Set up your key service for client-side encryption

Supported editions for this feature: Enterprise; Education Standard and Education Plus.  Compare your edition

To use Google Workspace Client-side encryption (CSE), you first need to set up one or more external key services. You can use one of Google's partners, listed below. Or, you can build your own key service using the Google Client-side Encryption API.

When you set up a key service, you'll also create your access control list (ACL)—that is, the users, groups, or domains that you want to have view and edit access to encrypted files.

About Google's key service partners

Google's key service partners provide tools that meet Google’s specifications for both key management and access control capabilities. Your partner holds the key to decode encrypted files, and Google can't access or decipher these files without this key.

You can choose from these partner services:

Set up your external key service with a partner

  1. Sign up with one of Google's partner encryption key services.
  2. Follow the key service's instructions to set up your encryption keys and key ACL.  

Your key service will give you a URL to access their service. You'll add this URL to your Admin console to connect Google Workspace to your external key service.

Warning: If you disable or destroy an encryption key used to encrypt files in Drive, Google Workspace apps can't decrypt those files. Without this key, users can't view, edit, download, or use those files in any way. Before using CSE, make sure you discuss with your external key service how to keep your keys safe, including backup and restore options. Also, make sure you plan any changes to your key service carefully to avoid disrupting users' services.

Next steps...

After you set up your external key service, you need to connect Google Workspace to the service.

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