There have been several updates made to Google Drive in the recent months that have now made it much more secure to collaborate with external users and also non-Google users. The latest update allow non-Google users to upload content or create files within Shared Drives owned by organisations, where previously, non-Google users can only view or edit files.
This update comes after several other updates that improves security of Google Drive this year, including providing more granular controls to Shared Drives using Organisational Units, introducing trust rules to Google Drive that provides granular controls to sharing restrictions with external users, implement client-side encryption in Google Drive, synchronising client-side encrypted files with Google Drive for Desktop, including external user actions in Google Drive audit logs and simplify data loss prevention with enforced labelling of Google Drive files for specific OUs or groups.
All these updates were made within this year and are focused on securing Google Drive files when collaborating with different user groups including internal and external users. Most of the features are to prevent accidental sharing to unauthorised users through more refined controls, or simplifying data classification. For example, administrators can now control Shared Drives by OUs, thus giving differentiation of rules for sharing and access management to different users. Trust rules for Google Drive now differentiates sharing controls to internal and external users. Client-side encryption also prevents unauthorised users from opening files. Wider adoption of client-side encrypted files is made possible by allowing sync of encrypted files with Google Drive for Desktop, simplifying access and editing. One of the key practices of DLP is also enforced now with enforced labelling/classification of Google Drive files, thus controlling labelled files through DLP rules.
Only with all these security controls, Google now has allowed open collaboration with non-Google users on Google Drive. This is a definite step forward towards getting more people to get onto the Google Workspace ecosystem.
Do note however, that most of these features require Google Workspace Enterprise licences, which starts at US$20 per account per month. Contact us to find out more about Google Workspace Enterprise plans and its benefits, and how your organisation can implement these security features, and afford them even if you are a small business!