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Introducing stronger default Org Policies for our customers

Google Cloud strives to make good security outcomes easier for customers to achieve. As part of this continued effort, we are releasing an updated and stronger set of security defaults that are automatically implemented for new customers.

Google Cloud customers with a verified domain receive an organization resource, which is used as the root of the resource hierarchy and to provide scalable controls to your cloud environment through the use of the Organization Policy Service.

With the release of secure-by-default organization resources, potentially insecure postures and outcomes are addressed with a bundle of organization policies that are enforced as soon as a new organization resource is created. Existing organization resources are not impacted by this change. These changes are part of the ongoing efforts to make it easier for customers to start with security best practices from the beginning of their cloud adoption.

How stronger defaults can help keep environments more secure

The organization policies we enforce broadly span Identity and Access Management, Storage, and Essential Contacts.

Identity and Access Management constraints
Changes to default organization policy constraints for IAM enforce additional security policies for service accounts and restricting domain sharing. These constraints include:

Disable service account key creation (iam.disableServiceAccountKeyCreation) – Prevent users from creating persistent keys for service accounts to decrease the risk of exposed service account credentials. Most scenarios can authenticate with a more secure alternative to service account keys. Instead of allowing unqualified use of service account keys, choose the right authentication method for your use case, and allow an exception to use service account keys only for scenarios that cannot use any of the more secure alternatives.Disable Automatic IAM Grants for Default Service Accounts (iam.automaticIamGrantsForDefaultServiceAccounts) – Prevent default service accounts from receiving the overly-permissive IAM role “Editor” at creation. Services built on top of Google Compute Engine, including managed services like Dataproc, Dataflow, and Google Kubernetes Engine, also rely on the default compute service account. Instead of relying on the default service account and Editor role, we recommend that you specify dedicated service accounts for each application and grant it the minimum IAM roles required to do the necessary tasks. For more information, see best practices for using service accounts.Disable Service Account Key Upload (iam.disableServiceAccountKeyUpload) – Avoid the risk of leaked and reused key material with service account keys.Domain restricted sharing (iam.allowedPolicyMemberDomains) – Limit IAM policies to only allow managed user identities in customer selected domain(s) to access resources inside their organization.

Storage constraint
The new default organization policy constraint for storage enforces uniform bucket-level access (storage.uniformBucketLevelAccess). This constraint prevents Cloud Storage buckets from using per-object ACLs (a separate system from IAM policies) to provide access, enforcing consistency for access management and auditing.

Essential Contacts constraint
The new default policy constraint for Essential Contacts limits contacts to only allow managed user identities in customer selected domain(s) to receive platform notifications (essentialcontacts.allowedContactDomains). This constraint helps ensure that important notifications from the platform can only be sent to users in selected domain(s).

Modify default organization policies

You might choose to modify or disable these security settings enforced by default organization policies. For example, you might have a workload that can only authenticate with service account keys and cannot use any of the more secure authentication methods. In this case, we recommend that you modify the policy as narrowly as possible to grant an exception to the relevant projects.

For guidance to modify the default organization policies, see manage enforcement of organization policies.

Getting started with Organization Policy Service

These default Organization Policy Service constraints can be a powerful and easy-to-use way for platform administrators to provide more secure access to cloud resources in a least privileged manner.

Moving forward we’ll continue to invest in strengthening default configurations, shifting from requiring customers to harden solutions, to providing documentation on how to adapt security as needed — there’s more to come in 2024. In the meantime, you can learn more about Organization Policy Service by reviewing these resources:

Introduction to the Organization Policy ServiceUnderstanding constraintsUnderstanding hierarchy evaluationCreating and managing organization policiesSetting an organization policy with tags

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