Google has recently announced that they will be adding client-side encryption to their Google Workspace suite, specifically for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, with support for all file types including Office files, PDFs, and more. This feature will now also be extended to Gmail and Calendar.
With client-side encryption (CSE), content encryption is handled in the client’s browser before any data is transmitted or stored in Google’s cloud-based storage, adding an extra layer of security for users. However, the question remains – should you care about this new feature?
The answer is a resounding yes. With cyber threats becoming more sophisticated and widespread, it is important to take all possible measures to protect sensitive data. Client-side encryption ensures that even if someone were to gain unauthorized access to your data, they would not be able to read it without the decryption key, which is stored only on your device.
This means that even Google itself would not be able to access your data, as they do not hold the decryption key. This is a significant improvement from traditional encryption methods, where data is encrypted and decrypted on Google’s servers, making it vulnerable to potential data breaches.
Furthermore, client-side encryption is compliant with regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR, which require data to be securely stored and transmitted. This means that if you are a healthcare provider or a business dealing with sensitive information, you can be assured that your data is being protected in accordance with these regulations.
It is important to note, however, that client-side encryption does come with some trade-offs. For example, because the decryption key is stored only on your device, if you were to lose your device or forget your password, your data would be permanently inaccessible. Additionally, certain features such as search and collaboration may be limited or unavailable with client-side encryption enabled.
In conclusion, the addition of client-side encryption to Gmail and Calendar is a significant step forward in protecting user data. While it may come with some trade-offs, the extra layer of security provided by client-side encryption is worth it for those who value the protection of their sensitive information.