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Google Fortifies Enterprise Message Security

Following the recent introduction of a new Gmail security feature designed to alert users about unauthorized access to their accounts, Google's enterprise message service Postini on Wednesday is taking similar steps to help Postini and Google Apps customers improve e-mail security.

Google Postini team member Gopal Shah in a blog post introduced a new Google Message Security reporting feature called Health Check.

"Health Check helps you maximize the effectiveness of your spam filters," he said. "Think of it as a self-service 'tune-up' for your Postini filters. It gives admins a comprehensive report that will help them check how current configurations impact the effectiveness of antispam and antivirus filters."

Health Check reports highlight e-mail settings that diverge from Google's recommended practices. Shah suggests they can be used to identify risky user-defined settings, to optimize Approved Sender Lists, and to arrive at appropriate firewall settings.

Google Message Security is available starting at $12 per user year as a standalone service and is included in the $50 annual subscription price for Google Apps Premiere. The service is also available to Postini customers who use an e-mail provider other than Google.

Google is also introducing another Google Message Security feature called Dual Delivery, which allows users to send a message copy to a different e-mail address.

The company is billing this as a security feature -- backup copies of messages can be said to enhance security -- but its main use appears to be facilitating migration to Google Apps.

The idea is that Dual Delivery can help users pilot test Gmail in Google Apps and inform IT administrators about system usage without affecting the existing e-mail system.

Google has made a habit of introducing technology to help companies and individuals cross the bridge from on-premises computing to cloud computing. Earlier this month, it introduced Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange, which will automatically move Exchange e-mail, contact and calendar data to Google Apps.