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G Suite Admins Blog > Security and Governance

Google Protects Chrome Users Against Risky Downloads (If they sign in first)


The Google Cloud Next event in Tokyo introduced some exciting new updates to G-Suite and Google Cloud Platform users. During the conference, Google announced the arrival of an expanded Advanced Protection program for high-risk users. This solution ensures that employees with a greater level of risk can access enhanced protection that reduces the threat on the average enterprise. Soon after the original security upgrade was announced at Cloud Next, Google also revealed the arrival of additional anti-malware features available through Chrome. 

The new protections available via Chrome are part of the comprehensive Advanced Protection Program from Google. These features are now available to all users with a Chrome browser. While the Gmail Advanced Protection Program for enterprise users require businesses to deploy a hardware security key like the Google Titan option, the additional anti-malware protections aren't as demanding. To access these benefits, you don't need any extra hardware, but you do need to log into the Google browser account system, named 'Sync'.


Signing Up for Advanced Security with Sync

This isn't the first time that Google has attempted to encourage more enterprise users to access Sync. Last year, Google angered a host of Chrome users by implementing a universal feature that automatically logged Google users into the account system if they already had an account running with a service like Gmail. 

This time around, Google isn't making any dangerous assumptions by logging people in automatically. Instead, you'll need to decide whether you want to access Sync and unlock the benefits that come with it. Being connected to Sync will give Google Chrome the freedom to sync your web history, settings, and passwords across multiple devices. It will also mean that you automatically log into any Google service that you visit, including YouTube. 

While being logged into Sync might give some users a few privacy concerns, the other side of the coin is that you get a lot more security as part of the deal. As soon as you log in, you'll automatically have access to better protection against the risky downloads that can occur across the web. Google believes that because Gmail's Advanced Protection features now offer higher levels of protection to email users, attackers may shift their strategies to threaten Chrome users outside of email. 

Already, Chrome comes with a variety of anti-malware features built-in, such as an ESET-powered solution for malware cleanup, Safe browsing, and more. In March of this year, Google even introduced a new protection that blocks automatic file downloads in sandboxed iFrames. However, Google says that the Advanced Protection users on Chrome will have the highest level of defense that they can get on a Chrome browser.


Better Browsing with Advanced Protection

With Advanced Protection enabled, the next time a Chrome user runs into a nasty file on the web, they'll see a message in the corner of their browser that tells them that something has been blocked from accessing their system. This feature will cater to Admins in the business environment who need more control when it comes to protecting their teams against dangerous browsing. 

Just like the Gmail Advanced Protection feature, Admins in the G-Suite environment will be able to choose high-risk users and ask them to sync their browsing account with Google for better protection. The Advanced Protection layer will prevent downloads and warn users of any attempted 'drive-by' downloads that attempt to add data to their devices without their knowledge. Google believes that this solution will be particularly useful to high-profile accounts belonging to business leaders, journalists and politicians alike. 

To turn the Advanced Protection Program on for your team, all you need to do is go and turn on Chrome Sync for your users. The program will also allow for access to the Gmail Advanced Protection features, and the two-step authentication from Google that requires the use of a physical key to access certain tools and software. 

The introduction of Chrome Advanced Protection is just one of the latest updates made by Google to enhance its security offerings this year.