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Managing the Google threat

Babak Pasdar | July 25, 2012
Search Engines in general and Google in particular know a lot about everyone.


Processes for managing the Google threat can incorporate one or more of these elements:

Google Service Identification - To identify all individual Google services and applications that are being used by organizational users. Furthermore, this could also offer insight into the content, including documents, leaked to Google intentionally or inadvertently.

Google Service Control and Blocking - Once Google services and the extent of their use have been identified, the determination can be made to implement controls for certain services that are deemed intrusive or unnecessary, such as blocking Google Safe Browsing. Alternative, less intrusive and perhaps more effective alternatives can replace these. An organization may also choose to automatically redirect users to alternative services if they select an undesirable Google service to simplify user transition.

Anonymization and Obfuscation - As is the case with all organizations, there are certain services that are deemed necessary such as Google Search. In these instances the user queries are anonymized through anonymizers. And obfuscation will eliminate the "The Search Bubble" (when Google delivers searches, based on your profile) is circumvented through eliminating the Google User ID (GUID) assigned to all users via cookies. Finally, user traffic to Google is further obfuscated through generation of random traffic to render its behavioral data invalid.

A combination of technologies and processes offers the needed visibility, control, mitigation and anonymization to prevent Google from gaining an insight that Blackhat SEOs can leverage to identify vulnerabilities or confidential business direction. By understanding the extent to which Google touches your organization, and by eliminating unwanted access and insight into your environment along with obfuscation of permitted functions, your organization can gain and retain full functionality while benefiting from the control you need.

Babak Pasdar is President and CEO of Bat Blue Networks.


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