When Google announced its Chrome Enterprise offerings last year, the company was taking a significant step toward getting more Chromebooks into the hands of business customers.
Now, Google is looking to upgrade the security features of Chrome Enterprise with new partnerships and enhancements.
In a blog post published March 15, Google detailed how it's expanding its browser-based Chrome Enterprise offering to better address security concerns for businesses that are entrusting more and more data in the cloud, as well as customers that need help managing devices and other endpoints within their enterprise.
For example, when Google announced Chrome Enterprise in August, it partnered with VMware to use the virtualization company's Air Watch mobile management software. Starting Thursday, Google is now expanding its partnerships to include:
- Cisco Meraki, which manages different Internet-connected devices, including security cameras, and enforces security policies
- IBM MaaS 360, which uses Watson to offers cognitive-based endpoint management
- Citrix XenMobile, which manages mobile devices and applications
- And Zoho, which provides CRM and endpoint management
In addition, Google is offering administrators the ability to manage Chrome OS alongside legacy systems. For instance, admins can now configure managed extensions directly through Microsoft's Group Policy Objects -- settings that define what a system will look like and how it will behave for certain users.
Chrome Enterprise already offers support for Microsoft's Active Directory, and this release supports additional features as well.
Finally, Google is giving admins the ability to set policies and distribute resources throughout the business as needed. These policies can scale up or down, depending on the needs of IT, and Chrome Enterprise also allows for a certain amount of automation in the process.
For example, Thursday's update includes a blacklisting feature that allows admins to restrict access based on pre-determined permissions. This still allows employees to access extensions through Google's Chrome Web Store, but IT can curtail the use of webcams for instance, based on certain restrictions that have been set up.
Admins can also disable sign-ins from outdated versions of the OS.
These and other features are available as of Thursday. Google is still offering 24/7 support for Chrome Enterprise at a cost of $50 per device annually. The company plans on offering other security enhancements in the coming weeks.
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