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How Google protects your data

Google for Work
Security and Compliance

Google Has a Strong Security Culture

Google employs more than 500 full-time security and privacy professionals, who are part of our software engineering and operations division. Our team includes some of the world’s foremost experts in information, application and network security.

Google has created a vibrant and inclusive security culture for all employees. The influence of this culture is apparent during the hiring process, employee onboarding, as part of ongoing training and in company-wide events to raise awareness.

Employee background checks

Before they join our staff, Google will verify an individual’s education and previous employment, and perform internal and external reference checks. Where local labor law or statutory regulations permit, Google may also conduct criminal, credit, immigration, and security checks. The extent of these background checks is dependent on the desired position.

Security training for all employees

All Google employees undergo security training as part of the orientation process and receive ongoing security training throughout their Google careers. During orientation, new employees agree to our Code of Conduct, which highlights our commitment to keep customer information safe and secure. Depending on their job role, additional training on specific aspects of security may be required. For instance, the information security team instructs new engineers on topics like secure coding practices, product design and automated vulnerability testing tools. Engineers also attend technical presentations on security-related topics and receive a security newsletter that covers new threats, attack patterns, mitigation techniques and more.

Internal security and privacy events

Google hosts regular internal conferences to raise awareness and drive innovation in security and data privacy, which are open to all employees. Security and privacy is an ever-evolving area, and Google recognizes that dedicated employee engagement is a key means of raising awareness. One example is “Privacy Week,” during which Google hosts events across global offices to raise awareness of privacy in all facets, from software development, data handling and policy enforcement to living our privacy principles. Google also hosts regular “Tech Talks” focusing on subjects that often include security and privacy.

Our dedicated security team

Google employs more than 550 full-time security and privacy professionals, who are part of our software engineering and operations division. Our team includes some of the world’s foremost experts in information, application and network security. This team is tasked with maintaining the company’s defense systems, developing security review processes, building security infrastructure and implementing Google’s security policies. Google’s dedicated security team actively scans for security threats using commercial and custom tools, penetration tests, quality assurance (QA) measures and software security reviews.

Within Google, members of the information security team review security plans for all networks, systems and services. They provide project-specific consulting services to Google’s product and engineering teams. They monitor for suspicious activity on Google’s networks, address information security threats, perform routine security evaluations and audits, and engage outside experts to conduct regular security assessments. We specifically built a full-time team, known as Project Zero, that aims to prevent targeted attacks by reporting bugs to software vendors and filing them in an external database.

The security team also takes part in research and outreach activities to protect the wider community of Internet users, beyond just those who choose Google solutions. Some examples of this research would be the discovery of the POODLE SSL 3.0 exploit and cipher suite weaknesses. The security team also publishes security research papers, available to the public. The security team also organizes and participates in open-source projects and academic conferences.

Our dedicated privacy team

The Google Privacy team operates independently from product development and security organizations, but participates in every Google product launch. The team reviews design documentation and code audits to ensure that privacy requirements are followed. The Privacy team has built a set of automated monitoring tools to help ensure that products with Customer Data operate as designed and in accordance with our privacy policy. They help release products that reflect strong privacy standards: transparent collection of user data and providing users and administrators with meaningful privacy configuration options, while continuing to be good stewards of any information stored on our platform. After products launch, the privacy team oversees automated processes that audit data traffic to verify appropriate data usage. In addition, the privacy team conducts research providing thought leadership on privacy best practices for our emerging technologies.

Internal audit and compliance specialists

Google has a dedicated internal audit team that reviews compliance with security laws and regulations around the world. As new auditing standards are created, the internal audit team determines what controls, processes, and systems are needed to meet them. This team facilitates and supports independent audits and assessments by third parties.

Collaboration with the security research community

Google has long enjoyed a close relationship with the security research community, and we greatly value their help identifying vulnerabilities in Google Apps and other Google products. Our Vulnerability Reward Program encourages researchers to report design and implementation issues that may put customer data at risk, offering rewards in the tens of thousands of dollars. In Chrome, for instance, we warn users against malware and phishing, and offer rewards for finding security bugs. Due to our collaboration with the research community, we’ve squashed more than 700 Chrome security bugs and have rewarded more than $1.25 million — more than $2 million has been awarded across Google’s various vulnerability rewards programs. We publicly thank these individuals and list them as contributors to our products and services.

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