Skip to main content

Why is Google cutting web access for some of its workers?

Google is preventing some of its staff from using the internet at work, according to sources in contact with CNBC.

Having revolutionized the web with its powerful search engine before making vast sums of money off online ads, the idea of a company like Google preventing some of its own workers from accessing the internet may at first seem somewhat odd, but there is of course sound reasoning behind it.

The move is part of a pilot program geared toward bolstering the company’s defenses against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, according to CNBC.

Launched on Wednesday, the program involves select employees using desktop PCs without an internet connection, though access to internal tools like Google Drive will be allowed. Removing internet access from company machines stops bad actors from easily running arbitrary code remotely or nabbing data, an internal Google document reportedly said.

When the plan was first proposed, Google apparently made a list of 2,500 participants, but following feedback, some employees were given a chance to opt out while others were allowed to join. While this is only a small fraction of Google’s estimated global workforce of around 170,000 people, the company could expand the initiative if it proves effective.

Internal materials seen by CNBC revealed that “Googlers are frequent targets of attacks,” a situation that puts at risk large amounts of data and infrastructure code. A successful attack could lead to serious problems for the company, denting users’ faith in Google’s ability to competently handle security issues. But it’s not just regular users that Google has to reassure as it’s also going after lucrative government contracts.

In a statement, Google said: “Ensuring the safety of our products and users is one of our top priorities,” adding that it “routinely explores ways to strengthen our internal systems against malicious attacks.”

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Chrome has a security problem — here’s how Google is fixing it
Google Chrome icon in mac dock.

Google is looking to get ahead of high-severity vulnerabilities on its Chrome browser by shortening the time between security updates.

The brand hopes that more frequent updates will give bad actors less time to access and exploit n-day and zero-day flaws found within Chrome browser code.

Read more
Google is creating ‘internet surveillance DRM,’ critics say
Google Drive in Chrome on a MacBook.

Google is working on a system to fight fraud and make the internet “more private and safe,” but it’s just come in for some blistering criticism from software engineers behind the Vivaldi web browser. According to them, it’s a “dangerous” idea that could lead to greater surveillance of ordinary people.

The subject of this kerfuffle is Google’s Web Environment Integrity project, or WEI. Its purpose, Google says, is to stymy bad actors by providing a piece of code on a website that can be checked with a trusted attestor (such as Google) to ensure the visitor is who they say they are. That could prevent cheating in games, for example, or ensure that ads are being properly served to readers.

Read more
Best Buy Prime Day gaming laptop deals: MSI, Asus and more
Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.

With the savings that you can pocket from this year's Prime Day deals, now's an excellent time to purchase a new gaming laptop. These machines don't come cheap, but there are discounts galore from the event's Prime Day gaming laptop deals. Amazon isn't only the source of bargains though, as other retailers are trying to cash in on the online shopping frenzy. We've rounded up our favorite Best Buy Prime Day gaming laptop deals to show you, while also providing advice on how you can narrow down your choices among all of these amazing offers.
Our favorite Best Buy Prime Day gaming laptop deals

There's no shortage of options from this year's Best Buy Prime Day gaming laptop deals, but to help you make a decision before stocks run out, we've gathered the bargains worth buying below. Whether you're on the hunt for a budget-friendly device or you want a future-proof gaming laptop, there's something for you here. You're going to have to hurry though, as the more popular models among the offers we picked are probably already close to selling out.

Read more