built, and is operated with security top of mind—from our custom hardware like our Titan chip, to data encryption both at rest and in transit by default. On top of this foundation, our customers have the freedom to deploy their own security controls based on their unique needs and the level of assurance they require. Today, we’re announcing VPC Service Controls to add to our broad set of protections.

Currently in alpha, VPC Service Controls help enterprises keep their sensitive data private while using GCP’s fully managed storage and data processing capabilities. Imagine constructing an invisible border around everything in an app that prevents its data from escaping, and having the power to set up, reconfigure and tear down these virtual perimeters at will. You can think of it like a firewall for API-based services on GCP. Well-defined VPC service controls can give admins a greater level of control to prevent data exfiltration from cloud services as a result of breaches or insider threats.

With this managed service, enterprises can configure private communication between cloud resources and hybrid VPC networks. By expanding perimeter security from on-premise networks to data stored in GCP services, enterprises can feel confident running sensitive data workloads in the cloud.

VPC Service Controls give admins even more precise control over which users can access GCP resources with Access Context Manager. Enterprises can create policies to grant access based on contextual attributes like user location, IP address and endpoint security status. These policies help ensure the appropriate level of protection is in place when allowing access to data in cloud resources from the internet.

Google Cloud is the first cloud provider to offer virtual security perimeters for API-based services with simplicity, speed and flexibility that far exceeds what organizations can achieve in a physical, on-premises environment.

Visibility into data risks, with actionable security insights

As use of cloud services continues to grow, clear visibility into an organization’s cloud footprint and the security status of its infrastructure is more important than ever. Businesses need the right data and actionable insights to stop threats before security incidents turn into damaging breaches. To that end, we’re announcing Cloud Security Command Center, currently in alpha.

Cloud Security Command Center is a security and data risk platform for GCP that helps enterprises gather data, identify threats and act on them before they result in business damage or loss. First, Cloud Security Command Center gives enterprises consolidated visibility into their cloud assets across App Engine, Compute Engine, Cloud Storage and Cloud Datastore. People can quickly understand the number of projects they have, what resources are deployed, where sensitive data is located, and how firewall rules are configured. With ongoing discovery scans, enterprises can view the history of their cloud assets to understand exactly what changed in their environment and act on unauthorized modifications.

Cloud Security Command Center also provides powerful security insights into cloud resources. For example, security teams can determine things like whether a cloud storage bucket is open to the internet or contains personally identifiable information, or whether cloud applications are vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities—to name just a few.

Finally, Cloud Security Command Center helps enterprises leverage and act on intelligence from Google and other leading security vendors. Administrators can identify threats like botnets, cryptocurrency mining and suspicious network traffic with built-in anomaly detection developed by the Google Security team, as well as integrate insights from vendors such as Cloudflare, CrowdStrike, Dome9, RedLock, Palo Alto Networks, and Qualys to help detect DDoS attacks, compromised endpoints, compliance policy violations, network intrusions and instance vulnerabilities and threats. With ongoing security analytics and threat intelligence, enterprises can better assess their overall security health in a central dashboard or through APIs, and immediately act on risks.

This is just one example of how we’re providing enterprises more visibility. Earlier this year, we announced the security center for G Suite, which provides security analytics and recommendations for our G Suite customers. Today we’re introducing additions to security center, including new charts which highlight phishing threats and suspicious device activity. You can read more about these improvements in our G Suite and GCP posts.

Transparency into how we interact with your data

Trust is paramount when choosing a cloud provider. We want to be as open and transparent as possible, allowing customers to see everything that happens to their data. Cloud Audit Logging helps answer the question of which administrators did what, where, when and why on your GCP projects.

And now, Access Transparency offers an immutable audit trail of actions taken by Google engineers and support whenever they interact with your content on GCP. Access Transparency builds on our already robust controls that restrict Google administrator activity to actions only with valid business justifications, such as responding to a specific ticket our customers have initiated or recovering from an outage.

Together, Cloud Audit Logs and Access Transparency Logs provide a more comprehensive view of admin activity in your cloud environment. We believe that trust is created through transparency, which is why we’re proud that GCP is the first to offer this level of visibility into cloud provider administrative activity.

What cloud security means for businesses

Today’s updates are just a few examples of how we’re making it easier and more secure for businesses to build and grow in the cloud—with many more still to come.

