What is the Gmail Security Sandbox?

Posted by Jordan Weber on Tue, Jul, 02, 2019 @ 09:07 AM

Google has announced some interesting security features into it’s G-Suite of applications.

Without question, email is the most popular method of delivering malware today. The messages themselves can be rigged with a variety of malicious payloads, ranging from malicious links to attachments containing hidden malware. As these threats become more sophisticated and dangerous, today’s businesses require new tools to secure their internal email platforms. This week we’ve learned that Gmail has introduced new security features to assist email admins in protecting company data from malware attacks (and prying eyes).

What’s New?

Google has added a few features that will make it easier for both users and administrators to identify and avoid malicious emails, attachments and links. These include Advanced phishing and malware protection for Gmail, a security sandbox to test suspicious links and attachments, as well as email expiration dates.

These developments should be exciting news for any business running a Gmail-based email system. According to Google, the beefed-up phishing and malware protection uses machine learning to “block more than 99.9 percent of spam, phishing and malware from reaching Gmail inboxes.” This is an impressive number indeed!

The security sandbox ought to be of particular interest to administrators, because it provides a safe environment to test suspicious emails for malicious links and malware. Users can open a potentially malicious email in the security sandbox. This sandbox opens emails and attachments under a variety of conditions to see if they attempt to deploy any malware. If malware is detected from the email or attachment, the message is automatically quarantined. Administrators can also set custom rules that determine how suspicious emails are handled.

Another tool that we anticipate will be very useful is Gmail’s new Confidential Mode. When composing an email in Confidential Mode, users can apply an expiration date anywhere from 24 hours to 5 years after the initial send date upon which the email will vanish. Confidential Mode messages also can't be forwarded, downloaded, printed, or copied and pasted into a new email or document. In addition, users can select the option of requiring a passcode in order to open the message.

What About 0365?

It’s worth noting that while these features are exciting, you’re not out in the cold if your company uses O365 for email. If you want to bolster the security of your O365 accounts, talk to your IT support team to determine if Advanced Threat Protection is active on your users’ accounts. This suite of tools provides security features similar to those in Google’s security sandbox.

If you have questions about O365 and/or email security for your small or midsize business, feel free to contact us any time. We're here to help!

Topics: Cybersecurity, Managed IT Services, Microsoft