Google announces new security features for ChromeOS, including system-wide webcam and microphone toggles

Google has announced a suite of new security measures coming to ChromeOS later this year. The platform is quickly catching up to Windows and MacOS in terms of features, if not full capability.

Google has announced a suite of new security measures coming to ChromeOS later this year. The platform is quickly catching up to Windows and MacOS in terms of features, if not full capability. The new measures are designed to provide more options for both standard users and system administrators.

One particular highlight of the announcement is the ability to manually turn off access to the webcam and microphone on a laptop or tablet for all apps, right in the main Settings menu. Currently, ChromeOS treats camera and mic access on a site-by-site and app-by-app basis. This system-wide toggle would override settings for individual websites and provide “extra confidence in staying on mute,” according to Google Cloud’s blog post. An exact timeframe for the feature to hit current ChromeOS devices was not provided.

The rest of the security features announced are more corporate-focused. Chrome Enterprise customers will now allow admins to monitor Chromebooks and other hardware with Crowstrike Falcon Insight XDR, a unified risk assessment and response platform. This feature enables monitoring of USB activity, logins, and use of the common Chrome Remote Desktop tool.

In addition, new integrations with Azure, Netskipe Intelligent SSE, and Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps will allow conditional directory access, enabling greater security for enterprise customers.

Google’s push for greater security on ChromeOS reflects its growing importance in the enterprise market, where companies increasingly need secure devices for remote work. With these new measures, Google is aiming to provide users and admins with more options to manage security on the platform.

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