“Businesses’ path to cloud adoption relies heavily on trust; CEOs and CIOs need to feel comfortable that they are gaining significant benefit from the cloud without giving up control,” says Doug Cahill, Senior Analyst, ESG. “With these announcements, Google Cloud is continuing to provide more control and insight to customers—and commendable visibility into administrative activity within their cloud environments through Access Transparency—while offering them the peace of mind that many of the fundamental aspects of security are taken care of and constantly evolving along with the threat landscape.”

Customers like Credit Karma, Lahey Health, and Sanmina Manufacturing are working with Google Cloud to help secure their data.

“A strong security posture plays a critical role in helping us fulfill our mission of helping our members navigate the complex personal finance landscape through a predictive, data-driven recommendation system,” says Credit Karma Chief Technology Officer Ryan Graciano. “User trust is crucial to our business so security was hugely important when selecting a cloud provider. Google Cloud’s end-to-end approach met our high standards. This enables us to spend more time focusing on building the best products for our customers.”

We believe a more secure business landscape is better for everyone, and we’ll continue to develop ways to help businesses be more secure. For a closer look at all our security-related announcements today, read our in-depth posts on GCP, G Suite and Chrome Enterprise.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Connected Workspaces, G Suite, Google Cloud

Google Cloud Next '18—Registration now open!

Registration for Google Cloud Next ’18 isnow open—we hope you’ll join us July 24-26, 2018 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Each year at Next, we bring together a community of leaders, developers, and entrepreneurs to explore the ways we can build the future of the cloud, together. Join us to hear an inspiring line-up of industry innovators and Google executives including Diane Greene, CEO of Google Cloud.

Building on the energy of Next ‘17 with over 12,000 attendees, Next ‘18 will bring even more interesting keynotes, hundreds of hands-on learning opportunities, and 400 breakout and spotlight sessions on topics ranging from accessible machine learning to advances in security. We look forward to hearing from customers and partners building their businesses with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), G Suite, Maps and the latest technology across all of Google.

Space is limited, so we encourage you to secure your spot early and take advantage of the early-bird rate of $999, a savings of $500 off full-priced admission. You can learn more on the Next ’18 website.

We can’t wait to see you in July!

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Connected Workspaces, G Suite, Google Cloud

Security in the cloud

Security is one of the biggest issues of our time. Countless companies and governments have lost data because of security incidents. And just one breach could cost millions in fines and lost business—and most importantly, lose customer trust.

As a result, security is increasingly top of mind for CEOs and Boards of Directors. That’s why, this week, I’ll join Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene and many of our colleagues in New York, where we’ll meet with more than 100 CEOs to discuss security in the cloud.

At its most basic level, security is a human issue. Whether performed by individuals or organizations, cybersecurity attacks are ultimately carried out by people, regardless of motive.

Often these attacks rely on exploiting human nature, such as through phishing emails. And it’s people that they ultimately affect. By some accounts, 179 million personal records were exposed just in 2017 through data breaches.

And as a human issue, security is something we can tackle together.

Leveraging the cloud to protect against threats

Cloud providers offer a vast army of experts to protect against threats—one far larger than almost any internal team a company could invest in. In fact, if businesses were to go it alone, there wouldn’t be enough security professionals in the world to adequately protect every single company and their users.

In industries from financial services to healthcare to retail, companies are relying on the automation and scale offered by the cloud to protect their data and that of their customers—allowing their employees to focus on building their business. Many are coming to the same conclusion we have: In many cases, if you’re not moving to the cloud, you’re risking your business.

Take the CPU vulnerabilities that were disclosed in January, for example. These were major discoveries; they rocked the tech industry. But for the most part, cloud customers could go about their business. Here at Google Cloud, we updated our infrastructure through Live Migration, which required no reboots, no customer downtime, and did not materially impact performance. In fact, we got calls from customers asking if we had updated our systems to protect against the vulnerabilities—because they experienced no impact.

These won’t be the last security vulnerabilities to be uncovered; humans will never write perfect code. But the cloud makes it much easier to stay on top of them. The scale of the cloud security teams that find and mitigate emerging threats, the ability to update many systems at scale, and the automation to scan, update and protect users all contribute to cloud’s unique position to keep information and people secure.

