Cloud

Google ups cloud security in Chrome Enterprise with new endpoint tools

Google added new Active Directory configurations, EMM partnerships, and more.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Google is offering Chrome Enterprise customers new EMM partnership options through Cisco, Citrix, IBM, and Zoho.
  • Google recently added new management features like per-permission extension blacklisting and Active Directory enhancement to Chrome Enterprise.

In an effort to make Chrome Enterprise a more secure endpoint solution, Google unveiled a host of security enhancements that include new enterprise mobility management (EMM) partnerships and updated management tools. The changes were detailed in a Thursday blog post.

Last year, "98% of businesses were affected by malware, and employee endpoints—like laptops, tablets, and smartphones—were increasingly the target of attacks," according to the post. By positioning Chrome Enterprise as a fuller, more secure cloud endpoint solution, Google could win some more enterprise customers over to the Chrome ecosystem.

For starters are the EMM partnerships. Last year, Google gave VMware AirWatch the ability to manage Chrome OS. Now, the post noted, it has extended that functionality to Cisco, IBM, Citrix, and Zoho.

SEE: Network security policy (Tech Pro Research)

Cisco's offering comes through its Meraki interface. In addition to endpoint management, it also offers wireless capabilities and switching solutions as well, the post said.

IBM, on the other hand, offers EMM features through MaaS360 with Watson—a solution with cognitive capabilities for endpoint and user management.

Finally, Citrix XenMobile offers device and application management, and Zoho performs endpoint management through its CRM offering.

Active Directory enhancements are also coming to Chrome Enterprise, according to the post. Admins can configure managed extensions through Group Policy Objects, and users will now be able to authenticate to Kerberos and NTLMv2 endpoints locally through Chrome OS.

"We're also expanding our support for common enterprise Active Directory setups like multiple domain scenarios," the post said. "And we've improved our existing certificate enrollment flows with Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS)."

In terms of new management capabilities, Chrome Enterprise is getting the following four:

  • Per-permission extension blacklisting, which allows admins to give employees access to more apps, while also providing more control.
  • Sign-ins that can be disabled from an outdated OS to remain compliant with policy.
  • Admin option to ensure only managed devices can connect to their single sign-on servers by limiting access to those with device-wide certificates.
  • Automatic forced re-enrollment, which means a Chrome device that has been wiped or recovered can re-enroll into the corporate domain without admin credentials.

Additionally, Google is adding enforced existing user sign-on into Chrome Browser to bolster safety. "And in the coming months, we'll be adding initial enterprise reporting capabilities in Chrome Browser that give IT admins access to local machine logs, so they can better understand each device under their control," the post said.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/ChakisAtelier

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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