A practical guide to securing Google Workspace for a startup


How we protect end-user devices

At Fleet, we believe that a good user experience empowers contributors.

We follow the guiding principles below to secure our company-owned devices:

  • Our devices should give contributors the freedom to work from anywhere.
  • To allow maximum freedom in where and how we work, we assume that “Safe” networks do not exist. Contributors should be able to work on a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi as if it were their home or work network.
  • To limit the impact on user experience, we do not dictate security configurations unless the security benefit is significant; only if it dramatically reduces risk for the company, customers, or open source users.
  • By using techniques such as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), code reviews, and more, we can further empower contributors to work comfortably from any location – on any network.

macOS devices

We use configuration profiles to standardize security settings for our Mac devices. We use CIS Benchmark for macOS 12, as our configuration baseline, and adapt it to:

  • Suit a remote team
  • Balance the need for productivity and security
  • Limit the impact on the daily use of our devices

Note: Details of your Mac’s configuration profile can be viewed anytime from the Profiles app under System Preferences.

Our policy, which applies to Fleet owned laptops purchased via Apple’s DEP (Device Enrollment Program), and which will retroactively be applied to every company owned Mac consists of:

Enabling automatic updates

# Setting
1.1 Ensure all Apple-provided software is current
1.2 Ensure auto update is enabled
1.4 Ensure installation of app updates is enabled
1.5 Ensure system data files and security updates are downloaded automatically is enabled
1.6 Ensure install of macOS updates is enabled

Note: the setting numbers included in the tables throughout this section are the recommended numbers from the CIS Benchmark for macOS12 document referenced above.


Keeping software up-to-date helps to improve the resilience of our Mac fleet. Software updates include security updates that fix vulnerabilities that could otherwise be exploited. Browsers, for example, are often exposed to untrusted code, have a significant attack surface, and are frequently attacked.

macOS includes malware protection tools such as Xprotect, which is antivirus technology based on YARA, and MRT (Malware Removal Tool), which is a tool built by Apple to remove common malware from systems that are infected.
By enabling these settings we:

  • Ensure the operating system is kept up to date.
  • Ensure XProtect and MRT are as up to date as possible.
  • Ensure that Safari is kept up to date.

This improves the resilience of our Mac fleet.

User experience impact

  • Updates are required, which can be disruptive. For this reason, we allow the user to postpone the installation 5 times.
  • Critical security updates are automatically downloaded, which could result in bandwidth use on slow or expensive links. For this reason, we limit automatic downloads to critical security updates only, while feature updates, that are typically larger, are downloaded at the time of installation selected by the user.
  • Enforced updates do not include major macOS releases (e.g., 11➡️12). Those updates are tracked and enforced separately, as the impact can be more significant. We require installation of the latest macOS version within 3 months of release, or when known vulnerabilities have remained unpatched on the older version.

Time and date

# Setting
2.2.1 Ensure “Set time and date automatically” is enabled


Accurate time is important for two main reasons:

  1. Authentication. Many authentication systems like Kerberos) and SAML require the time between clients and servers to be close. Keeping accurate time allows those protocols to prevent attacks that would leverage old authentication sessions.
  2. Logging. Performing troubleshooting or incident response is much easier when all the logs involved have close to perfectly synchronized timestamps.

User experience impact

  • Minimal. Inability to set the wrong time. Time zones remain user-configurable.


# Setting
5.2.2 Ensure password minimum length is configured (our minimum: 8 characters)
5.2.3 Ensure complex password must contain alphabetic characters is configured
5.8 Ensure a password is required to wake the computer from sleep or screen saver is enabled


This category of settings is special because there are more settings that we do not configure than ones we do.

We follow the CIS benchmark where it makes sense, and in this case, take guidance from NIST SP800-63B – Digital Identity Guidelines, especially Appendix A -Strength of Memorized Secrets.

  • We do NOT enforce special complexity beyond requiring letters to be in the password.

Length is the most important factor when determining a secure password; while enforcing password expiration, special characters and other restrictive patterns are not as effective as previously believed and provide little benefit at the cost of hurting the user experience.

  • We do NOT enforce extremely long passwords.

As we use recent Macs with T2 chips or Apple Silicon, brute-force attacks against the hardware are mitigated.

  • We DO require passwords to be a minimum of 8 characters long with letters.