Security at Google Cloud

Security has been paramount to Google from the very beginning. (I would know!) We’ve been operating securely in the cloud for almost 20 years, and we have seven apps with more than a billion users that we protect from threats every single day, and GCP itself connects to more than a billion IPs every day. We believe that security empowers innovation—that if you put security first, everything else will follow.

Security is in the details—and we pay attention at the most granular level. We were the first to introduce SSL email by default in 2010, we created the U2F security token standard in 2014, Chrome was the first browser to support post-quantum crypto in 2016, and in 2017 we introduced Titan, a purpose-built chip to establish hardware root of trust for both machines and peripherals on cloud infrastructure. These examples show the level of depth that we go into when thinking about security, and the role we take in pushing the industry forward to stay on top of evolving threats.

In addition, Google’s Project Zero team hunts for vulnerabilities across the internet, and have been behind the discoveries of “Heartbleed” as well as the recently-discovered “Spectre” and “Meltdown.” We also provide incentives to the security community to help us look for and find security bugs through our Vulnerability Reward Program.

We know how complex the security landscape is, and we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to solve this tough challenge. We’ve developed principles around security that define how we build our infrastructure, how we build our products, and how we operate.

For example, we believe it’s not enough to build something and try to make it secure after the fact. Security should be fundamental to all design, not bolted on to an old paradigm. That’s why we build security through progressive layers that deliver true defense in depth, meaning our cloud infrastructure doesn’t rely on any one technology to make it secure.

Now more than ever, it’s important for companies to make security an utmost priority and take responsibility for protecting their users. That’s true for Google too. At the end of the day, any organization is accountable to people above all, and user trust is crucial to business. If we don’t get security right, we don’t have a business.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about cloud as a means to improve security. Google has always worked to protect users across the internet. With Google Cloud, we’re extending those capabilities to help businesses protect their users as well.

In the coming days, we’ll share more about how we’re pushing cloud security forward. Stay tuned.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Connected Workspaces, G Suite, Google Cloud

Keeping cloud entry points secure with Google Chrome Enterprise

When we introduced Chrome Enterprise last August, our aim was to provide a single solution that connected employees while giving admins the flexibility and control they needed to keep their businesses protected. Since then, security has only become more of a priority for enterprises. In fact, last year alone, 98% of businesses were affected by malware, and employee endpoints—like laptops, tablets, and smartphones—were increasingly the target of attacks.

Enterprise IT admins know this all too well. With hardware, firmware, browsers, apps and networks to protect, admins now face more risks than ever, while managing more devices than ever. We built our Chrome Enterprise ecosystem with this complex landscape in mind, and today we’re adding new enhancements and partnerships as we continue to make Chrome Enterprise the most secure endpoint solution for businesses in the cloud.

Here’s a look at how these updates can help protect businesses, and their data, at every cloud access point.

Offering more ways for businesses to manage their devices from a single unified management solution

For many businesses, managing a broad range of devices within one unified endpoint management solution is a necessity. Last year, we announced our first enterprise mobility management (EMM) partnership with VMware AirWatch, the first third-party solution with the capability to manage Chrome OS. Today, we’re expanding this with four new partnerships with EMM providers, which gives IT admins the ability to manage and implement security policies across their full fleet of devices from a single place.

  • Cisco Meraki offers a comprehensive set of solutions that includes wireless, switching, security, endpoint management, and security cameras, all managed through Meraki’s web-based dashboard interface.

  • Citrix XenMobile provides device and application management for comprehensive mobile security, and pairs well with other recent Citrix integrations.

  • IBM MaaS360 with Watson delivers a cognitive approach to unified endpoint management, enabling the management of endpoints, end users and everything in between.

  • ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus (a division of Zoho Corp) is a unified endpoint management console for configuring, managing and securing mobile devices, desktops and apps.

With these partnerships in place, enterprises can pick the solution that fits their business best.

Helping enterprises manage Chrome OS alongside legacy infrastructure with more Active Directory enhancements

Building on our initial integration with Active Directory last August, we’ve added a number of enhancements to help admins manage Chrome OS alongside legacy infrastructure. Administrators can now configure managed extensions directly through Group Policy Objects. Users can authenticate to Kerberos and NTLMv2 endpoints on their local network directly from Chrome OS. We’re also expanding our support for common enterprise Active Directory setups like multiple domain scenarios. And we’ve improved our existing certificate enrollment flows with Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS).

