Google Shores Up Apps with New Security Software

Google's Postini group adds Web security software four days after McAfee and Yahoo strike a security pact.

Stepping up its Web security game, Google's Postini unit May 8 rebranded Postini software that protects corporate networks from malware and provides URL filtering.

Priced at $36 per user per year, Google Web Security for Enterprise also enforces IT policies at the user, workgroup or company levels and generates reports on Web traffic coming into the network. Policy management protects companies from the legal liabilities of inappropriate content and reduces bandwidth congestion.

The product pledges to thwart Web malware before it reaches computer networks, staunch zero-hour threats and quash spyware back-channel communications, and because it's hosted it reduces the need for patches and other annoying security updates.

The industry is littered with malware and URL-filtering protection products from Symantec, McAfee and a host of other security providers. In fact, the Postini group is using technology from SAAS (software as a service) security vendor ScanSafe in the product.

However, this software is an important olive branch from Google to businesses heretofore leery about signing up their thousands of users to Google Apps out of fear of inadequate security.

For $12 per user per year, customers may buy additional security that extends the same protections to users working remotely on laptops in hotels and guest networks. To do this, the tool automatically encrypts all Web traffic when the user connects to a public network.

This is important because employees are most vulnerable when they're working outside the office.

Google Web Security is accessible from the same admin console used for Google Apps security and compliance messaging services.

A Google spokesperson told eWEEK that Google Apps is now signing up more than 3,000 businesses a day, so the added measure of security, on top of the existing security services, could feel like a nice welcome mat for new and prospective users.

The software also comes soon after Yahoo struck a deal with McAfee May 6 to provide more search security.

The companies launched a beta program for SearchScan, a new feature by Yahoo Search powered by McAfee's SiteAdvisor technology. The feature alerts users of sites with spam, spyware and adware.