Google takes its responsibility of keeping business customer data very seriously according to a blog post from Amit Singh, President of Google Enterprise.

As a result, the company has announced a raft of security changes which it hopes will further protect its customers from a variety of different types of unauthorised access.

The new features are designed to help Google Apps Business, Government and Education customers protect their data from “common phishing, sophisticated hacking, or state-sponsored intrusions.”

The changes, touted as being “business friendly features”, include mail routing, delivery controls and SMTP relay services, attachment compliance and TLS encryption of message content:

Mail routing, delivery controls and SMTP relay service – Control the flow of information to and from your company with policy-based routing to ensure that company messages are filtered, even if they are sent from third-party or other non-Gmail sources.

Attachment compliance -Protect your business by blocking or rerouting messages based on what is attached to emails, providing controls over what content is sent and received.

TLS Encryption of message content -Prevent eavesdropping and message spoofing through secure encryption and delivery.

The company also announced that it has now switched off ads in Google Apps services which is welcome news. The company has permanently removed the ability to toggle adds on or off in the Apps for Education Administrator console, meaning that they are now always off. Also, all ad scanning in Gmail for Apps for education had been removed, meaning that Google cannot collect or use student data for advertising purposes. Similar changes are also being rolled out for other Google Apps customers, including Business and Government users.

This particular change is interesting and will no doubt be well received by parents and students alike. I also wonder if Google will announce any other changes to do with advertising in the near future following the comments made by  a US Senate subcommittee which had been investigating malvertising?

These latest moves from Google, which come two months after the company tightened HTTPS protections in Gmail, are likely a reaction to the disclosure of the PRISM program last year by ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The whistleblower’s leaks highlighted how the NSA had collated vast amounts of user information from leading tech firms, including Google.

The Mountain View company will no doubt be hoping that these changes will help change any lingering negative public perception and portray Google as an enterprise-friendly and trustworthy technology vendor that takes user privacy seriously.

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