Google Drive for Work tweaked with more security, sharing controls

Central to the new features is a heightened level of control over shared files, such as the ability to to disable downloading, printing and copying of any file with designated information rights management.

Google Drive for Work, Google's premium cloud storage option for business users, announced the rollout of new sharing controls, alerts and audit events designed to bolster data security of corporate files.

Central to the new features is a heightened level of control over shared files. Google detailed in a blog post that Drive users can now set sharing and settings controls based on department via the Admin console in Drive. This gives Drive users the ability to turn off sharing outside of the domain for one unit, while still allowing it to be accessed from another.

Carrying on that security theme is the ability to disable downloading, printing and copying of any file with designated information rights management, which works to ensure that a file is only shared with a select few.

As for sharing needs outside of an organization, there's an upgrade for that, too. Drive for Work users can now share files with any email address, whether they use Drive or not. In addition, the recipient is no longer required to sign into a Google account to view the files. These features can also be disabled for certain departments, while at the same time enabled for others.

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Google Apps administrators also gain the ability to set up alerts for events like when a new app is installed or if a shared calendar is deleted, and then get those alerts delivered to their inbox. Those alerts can be customized as well. For instance, an admin can set a custom alert for when a file containing the word "confidential" in the title is shared outside the company. And to prevent account lockout, admins can now allow employees to reset their own passwords.

Google said the new features are rolling out today and over the next month. All of the features will be available to Drive for Work customers, Google Apps for Work customers will have access to the custom alerts and password reset, and the IRM and previewing without sign-in features will be available to all people using Google Drive.

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