Many users enable Google Sync so they can use one Google account for both personal and business purposes. Google Sync synchronizes bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and extensions across Chrome browsers that are logged in under the same account, allowing users to easily access the pages they need to view across devices.
Google Sync, although a godsend for most end users, is a headache for IT teams. Organizations use various cloud applications to process and store business data, and typically these cloud applications require credentials like a username and password to log in. When Google Sync is enabled, these passwords get synchronized to Google’s cloud server to enable access across browsers. Besides passwords, any personally identifiable information (PII) a user has saved in autofill will also be stored in the cloud. All of this means that if Google’s cloud server is ever breached, organizations’ sensitive business data will be at stake.
One way for IT teams to protect their organization’s data is by disabling Google Sync. Manually disabling Google Sync on every end user’s computer is cumbersome, but the other option, allowing end users to disable it themselves, is much less safe. Without the right tool, IT teams will have to educate end users to turn off Google Sync in their browsers, and leaving data security in the hands of end users is always a gamble.
What IT teams can do to keep data safe
Configure GPO settings: IT teams can configure their organization’s GPO settings to turn off Google Sync and push these changes to users’ computers using Active Directory.
Use browser management software: IT teams can use browser management software like Browser Security Plus to configure the Google Sync setting and push the configuration to computers in the network.
The main difference between these two approaches is detecting deployment failure. If an admin deploys the configuration using a GPO, they won’t be notified if the deployment fails. Browser Security Plus, software that ensures security from web-based threats and data breaches, enables IT teams to view the status of deployment in real time and detect which computers didn’t have a successful deployment.
Data loss is data loss, whether it involves one device or 100. IT teams should be as cautious as possible when it comes to their organization’s data, and that includes managing users’ access to features like Google Sync.