- Major security enhancements to Gmail announced
- Network operator partners signed up to connect businesses to Google’s cloud
Google is continuing to gradually improve its attractiveness to enterprises. In the longer term building up more paid-for cloud services will enable it to move away from its current reliance on consumer data collection and advertising which, on current evidence (Facebook data misuse and the underexplored issue of whether the resulting ultra-targetted advertising works as well as everyone thinks it does) will probably financially plateau. If things go really badly, it could even decline in the medium term as data collection competition and regulatory oversight bites.
So as part of its long-term attempt to broaden its offerings, Google has been steadily upping its security features over the past few months. Two major announcements were made this week.
Insecure email is almost certainly a major reason for Google’s relative lack of success in wooing businesses to its ‘G Suite’ thus far, so it has announced a major tinkering with Gmail - affecting both the professional G Suite version and consumer Gmail.
It is offering email senders various ways to exert control over messages they’ve already sent. Users can revoke emails and can also set a sort of snapchatish self-destruct function after ‘x’ time. This is because email left ‘live’ can become a security problem should a bad actor get hold of it and look for addresses. There is also control over attachments sent and authentication via an ‘SMS before viewing’ function for the really confidential emails.
Google has also announced something called Cloud Partner Interconnect, a service designed to get businesses tied up securely to Google’s cloud which can, in many instances, be the public side of a hybrid cloud arrangement.
Hybrid cloud seems to be gathering pace. A little like SD-WAN in terms of the general dynamic, it’s a way of getting the best of both worlds - more expensive and perhaps less agile facilities remain running securely on your private, on-premises cloud, while much cheaper but less secure applications can be run in the public cloud. Critical commercial systems on the private, less critical but data-hungry Web services on the public.
Google’s move sees partial circuits made available via its partner networks running at between 50 Mbit/s and 10 Gbit/s. Twenty three partners have been signed up around the world and Google is profiling the resulting offerings as a flexible way of establishing direct connections between companies’ on-premises cloud facilities and its own cloud platform.
Google has already established mammoth 10 Gbit/s connections to its platform last year, but this is a much more flexible offering via the telco partners, putting Google’s public cloud services within financial range of SMEs and enabling them to be located at a geographical distance from Google’s platform without having to resort to the insecure public internet to get to it.
Participating partners include BT, Orange, Telia Carrier , AT&T, Verizon KDDI, NTT, Softbank Macquarie, Colt, Equinix, Level3, and Tata Communications.
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