Gartner Warns Firms On Google Desktop

    February 20, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The research company thinks that corporations should utilize the Enterprise version of Google Desktop if they permit the product in their operations.

The Search Across Computers function of Google Desktop 3 Beta poses a risk to companies with its ability to share information across PCs via an index on Google’s Desktop-dedicated servers, Gartner noted in a research note about Google’s latest version of the Desktop product.

If a business permits Google Desktop on its machines, users who are not “technically adept” may inadvertently share documents that should not be available outside of the enterprise. That could be bad news for companies under regulatory requirements to keep certain data secure.

At issue is Google’s practice of hosting an index of desktop content on a subset of its servers, which Gartner analyst Whit Andrews summarized:

Google will store an index copy of information intended to be shared on its servers for up to 30 days. Google promises that this information will be encrypted and accessible only to a small set of Google employees, who will not peruse it. Nevertheless, Gartner believes that its mere transport outside the enterprise will represent an unacceptable security risk to many enterprises.

In Gartner’s estimation, the prudent business should either use the Enterprise version of Google Desktop and restrict its use accordingly, or choose a similar product and make it the supported standard for the company.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.