Since we can’t eliminate the risk of passwords being cracked remotely, we require passwords to be a minimum of 8 characters long with letters, a length reasonably hard to crack over the network, and the minimum recommendation by SP800-63B.

User experience impact

  • A password is required to boot and unlock a laptop. Touch ID and Apple Watch unlock are allowed, and we recommend using a longer password combined with TouchID or Apple Watch to reduce password annoyances throughout the day.

Disabling various services

# Setting
2.4.2 Ensure internet sharing is disabled
2.4.4 Ensure printer sharing is disabled
2.4.10 Ensure content caching is disabled
2.4.12 Ensure media sharing is disabled
6.1.4 Ensure guest access to shared folders is disabled


  • Any service listening on a port expands the attack surface, especially when working on unsafe networks, to which we assume all laptops are connected.
  • Laptops with tunnels connecting to internal systems (TLS tunnel, SSH tunnel, VPN.) or multiple network interfaces could be turned into a bridge and exposed to an attack if internet sharing is enabled.
  • Guest access to shared data could lead to accidental exposure of confidential work files.

User experience impact

  • Inability to use the computer as a server to share internet access, printers, content caching of macOS and iOS updates, and streaming iTunes media to devices on the local network.
  • File shares require an account.

Encryption, Gatekeeper and firewall

# Setting Ensure FileVault is enabled Ensure Gatekeeper is enabled Ensure firewall is enabled Ensure firewall Stealth Mode is enabled
3.6 Ensure firewall logging is enabled and configured


  • Using FileVault protects the data on our laptops, including confidential data and session material (browser cookies), SSH keys, and more. Using FileVault ensures a lost laptop is a minor inconvenience and not an incident. We escrow the keys to be sure we can recover the data if needed.
  • Gatekeeper is a macOS feature that ensures users can safely open software on their Mac. With Gatekeeper enabled, users may execute only trustworthy apps (signed by the software developer and/or checked for malicious software by Apple). This is a useful first line of defense to have.
  • Using the firewall will ensure that we limit the exposure to our devices, while Stealth mode makes them more difficult to discover.
  • Firewall logging allows us to troubleshoot and investigate whether the firewall blocks applications or connections.

User experience impact

  • Due to FileVault’s encryption process, a password is needed as soon as the laptop is turned on, instead of once it has booted.
  • No performance impact – macOS encrypts the system drive by default.
  • With Gatekeeper enabled, unsigned or unnotarized (not checked for malware by Apple) applications require extra steps to execute.
  • With the firewall enabled, unsigned applications cannot open a firewall port for inbound connections.

Screen saver and automatic locking

# Setting
2.3.1 Ensure an inactivity interval of 20 minutes or less for the screen saver is enabled
6.1.2 Ensure show password hint is disabled
6.1.3 Ensure guest account is disabled
NA Prevent the use of automatic logon


  • Fleet contributors are free to work from wherever they choose. If a laptop is lost or forgotten, automatic login exposes sensitive company data and poses a critical security risk.
  • Password hints can sometimes be easier to guess than the password itself. Since we support contributors remotely via MDM and do not require users to change passwords frequently, we eliminate the need for passwords hints and their associated risk.
  • Since company laptops are issued primarily for work, and tied to a single contributor’s identity, guest accounts are not permitted.
  • Automatic logon would defeat the purpose of even requiring passwords to unlock computers.

User experience impact

  • Laptops lock after 20 minutes of inactivity. To voluntarily pause this, a hot corner can be configured to disable the screen saver. This is useful if you are, for example, watching an online meeting without moving the mouse and want to be sure the laptop will not lock.
  • Forgotten passwords can be fixed via MDM, instead of relying on potentially dangerous hints.
  • Guest accounts are not available.


We do not apply ultra restrictive Data Loss Prevention style policies to our devices. Instead, by using our company Google Drive, we ensure that the most critical company data never reaches our laptops, so it can remain secure, while our laptops can remain productive.

# Setting Ensure iCloud Drive Documents and Desktop sync is disabled


  • We do not use managed Apple IDs, and allow contributors to use their own iCloud accounts. We disable iCloud Documents and Desktop sync to avoid accidental copying of data to iCloud, but we do allow iCloud drive.

