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Google desktop in the Coorporate environment

Hi,
I would like to know the security risks of Google desktop in a coorporate environemt. If you have a software policy running, do we need to install this software at user's computer's if they found its useful to their work? Whats google's support policy on their google desktop?

I would like to have a note from IT manager's or IT auditors who deal with policies and securities.

Thanks
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Basheerpt
Asked:
Basheerpt
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2 Solutions
 
rhandelsCommented:
Hi,

I'm not an IT manager, but i do know that we have some issues with Google Desktop.. First off, you need to be a local admin to get the software installed, so if your users are not, you are at least safe that they can;t install it themselves.. Second, to the best of my knowledge, Google has no support policy whatsoever on google desktop, because it is freeware, nothing more nothing less..

From a technical point of view we don;t want users to have it (unfortenately we have to much local admins) because it slows down performance of the machine. I actually stoppen arguing with users about a slow machine..
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souquetbressandCommented:
rhandels basically said it best.  The fewer erroneous programs you have to manage the better.  The support is minimal from Google.  That being said, if they find it useful and you're willing to deal with the possible ramifications (i.e. conflicts, resource hogging) it may be worth it.  What you really have to evaluate is whether or not it makes THAT big of a difference in their workflow or if the program is simply a convenience.  

Personally I say no to Google Desktop.
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BasheerptAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments. rhandels, ofcourse the users have no administrative privileges in their system. But user wanted to get this installed by technical support, as they claim that it will help their work. In their point of view it may be true that it will help the work, but as a technicl support provider, i am concerened of the security of my corporate.

How do you deal such cases? Biggest companies, do they allow users to install such programs? I would like to have any general best practice approaches on these kind of freeware requests.

Thank you again.
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souquetbressandCommented:
I have worked for both state government and a very well known, very large bank.  In those environments this type of software is strictly prohibited as managing that software becomes quite a boon on resources.  Not only do you inherit additional risk, you have to deal with updates, system changes, configurations etc.  

In the environments I described above we had a common theme: Nothing will be installed unless it caused an explicit and quantifiable increase in productivity.  Our idea in managing the network was to keep it as tightly regulated as possible to ensure integrity of the system as a whole.  Most end users don't understand the difference between malware, freeware, shareware and simple wastes of space.  

We had multiple instances where permissions weren't tightly locked down on new systems and end users installed "Smiley" programs which were resources hogs and adware.  So the best practice, based on my experience, is to say no to freeware programs unless they give you the advantage I described above.

Does that help?
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BasheerptAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the detailed explanation. your claim is reasonable. Here my question is, who will define the importance of the software in the corporate? The users may always claim anything will be useful whatever they like to get installed and they will have approval from their head in moments! So, who is the decision maker here to judge 'this' software will increase the employee's productivity? I am about to finalize this topic.

Thanks again.
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souquetbressandCommented:
The real onus falls on the managers of those employees to understand their processes and procedures well enough to make that determination.  If they do understand to a reasonable level what is required of the employee, and the employee can make a reasonable case to indicate the software is useful then the consideration definitely has to be made to install the software at that point.  

This should all be a specific defined process to make sure that employees aren't just installing programs they THINK they need, when in actuality the functionality they're looking for may be built into the OS or when there may be a better alternative to what they're trying to get installed.
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souquetbressandCommented:
I should add that the final word for installation should result from a collaboration between IT management and Operations management.
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rhandelsCommented:
My general idea of how it works is this (i worked for several large companies) The business companies said aboslutely no to any kind of freeware program, the govenrmental companies unfortenatly accepts these applications...

In general i'd always say no to freeware applications because of the security risks they have and the non support. If the application has issues, you are the one that is responsible for it. Also, if they have 1 program you'll get this neverending discussion with users about all freeware applications. Google desktop is trustworthy enough, but what about all the other freeware applications users will be asking for?



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BasheerptAuthor Commented:
Thanks dears. I appreciate your inputs. :)
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BasheerptAuthor Commented:
I want to accept multiple solution but it doesnt allow me.
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rhandelsCommented:
LOL, looks like they are using freeware :) :)
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BasheerptAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot for your comments.
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