Continuing to deepen and expand management capabilities in Chrome Browser and Chrome OS

The less time IT has to spend on mundane, manual tasks means more time to focus on business critical projects. That’s why Chrome Enterprise was designed to give IT admins the ability to grant, manage and adjust user permissions at scale, with fewer repetitive tasks. Chrome Enterprise already lets admins fine tune more than 200 security policies and grant secure, authorized employee access to online resources, and we’re continuing to add additional controls to help. In recent months, we’ve added the following controls to help admins:

  • Per-permission extension blacklisting lets admins restrict access to extensions based on the permissions required, for example, extensions that require the use of a webcam. This allows admins to now authorize an employee’s access to more extensions in the Google Chrome Web Store but maintain fine-grained admin controls across web properties.

  • Sign-ins can be disabled from an outdated OS to help administrators comply with security policies that dictate how many versions behind their users are allowed to run on.

  • Admins can ensure that only managed devices can connect to their single sign-on servers by gating that access with device-wide certificates. These certificates effectively attest to the Chrome endpoint’s managed state.

  • Newly added support for automatic forced re-enrollment will now allow a Chrome device that has been wiped or recovered to re-enroll into the corporate domain without requiring administrator credentials. This will help ensure corporate devices remain enrolled without requiring any admin intervention.

With Chrome Enterprise, our focus is not only on Chrome OS, but how businesses use Chrome Browser across all their platforms. Last December we announced a number of security enhancements for Chrome Browser with the aim to help enterprises stay safe. We’ve now added  a policy that allows IT to require users to sign-in to Chrome Browser, ensuring security policies are applied to browsing sessions across platforms. And in the coming months, we’ll be adding enterprise reporting capabilities in Chrome Browser that give IT admins access to data about installed extensions, status of configured policies, telemetry data and much more. With this information, IT can better understand security status of each endpoint under their control.

Continually managing vulnerabilities to help businesses stay protected

All of today’s announcements help admins stay on top of their organization’s security, and these features are in addition to the benefits admins already get with Chrome Enterprise.

For example, keeping hardware up to date is one of the easiest ways IT admins can keep endpoints secure, yet it can also be one of the most time-intensive tasks in an admin’s day. That’s why we built Chrome OS so that it automatically deploys security updates to ensure all devices run the latest version of Chrome OS. Chrome Browser prevents exposure to phishing and malware, and if threats are detected on third-party apps, admins can uninstall apps remotely with managed Google Play.

The proactive protection, control, and endpoint management advantages offered by Chrome Enterprise are why companies such as Sanmina Corporation are deploying Chrome across their businesses.

“As a multinational manufacturing and supply chain company that makes everything from the electronics in your car to mission critical systems for aerospace and medical products, security is of the utmost importance to us,” said Manesh Patel, CIO of Sanmina. “Deploying Chrome OS and G Suite in our facilities all over the world has allowed us to transform our workforce and collaborate securely in the cloud. It gives us peace of mind to know that our data is secure, and allows us to focus on building world-class products.”

More to come

In the coming weeks there’ll be additional blog posts that offer deeper looks into what these enhancements can mean for businesses. In the meantime, you can learn more about security in Chrome Enterprise on our website.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Connected Workspaces, Google Cloud

How Chrome Enterprise is helping healthcare companies provide better patient experiences

As Robert Reiss recently said in Forbes, “the only constant in healthcare is change.” The digital landscape in healthcare is no exception. While patient needs are increasing, pressures to keep costs down have mounted. On the technology front, stories about data breaches dominate the headlines. And yet the industry has come to increasingly realize it must use IT as a facilitator to deliver more and better care at a lower cost. For many organizations, the solution has been to move more workloads from traditional systems to the cloud.

One way many organizations have addressed this opportunity has been through the adoption of Chrome Enterprise and Chrome devices. Because it can be faster, more secure and integrated with critical virtualization solutions, Chrome OS has seen rapid adoption in the healthcare sector. Organizations like Middlesex Hospital and Chapters Health System are using Chrome Enterprise to provide a secure, future-proof entry point to the cloud, connecting their staff to data-driven systems so they can focus on what’s most important—delivering great patient care.

