On March 11, 2014, Google announced the new “Add-Ons” feature in Drive. This new, innovative feature allows users to enable and utilize a list of third party applications directly while creating a document. The applications available will, no doubt, aid in productivity as well as creative endeavors with Lucidchart, Thesaurus, and Gliffy—some of the available options. Although add-ons are a creative method to increase business efficiency, the new feature could present some potential security concerns. Administrators should be mindful of the increased ease with which end-users can enable third party applications that will have explicit access to their domain.
Directly from a document, a user can select “Add-ons” and be taken to an app store that is specific to Drive. Once installed, the user need only select the “Add-ons” tab again in order to access the enabled applications.
There are security applications that allow for visibility into such enabled third party applications. CloudLock’s Apps Firewall detects the add-on applications and allows for governance across the domain. Upon installation, such applications will be detected and able to be classified through the product. To demonstrate the power of Apps Firewall, the three applications shown below were enabled through the new Add-ons tab.
As the Add-on applications are visible in the domain, they can be classified as “Banned” or “Trusted” utilizing our proprietary Community Trust Rating in the same way as any other application. Furthermore, with Compliance Edition of Apps Firewall, the banned applications will be automatically revoked upon the next sweep of the domain.
Don’t just take our word for it; read our customer case study describing how Apps Firewall changed the game for security professionals at Bay Cove Human Services.