Google has added a range of email security packages to Google Apps, offering message filtering, encryption, discovery and archiving services.
The new security services work with any email system, including Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise, and range from £1.50 to £12.50 per user per year.
"As threats rise in volume and complexity, and compliance requirements pile up, IT is struggling to find the resources to keep up," said Scott Petry, director of product management at Google.
"Organisations of all shapes and sizes can now get access to Google's industry leading security and compliance technologies."
The new services come in three basic packages. Google Message Filtering blocks incoming spam and malware for £1.50 per user per year. It is aimed at companies wanting to shift the burden away from on-premise resources.
Google Message Security provides enhanced virus detection, outbound processing, and content policy management for £6 per user per year.
The top-tier Google Message Discovery includes all the previous functionality and offers message data archiving, retention and discovery.
Google Message Discovery is designed for companies seeking to reduce security exposure, and improve legal discovery readiness and message compliance. It costs £12.50 per user per year for 12 months of archived data.
The analyst added that they might well be another "nail in the coffin for other software-as-a-service providers".
However, Howarth also warned that the discovery services could raise legal issues in some countries in Europe.
Google has acknowledged these concerns and said that it could get around these problems through agreements with workers' councils. But this may not be an option for small businesses.
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