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Google uses verified logos to reduce phishing in Gmail

Google will try out a new security feature in Gmail that shows a brand’s logo as an avatar to help you know that an email is genuine, the company has announced. The functionality uses the Brand indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standard, whose working group Google joined last year, and will be tested with a limited number of senders in the coming weeks.

According to Google, authentication with BIMI can give recipients more confidence in the source of an email, which scammers try to hide to get people to click on malicious links and / or provide their personal information in a phishing attack. Google will use BIMI in conjunction with another technology, DMARC, which tries to prevent scammers from falsifying an email’s ‘from’ address as if it were from a legitimate source.

As Engadget notes, the technology is similar to verified badges that social networks use for official celebrities and brand accounts. Google says it uses two certification authorities to validate who owns a particular logo: Entrust Datacard and DigiCert. Google expects to make BIMI more widely available to brands in the coming months.

In addition to the BIMI trial, Google has also announced numerous other security measures for its video conferencing, chat and business software:

  • Google Meet gets new controls to secure meetings. Uninvited guests should no longer try to “ knock ” and re-join a meeting after being kicked out, nor can users be asked to join a meeting after being denied multiple times. Hosts also get new security checks to determine who and how people can participate in meetings, and whether they can chat and present once they log in.
  • Links sent via Chat will be flagged if Google thinks they are malicious, and it also plans to introduce Chatroom reporting and blocking tools.
  • G Suite administrators get new and redesigned controls for all of their services. Included are tools to make it easier to prevent certain apps from accessing G Suite data, manage company-owned Apple iOS devices, and new tools to prevent data loss.

To learn more about Google’s new security features in G Suite, visit Google’s full blog post.