Google’s productivity apps (known as G Suite) that include Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Calendar, Meet and others help teams connect and collaborate faster and smarter even when working remotely. G Suite now has 6 million paying customers — one million more than in February 2019. Earlier this month, Google Meet also surpassed a new milestone with more than two million new users connecting on Google Meet every day, and they’re spending over two billion minutes together or 3,800 years of secure meetings in a single day.

To protect users’ data, combat abuse, block hijacking attempts and enable proactive protections, Google Meet deploys a range of counter-abuse protection features, ensuring the safety of meetings.

Highlighting Google Cloud’s consistent focus on security, Mark Johnston, head of security, networking and collaboration specialists, Google Cloud in Asia Pacific, said, “As more businesses, organisations and educators are working remotely in these times,  we are deploying measures to help them stay connected and productive in a secure way. Google Meet is built on Google Cloud’s secure-by-design infrastructure to help protect user data and safeguard privacy. Google Meet’s counter-abuse and security features are on by-default to ensure right protections for users and organisations. Google Meet, and all of G Suite, runs on Google’s secure, resilient global infrastructure, which helps us reliably manage our capacity to keep our services up and running.”

The security features in Google Meet are summarised below and are also available here.

Proactive protections to combat abuse and block hijacking attempts:

  • On Google Meet, external participants are barred from joining the meeting more than 15 minutes in advance in order to limit any brute force attack.
  • Any external participant who wants to join the meeting must be on the calendar invite or if they have been invited by in-domain participants from within the Google Meet session, or else the host will be asked to approve any external party joining.
  • Additionally, new features have been rolled out for the teachers and students as well which will not only keep the school meetings safe but also enhance the learning experience for students. Firstly, only meeting creators and calendar owners can mute or remove other participants which will ensure that instructors can’t be removed or muted by student participants. Secondly, only meeting creators and calendar owners can approve requests to join the meeting made by external participants. This means that students can’t allow external participants to join via video, and that external participants can’t join before the instructor. Also, meeting participants cannot rejoin nicknamed meetings once the final participant has left. This means if the instructor is the last person to leave a nicknamed meeting, students cannot join later without the instructor present.

Secure deployment and access controls for admins and end-users:

  • With no requirement and need of plugins or software installation, the attack surface gets restricted and the need to push out frequent security patches gets eliminated. Google Meet also supports multiple 2 step verification processes – hardware, phone-based security keys and Google Prompt- ensuring administration and access limited to authorised users only.
  • In order to protect highest-risk accounts, account hijacking and phishing, Google Meet users can enroll their account in the advanced protection program (APP). Additionally, Google Meet adheres to IETF security standards for datagram transport layer security (DTLS) and secure real-time transport protocol (SRTP). The data is always encrypted by default with Google meeting room hardware.

Last month, Google made its advanced Google Meet video-conferencing capabilities available at no cost to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers until September 30, 2020 to ensure businesses, organisations, institutions, and educators continue to be supported during this time.

During COVID-19 and beyond Google’s networks are designed to perform during times of high need. Google will continue to protect Google Meet users and their data, and keep innovating with new features to make its tools helpful, secure, and safe.