Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operations

7/6/2017
02:35 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New Google Security Controls Tighten Third-Party Data Access

Google adds OAuth app whitelisting to G Suite so admins can vet third-party applications before users can grant them authorized data access.

Google is updating its G Suite with OAuth apps whitelisting, a new security measure created to help administrators buckle down on data access control and see how third-party applications are using information.

The new controls are designed to give admins more detailed visibility into which third-party apps are accessing G Suite data, limit access to vetted OAuth apps, and protect G Suite app data by preventing unauthorized app installation, decreasing the risks associated with shadow IT.

Administrators will be able to use OAuth app whitelisting to select which third-party applications are allowed access to users' G Suite data, and see the data they can access. They can also disable OAuth access at a granular level, for the whole organization or specific groups.

Once an app is on the whitelist, users will be able to grant it authorized access to their G Suite apps data. This will protect employees from unauthorized, and potentially malicious, applications based on the settings that admins select.

"Unauthorized data access by external apps can be a major concern for organizations," says Rishi Dhand, product manager at G Suite. "The risks vary based on the kind of data that an unauthorized app may have accessed."

Admins have a powerful and important role in ensuring the security of third-party apps that can access employees' data. Dhand advises asking the following questions when vetting applications:

  • Is my organization's data access policy in sync with the access being requested by the third-party app?
  • Is the third-party app functionality correlated to the access the app is requesting? For example, he says, a calendar app requesting access to Drive data could be a red flag.
  • What is the app developer's approach to security? Have the developers published information that highlights the steps they take to protect user data?

This update addresses the risk of malicious apps tricking users into accidentally sharing sensitive data with threat actors. A new type of credential phishing technique, or "OAuth phishing," abuses the OAuth standard to trick users into granting persistent account access.

In OAuth phishing attacks, hackers send potential victims an OAuth permission request for an approved application. Once the target grants access, the hacker can maintain access to the account after multiple password resets. These attacks exploit users' trust in online service providers, and the trust between service providers and third-party applications.

We recently saw this technique play out in the May 3 Google Docs phishing scam. More than one million users were tricked into clicking a link, which led to a page requesting access to the user's Gmail account. If granted permission, the attacker could access victims' Google Drive through OAuth authentication connections used among third-party applications.

OAuth phishing attacks are dangerous because they bypass many of the red flags that typically alert users to email phishing. The Google attack was tough to detect as malicious because the icons and messaging were familiar to users.

By giving admins greater control over which apps can access user data, this G Suite update lessens the risk of employees granting access to malicious applications that could steal their information and cause further damage.

The G Suite updates will roll out in phases, the company reports. It will be made available within the admin console over the next few days.

Related Content:

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19037
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
ext4_empty_dir in fs/ext4/namei.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 allows a NULL pointer dereference because ext4_read_dirblock(inode,0,DIRENT_HTREE) can be zero.
CVE-2019-19036
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
btrfs_root_node in fs/btrfs/ctree.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 allows a NULL pointer dereference because rcu_dereference(root->node) can be zero.
CVE-2019-19039
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
__btrfs_free_extent in fs/btrfs/extent-tree.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 calls btrfs_print_leaf in a certain ENOENT case, which allows local users to obtain potentially sensitive information about register values via the dmesg program.
CVE-2019-6852
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-200: Information Exposure vulnerability exists in Modicon Controllers (M340 CPUs, M340 communication modules, Premium CPUs, Premium communication modules, Quantum CPUs, Quantum communication modules - see security notification for specific versions), which could cause the disclosure of FTP har...
CVE-2019-6853
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-79: Failure to Preserve Web Page Structure vulnerability exists in Andover Continuum (models 9680, 5740 and 5720, bCX4040, bCX9640, 9900, 9940, 9924 and 9702) , which could enable a successful Cross-site Scripting (XSS attack) when using the products web server.