User experience impact

  • iCloud remains allowed, but the Desktop and Documents folders will not be synchronized. Ensure you put your documents in our Google Drive, so you do not lose them if your laptop has an issue.

Miscellaneous security settings

# Setting
2.5.6 Ensure limit ad tracking is enabled
2.10 Ensure secure keyboard entry Terminal.app is enabled
5.1.4 Ensure library validation is enabled
6.3 Ensure automatic opening of safe files in Safari is disabled


  • Limiting ad tracking has privacy benefits, and no downside.
  • Protecting keyboard entry into Terminal.app could prevent malicious applications or non-malicious but inappropriate applications from receiving passwords.
  • Library validation ensures that an attacker can’t trick applications into loading a software library in a different location, leaving it open to abuse.
  • Safari opening files automatically can lead to negative scenarios where files are downloaded and automatically opened in another application. Though the setting relates to files deemed “safe”, it includes PDFs and other file formats where malicious documents exploiting vulnerabilities have been seen before.

User experience impact

  • There is minimal to no user experience impact for these settings. However, applications used to create custom keyboard macros will not receive keystrokes when Terminal.app is the active application window.

Enforce DNS-over-HTTPs (DoH)


  • We assume that no network is “safe.” Therefore, DNS queries could be exposed and leak private data. An attacker on the same wireless network could see DNS queries, determine who your employer is, or even intercept them and respond with malicious answers. Using DoH protects the DNS queries from eavesdropping and tampering.
  • We use Cloudflare’s DoH servers with basic malware blocking. No censorship should be applied on these servers, except towards destinations known as malware related.

User experience impact

  • Some misconfigured “captive portals”, typically used in hotels and airports, might be unusable with DoH due to how they are configured. This can be worked around by using the hotspot on your phone, and if you really have to use this network for an extended period of time, there are usually workarounds that can be performed to connect to them. Navigating to often resolves the issue.
  • If you are trying to reach a site, and you believe it is being blocked accidentally, please submit it to Cloudflare. This should be extremely rare. If it is not, please let the security team know.
  • If your ISP’s DNS service goes down, you’ll be able to continue working 😎

Note: If you from another organization, reading this to help create your own configuration, remember that implementing DoH in an office environment where other network controls are in place has different downsides than doing it for a remote company. In those cases, disabling DoH makes more sense, so network controls can retain visibility. Please evaluate your situation before implementing any of our recommendations at your organization, especially DoH.

Deploy osquery

# Setting
NA Deploy osquery pointed to our dogfood instance


We use osquery and Fleet to monitor our own devices. This is used for vulnerability detection, security posture tracking, and can be used for incident response when necessary.

Chrome configuration

We configure Chrome on company-owned devices with a basic policy.

Enforce Chrome updates and Chrome restart within 48 hours
Block intrusive ads
uBlock Origin ad blocker extension deployed
Password manager extension deployed
Chrome Endpoint Verification extension deployed


  • Browsers have a large attack surface, and their updates contain critical security updates.

User experience impact

  • Chrome needs to be restarted within 48 hours of patches being installed. The automatic restart happens after 19: 00 and before 6: 00 if the computer is running, and tabs are restored (except for incognito tabs).
  • Ads considered intrusive are blocked.
  • uBlock Origin is enabled by default, and is 100% configurable, improving security and performance of browsing.
  • Endpoint Verification is used to make access decisions based on the security posture of the device. For example, an outdated Mac could be prevented access to Google Drive.

Personal mobile devices

The use of personal devices is allowed for some applications, as long as the iOS or Android device is kept up to date.

Google Workspace security

Google Workspace is our collaboration tool and the source of truth for our user identities.
A Google Workspace account has access to email, calendar, files, and external applications integrated with Google Authentication or SAML.
At the same time, third-party applications installed by users can access the same data.

To reduce the risk of malicious or vulnerable apps being used to steal data, we configure Google Workspace beyond the default settings. Our current configuration balances security and productivity and is a starting point for any organization looking to improve the security of Google Workspace.

As Google frequently adds new features, feel free to submit a PR to edit this file if you discover a new one that we should use!


We cannot overstate the importance of securing authentication, especially in a platform that includes email and is used as a directory to log in to multiple applications.

2-Step Verification

Google’s name for Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is 2-Step Verification (2-SV). No matter what we call it, it is the most critical feature to protect user accounts on Google Workspace or any other system.

