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
HackerOne Drops Mobile Voting App Vendor Voatz
Dark Reading Staff 3/30/2020
Limited-Time Free Offers to Secure the Enterprise Amid COVID-19
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  3/31/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7622
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
All versions before 2.2.1 are vulnerable to HTTP Response Splitting. The DefaultHttpHeaders is set to false which means it does not validates that the header isn't being abused for HTTP Response Splitting.
CVE-2020-9473
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
The S. Siedle & Soehne SG 150-0 Smart Gateway <= 1.2.3 has a passwordless ftp ssh user. By using an exploit chain, an attacker with access to the network can get root access on the gateway.
CVE-2020-1728
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
A vulnerability was found in all versions of Keycloak where, the pages on the Admin Console area of the application are completely missing general HTTP security headers in HTTP-responses. This does not directly lead to a security issue, yet it might aid attackers in their efforts to exploit other pr...
CVE-2020-8004
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
STMicroelectronics STM32F1 devices have Incorrect Access Control.
CVE-2020-7631
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
diskusage-ng through 0.2.4 is vulnerable to Command Injection.It allows execution of arbitrary commands via the path argument.