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Google Apps Adds Mobile Security Tools

Google has added new mobile management features to Google Apps that let users wipe data from devices and perform other security tasks.

Google wipe

"In a world focused on improving business productivity, companies look to solutions like Google Apps to provide employees with seamless access to information regardless of location or device," Bryan Mawhinney, Google Mobile Software Engineer, wrote in a blog post. "With the rising adoption of Internet-enabled devices, employees increasingly seek access to their email, documents, and other corporate data from their mobile phone."

The new capabilities within Google Apps will let administrators remotely wipe all data from lost or stolen mobile devices; lock idle devices after a period of inactivity; require a device password on each phone; set minimum lengths for more secure passwords; and require passwords to include letters, numbers and punctuation.

Currently, the new management features are available to users of Google Apps Premier and Education Edition and will work on the Apple iPhone, Nokia E-Series smartphones and Microsoft Windows Mobile devices. Additional management features for Google Android is coming soon, Google said.

The mobile management updates boost Google Apps mobile functionality in the cloud. Google has already launched Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry users, versions of Gmail and Google Calendar and updated Google Docs for Android phones. Google also offers Google Sync for the iPhone, Nokia E-Series and Windows Mobile, which lets users of Google Apps, the search giant's cloud applications, sync mail, calendar and contacts from their mobile devices to the Google cloud.

The new management functions will let administrators manage the devices directly from the Google Apps administrative control panel without the need for additional software or the need to manage dedicated enterprise mobile servers, Google said.

Users can access the features from the "Mobile" tab under "Service Settings' in the Google Apps control panel. Once a user starts syncing their devices with Google Apps, the domain administrator will be able to remotely wipe device data from the user settings page.

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