2FA Authentication methods from least to most secure Weaknesses
No 2FA Credential theft is easy, and passwords are often leaked or easy to guess.
SMS/Phone-based 2FA Puts trust in the phone number itself, which attackers can hijack by social engineering phone companies.
Time-based one-time password (TOTP – Google Authenticator type 6 digit codes) Phishable as long as the attacker uses it within its short lifetime by intercepting the login form.
App-based push notifications Harder to phish than TOTP, but by sending a lot of prompts to a phone, a user might accidentally accept a nefarious notification.
Hardware security keys Most secure, but requires extra hardware or a recent smartphone.

2-Step Verification in Google Workspace

We apply the following settings to Security/2-Step Verification to all users as the minimum baseline.

Setting name Value
Allow users to turn on 2-Step Verification On
Enforcement On
New user enrollment period 1 week
Frequency: Allow user to trust the device Off
Methods Any except verification codes via text, phone call

Hardware security keys

We strongly recommend providing users with hardware security keys. Titan Keys from Google are compatible with laptops, iPad Pros, iPhones (NFC), and Android phones (NFC or USB-C). The YubiKey 5C NFC is also compatible and includes extra features like support for OpenPGP and additional protocols. It is also possible to use a phone as a security key.

Specific groups of users, such as privileged user accounts, separate from regular day-to-day accounts, should be configured with a policy that enforces the use of hardware security keys, which prevent credential theft better than other methods of 2FA/2-SV.


As we enforce the use of 2-SV, passwords are less critical to the security of our accounts. We base our settings on NIST 800-63B.

Enforcing 2FA is a much more valuable control than enforcing the expiration of passwords, which usually results in users changing only a small portion of the password and following predictable patterns.

We apply the following settings to Security/Password management to all users as the minimum baseline.

Setting name Value
Enforce strong password Enabled
Length 8-100
Strength and length enforcement/enforce password policy at next sign-in Enabled
Allow password reuse Disabled
Expiration Never expires

We also configure Password Alert to warn users of password re-use. See How we protect end-user devices.

Account recovery

Self-service account recovery is a feature we do not need, as we have enough Google administrators to support Fleet employees. As we secure accounts beyond the security level of most personal email accounts, it would not be logical to trust those personal accounts for recovery.

We apply the following settings to Security/Account Recovery to all users as the minimum baseline.

Setting name Value
Allow super admins to recover their account Off
Allow users and non-super admins to recover their account Off

First, we ensure we have a handful of administrators. Then, by not requiring password expiration, the number of issues related to passwords is reduced. Lastly, we can support locked-out users manually as the volume of issues is minimal.

Less secure apps

Less secure apps use legacy protocols that do not support secure authentication methods. We disable them, and as they are becoming rare, we have not noticed any issues from this setting.

We apply the following settings to Security/Less Secure Apps to all users as the minimum baseline.

Setting name Value
Control user access to apps that use less secure sign-in technology and make accounts more vulnerable. Disable access to less secure apps (Recommended)

API Access

Google Workspace makes it easy for users to add tools to their workflows, while having these tools authenticate to their Google applications and data via OAuth. We mark all Google services as restricted but do allow the use of OAuth for simple authentication and the use of less dangerous privileges on Gmail and Drive. We then approve applications that require more privileges on a case-by-case basis.

This level of security allows users to authenticate to web applications with their Google account. This exposes little information beyond what they would provide in a form to create an account and it protects confidential data while keeping everything managed.

To get an application added to Fleet’s Google Workspace security configuration, create an issue assigned to the security team in this repository.

We mark every Google Service as restricted and recommend that anyone using Google Workspace mark at least the following as restricted in Security/API Control/Google Services:

  • Google Drive
  • Gmail
  • Calendar (Invites include sensitive info such as external participants, attachments, links to meetings, etc.)
  • Google Workspace Admin

When marked as trusted applications that need access to data in our Google Workspace.

Rules and alerts

Google provides many useful built-in alerts in Security/Rules. We enable most and tweak their severity levels as needed. When necessary, we visit the Alert Center to investigate and close alerts.

We have also created the following custom alerts.

