Let’s Talk About Google Talk

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With the announcement last week that Google is adding file transfer to Google Talk, I had some thoughts.  

1). Are there security challenges posed by the Google Talk news?

These challenges are similar to those we’ve seen with Windows Live, AIM, ICQ, Trillian, Skype and others, which all offer peer-to-peer mechanisms. But unlike these forums, Google – and Google Chat – deserve deeper scrutiny over the ubiquity and consumerization Google brings.

For example, it’s likely that Google Talk, and thus file transfer, will now be included within Google’s free productivity suite, Google Docs – which is frequently used as a means for flexible, faster business collaboration and file exchange

These security challenges aren’t necessarily new but Google’s business model of allowing deep integration between all of its services and technologies opens the door to higher risk, and the need for technologies to enforce policies – around privacy and data protection particularly – will grow.

2). Will Google Talk affect businesses? 

Most companies are unlikely leveraging Google Talk for enterprise instant messaging and voice over IP requirements. However, anyone among the millions of those with Google e-mail accounts gains instant access to Google Talk and Google Docs.

This means that collaborating becomes easier because the mechanisms for collaboration are built into services and technologies in which users are already pre-provisioned. Large, mission-critical files will continue to use established manage file transfer technologies. Furthermore, those that have been generated by software or services associated with Google WILL start to flow through peer-to-peer connections – like Google Chat. It feeds into the common, yet very risky, behavior of people doing whatever is the easiest way to maintain productivity.

If I’m creating a spreadsheet in Google Docs and I need to share with accounting theoretically I would be able to do that with one click. But businesses need to take a deer look into how policies get enforced – and how transfers are audited and regulated.

Do you agree?  Disagree?  Let me know your take on the Google Talk news.


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One Comment

  1. web2u
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    If we're talking about businesses, Google Apps is the key thing to consider – not Google Docs. Apps is their business (ie paid) version of Docs, but is more sewn up and much more robust. Oh and yes, already includes GTalk. http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/ind… .

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