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Celebrating 19 Years of Gmail with New Knowledge Bases for Google Workspace Customers

Google customers now have access to two new Abnormal Knowledge Bases: PeopleBase and TenantBase to increase security visibility across the cloud email platform.
April 3, 2023

A little over 19 years ago to the day (April 1, 2004), Google unveiled its free webmail service in a press release that was largely met with quizzical expressions. Why April 1st? Was it an April Fool’s joke? Are they really granting users 1GB of storage? That’s double what the best competitor was offering at the time.

In April 2023, we’re looking at more than 1.5 billion active users, and it’s safe to say no skepticism remains. Gmail has become a ubiquitous platform for personal email and the foundation of Google Workspace, which debuted a couple of years after Gmail’s initial release and now boasts more than 8 million paying customers.

Thanks to its success, Gmail now plays a leading role in the conversation around email security. The rise of cloud-based email platforms has been met with a rise in cloud-based email attacks, putting tremendous pressure on Google to protect its users from malicious actors–a challenge Google has met head-on. Advances in Gmail’s native security capabilities are exemplary. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that Google Workspace’s security can just about match the threat detection offered by many secure email gateways (SEGs). However, the threat landscape is complex and advanced threats are constantly moving targets.

Enhancing Built-in Gmail Security to Stop Advanced Attacks

Many of Abnormal’s customers are Google Workspace users who sought out an additional technology to help detect and remediate email threats that were slipping by native security capabilities. Those attacks bypassing traditional defenses are, understandably, difficult to detect. Attackers are more creative than ever, often skipping typically scrutinized tactics like attachments or links and focusing entirely on the text-based content of an email. And unless an email has a link or an attachment, Gmail’s own security (or that of any cloud email provider, to be fair) would be hard-pressed to catch it.

Business email compromise (BEC) is an attack type that we often hear prospects express concern about. These attacks can be difficult to spot, which is worrying since they’re quite common. Data breaches resulting from business email compromise (BEC) cost businesses an average of $4.89 million in 2022, according to IBM. These breaches also saw a mean time of 308 days to identify and contain, which means that not only are BEC attacks impactful, but they’re also not caught nearly fast enough to mitigate impact.

Advanced attacks require more advanced detection. Abnormal’s behavioral AI security platform can be deployed alongside Google Workspace to stay on top of more sophisticated threats, including BEC, account takeover, and supply chain fraud. It also provides much-needed visibility into the email platform itself–shedding light on entry and exit points that can be traditionally difficult to see.

Better Visibility with Abnormal Knowledge Bases

An important observation we’ve made over the past few years working with businesses of all sizes is that security ecosystem complexity is a growing headache. More and more security teams cite it as a hindrance to effective security, and this increased complexity isn’t being met with an increase in manpower. The cybersecurity talent shortage has forced roughly 76% of security professionals to take on responsibilities they didn’t feel ready for. And, to add fuel to the fire, they’re often trying to fortress their house in the dark, with insufficient visibility into the people, tools, and systems in their environment.

Abnormal’s Knowledge Bases–a set of capabilities built into the Abnormal platform–are designed to give security teams a clear sightline to users, apps, vendors, and mail tenants, all of which are possible entry points for attackers who seek to infiltrate your email platform. Late last year, we debuted the Knowledge Bases for Microsoft 365 customers, and as of this month, two of our Bases–PeopleBase and TenantBase–are now available to our Google Workspace customers. Both PeopleBase and TenantBase are now available to our Google users in conjunction with the already-available VendorBase, which inventories the vendors that your organization collaborates with over email, tracks engagement activities, and assesses risk.

Google KB1

An employee profile showing an activity timeline and employee details within PeopleBase.

With our Knowledge Bases, security teams have visibility into high-impact and possibly high-risk users and identities across their cloud email platform. We consider this visibility fundamental to establishing a good security hygiene, which is why our Bases also play a central role in our Security Posture Management Add-On for Microsoft users. It’s difficult to defend against something you can’t see–and attackers count on this. Illuminating blindspots can give security teams the upper hand and better equip them to protect their organizations.

Want to learn more about how Abnormal can enhance Google Workspace’s built-in email security?

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