Google announced today that it is expanding the capabilities of its Advanced Protection Program (APP) to provide users with protection against malware across the internet. The program was first launched in 2017 with the goal of securing a user's personal Google account from cyber attacks.
To get started with APP's new protection feature, users will need to turn on sync in Chrome and then they will start receiving warnings when attempting to download potentially risky files from the web. In some cases, the system will block any file found to contain malware.
APP is primarily designed to provide protection to users with higher exposure to cyber attacks such as journalists, activists, politicians, and business leaders. Initially, it only did so by requiring a physical security key in addition to two-factor authentication when signing in to your Gmail account. However, Google notes that attackers are changing their tactics:
"Advanced Protection users already benefit from malware protections beyond Gmail's standard, industry-leading safeguards. As a result, attackers are shifting their strategies to threaten Advanced Protection users outside of email with linked malware and 'drive-by downloads' where users unknowingly download harmful software onto their devices."
The program's latest protections aim to address web-based malware attacks. Google also recently expanded APP's protections to G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, and Cloud Identity users.