Bringing Chrome OS to healthcare organizations

From secure, self-service kiosks to shared nurse workstations, there are many ways Chrome OS can offer better experiences for staff, visitors and patients alike. And with a variety of formats and price points, Chrome devices have the flexibility to fit a broad range of use cases. Here are a few things the healthcare industry can do with Chrome Enterprise:

  • Free up staff from fixed workstations: By deploying Chromebooks, staff gets easy access to apps and virtualized clinical software no matter where they are. This access means they can spend less time at a desk and more time helping patients and providing excellent care.

  • Connected operations: Improving operational efficiency and making training more accessible with shared Chrome devices and cloud-based resources provides cost efficiencies for IT without compromising quality or data security.

  • Give patients more control: Self-serve kiosks with easy to manage digital signage can keep patients informed of appointment status or next steps in real-time.

Learn more about Chrome OS at HIMSS

This week at the HIMSS Health IT Conference, we’ll be on hand to chat about our latest Chrome Enterprise solutions and technology partnerships, including a new collaboration between Healthcast, Citrix and Chrome OS that aims to provide a more secure and economical approach to data access.

QwickACCESS for Chrome devices, Healthcast’s unique proximity badge functionality, empowers healthcare professionals with a secure sign-on option that lets them quickly log in and out of devices with a simple tap of a proximity badge. The integration of QwickACCESS with Citrix XenDesktop provides staff with access to any electronic health record (EHR), non-EHR and legacy applications on Chrome OS using their proximity badge. This solution means staff can spend more time focused on patients, while IT leaders benefit from a system that improves security and compliance, reduces cost and contributes to a better patient experience.

Sridhar Mullapudi, VP of Product Management at Citrix, said of the new partnership: “In healthcare, we’re seeing rapid adoption of Chrome OS for its speed, security, simplicity and shareability, and for its tight integration with Citrix, the industry-leading virtual desktop solution in healthcare. By simplifying access management, the combination of Chrome OS, QwickACCESS and Citrix XenDesktop makes it easy to reduce productivity lags and resolve critical security and compliance issues.”

Expanding security in cloud entry points for healthcare

Since announcing Chrome OS’s expanded endpoint management and controls in August, we’ve been working with our partner VMware to broaden our joint offering. At HIMMS, we’ll show the healthcare industry how they can securely access sensitive data and apps using a Chrome OS device such as a Chromebook. VMware’s Digital Clinical Workspace and Point of Care solutions, powered by their Horizon virtual desktops and applications platform, offer continuous access to clinical desktops and point-of-care applications with the freedom to work from anywhere.

To learn more about Chrome’s Citrix and Healthcast partnership, VMware’s offerings on Chrome OS, or other ways to bring Chrome Enterprise to healthcare, visit the Google Chrome Enterprise booth at HIMSS at booth # 2829, Level 2, Zone 2 20×40, or view the Connected Healthcare page.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Connected Workspaces
Android Enterprise Recommended: Raising the bar of excellence for enterprise mobility

Android Enterprise Recommended: Raising the bar of excellence for enterprise mobility

With more than 2 billion active devices worldwide, Android provides great choice and diversity for users and businesses alike. But with so many options available, enterprise IT organizations around the world often ask: “Which Android devices are right for my organization?”

Some of the top concerns we’ve heard from customers include the need for frequent security updates, reliable and consistent software experiences, and simplified device selection. To address these needs, we’re launching the Android Enterprise Recommended program, a Google-led global initiative that raises the bar of excellence for enterprise devices and services.

android enterprise recommended badge

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Android Enterprise Recommended establishes best practices and common requirements for devices and services, backed by a thorough testing process conducted by Google. Devices in the program meet an elevated set of specifications for hardware, deployment, security updates, and user experience to help organizations handle the most challenging and diverse business environments. In addition, OEMs in the program receive an enhanced level of technical support and training from Google.  

Some of the Android Enterprise Recommended requirements and best practices include:

  • Minimum hardware specifications for Android 7.0+ devices

  • Support for bulk deployment of Android devices including zero-touch enrollment

  • Delivery of Android security updates within 90 days of release from Google, for a minimum of three years

  • Availability of unlocked devices, direct from manufacturer or reseller

  • Consistent application experience in managed profiles and on managed devices  

  • The full list of Android Enterprise Recommended requirements can be found on our site.

With each new Android platform release, we will update the Android Enterprise Recommended program requirements, and continue to raise the bar to ensure we are delivering the best experience for our enterprise customers.

Android Enterprise Recommended devices

We’re pleased to announce a number of market-leading devices at launch, including:

  • BlackBerry KEYone and Motion

  • Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL

  • Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, and P smart

  • LG V30 and G6

  • Motorola X4 and Z2

  • Nokia 8

  • Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, XZ Premium, XA2, and XA2 Ultra

You can expect more Android Enterprise Recommended devices to be added in the coming weeks and months. Throughout 2018, we will also be applying the Android Enterprise Recommended framework to additional partner types, including OEMs of “dedicated” and rugged devices, mobile carriers, enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers and systems integrators.

Mobility has been critical to digital transformation for enterprises. We have listened to our customers and partners, and believe that the Android Enterprise Recommended program will help simplify and add confidence to decision making, allowing global IT leaders to focus more on their core business. Together with our partners, we’ll continue to deliver devices and services to make our enterprise customers successful through enterprise mobility. We are excited to announce the start of this journey.

Learn more about the Android Enterprise Recommended program and how it can benefit your organization on our site.

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Posted by amiller in Android enterprise, Blog, Connected Workspaces
Fraikin’s road warriors work anywhere with Chrome devices

Fraikin’s road warriors work anywhere with Chrome devices

Editor’s note: Today’s blog post comes from Franck Lerivrain, Development Manager at Fraikin, one of Europe’s largest commercial vehicle rental and fleet management companies. Fraikin uses Chromebooks, Chromebits and G Suite to enable mobile employee productivity and to reduce IT maintenance efforts.

Every day, Fraikin’s 57,000 trucks travel thousands of miles across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, delivering everything from fresh produce to hospital supplies and newspapers. In France, where we operate 135 branch offices, we want our office employees to be as mobile as our drivers and trucks. They can do their best work when they can go on the road to meet with customers, maintain trucks, and travel between our truck rental locations. Now that we’re building workstations based on Chromebooks and Chromebits, we can give workers access to the applications they need, inside and outside the office.

Before we began using G Suite and Chrome devices, employees used 1,500 PCs in our offices throughout France. The computers ran local versions of the software that employees needed to do their jobs, such as vehicle booking management tools, accounting solutions, and customer databases. Our IT team spent many hours updating and troubleshooting the machines, often traveling to branch offices to keep the PCs up and running.

We can give workers access to the applications they need, inside and outside the office.

Accessing legacy enterprise applications was difficult for employees. They could only use the applications on their own workstations, not on laptops or phones. We have 400 sales reps in France, and they’re usually traveling to meet customers at their own offices. The sales reps couldn’t log into our databases to update customer records until they arrived back at branch offices, nor could they look up information to answer questions from customers.

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We needed to swap out the PC workstations for tools that were more flexible, and didn’t demand as much attention from our IT team. These goals were part of our virtual device infrastructure (VDI) initiative, which we hoped would modernize our branch-office technology and allow employees to work even when not at their desks. We’re replacing all 1,500 PCs with Chromebits that plug in to monitors, as well as Chromebooks for employees who need laptops.

As we roll out Chromebooks and Chromebits to French branch offices, we’ll make it easy for employees to find the applications they need, like Google Docs and Google Drive, through the Chrome browser. We’re using Syspertec’s Virtel Web Access, installed on our mainframe computer system, to allow employees to access our legacy applications through Virtel’s thin client emulator. Virtel Web Access replaced software previously installed on each computer to connect people to applications hosted on the mainframe system. Now, anywhere there’s a Chrome browser – on Chromebooks, connected Chromebits, or Android phones – employees can find G Suite and other enterprise applications and start working.

We expect that the cost of purchasing and maintaining Chromebooks and Chromebits will be only a fifth of the cost of the old PC workstations. Much of the savings will come from reduced maintenance. In addition, we’ll save on the cost of the old software we needed to connect to the mainframe. My IT staff won’t need to travel to branch offices as often, since we can update software from our home office. Employees can simply log in through Chrome and access the latest software, without any action on their end. G Suite is updated automatically, so that’s another maintenance task we can cross off our list.

Our sales teams may benefit the most from flexible hardware and software. They now use Android phones, so if they’re at a customer site and need to look up rental pricing or truck specs, they can find it in just a few taps instead of driving back to the office. Our employees’ new mobility is the right match for a company that’s all about staying on the road and keeping business moving.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Chrome enterprise, Connected Workspaces