Alert On Created on Purpose Notification
Out of domain email forwarding Login audit log, filtered on event Attackers in control of an email account often configure forwarding as a way to establish persistence. Alert Center + Email
2-step Verification disable Login audit log, filtered on event Though we enforce 2-SV, if we accidentally allowed removing it, we want to know as soon as someone does so. Alert Center + Email
2-step Verification Scratch Codes Generated Admin audit log, filtered on event Scratch codes can be used to bypass 2-SV. An attacker with elevated privileges could leverage this to log in as a user. Alert Center + Email
Change Allowed 2-step Verification Methods Admin audit log, filtered on event We want to detect accidental or malicious downgrades of 2-SV configuration. Alert Center + Email
Change 2-Step Verification Start Date Admin audit log, filtered on event We want to detect accidental or malicious “downgrades” of 2-SV configuration. Alert Center + Email
Alert Deletion Admin audit log, filtered on event For alerts to be a reliable control, we need to alert on alerts being disabled or changed. Alert Center + Email
Alert Criteria Change Admin audit log, filtered on event For alerts to be a reliable control, we need to alert on alerts being disabled or changed. Alert Center + Email
Alert Receivers Change Admin audit log, filtered on event For alerts to be a reliable control, we need to alert on alerts being disabled or changed. Alert Center + Email
Dangerous download warning Chrome audit log, filtered on event As we roll out more Chrome security features, we want to track the things getting blocked so we can evaluate the usefulness of the feature and potential false positives. Alert Center
Malware transfer Chrome audit log, filtered on event As we roll out more Chrome security features, we want to track the things getting blocked so we can evaluate the usefulness of the feature and potential false positives. Alert Center
Password reuse Chrome audit log, filtered on event As we roll out more Chrome security features, we want to track the things getting blocked so we can evaluate the usefulness of the feature and potential false positives Alert Center


Email authentication

Email authentication makes it harder for other senders to pretend to be from Fleet. This improves trust in emails from fleetdm.com and makes it more difficult for anyone attempting to impersonate Fleet.

We authenticate email with DKIM and have a DMARC policy to define how our outgoing email should be defined.

The DKIM configuration under Apps/Google Workspace/Settings for Gmail/Authenticate Email simply consists of generating the key, publishing it to DNS, then enabling the feature 48 hours later.

DMARC is configured separately, at the DNS level, once DKIM is enforced.

Email security

Google Workspace includes multiple options in Apps/Google Workspace/Settings for Gmail/Safety that relate to how inbound email is handled.

As email is one of the main vectors used by attackers, we ensure we protect it as much as possible. Attachments are frequently used to send malware. We apply the following settings to block common tactics.

Category Setting name Value Action Note
Attachments Protect against encrypted attachments from untrusted senders Enabled Quarantine
Attachments Protect against attachments with scripts from untrusted senders Enabled Quarantine
Attachments Protect against anomalous attachment types in emails Enabled Quarantine
Attachments Whitelist (Google’s term for allow-list) the following uncommon filetypes Empty
Attachments Apply future recommended settings automatically On
IMAP View time protections Enable IMAP link protection On
Links and external images Identify links behind shortened URLs On
Links and external images Scan linked images On
Links and external images Show warning prompt for any click on links to untrusted domains On
Links and external images Apply future recommended settings automatically On
Spoofing and authentication Protect against domain spoofing based on similar domain names On Keep email in inbox and show warning
Spoofing and authentication Protect against spoofing of employee names On Keep email in inbox and show warning
Spoofing and authentication Protect against inbound emails spoofing your domain On Quarantine
Spoofing and authentication Protect against any unauthenticated emails On Keep email in inbox and show warning
Spoofing and authentication Protect your Groups from inbound emails spoofing your domain On Quarantine
Spoofing and authentication Apply future recommended settings automatically On
Manage quarantines Notify periodically when messages are quarantine On

We enable Apply future recommended settings automatically to ensure we are secure by default. We would prefer to adjust this after seeing emails quarantined accidentally rather than missing out on new security features for email security.

End-user access

We recommend using the Gmail web interface on computers and the Gmail app on mobile devices. The user interface on the official applications includes security information that is not visible in standard mail clients (e.g., Mail on macOS). We do allow a few of them at the moment for specific workflows.

Category Setting name Value Note
POP and IMAP access Enable IMAP access for all users Restrict which mail clients users can use (OAuth mail clients only)
Clients (450232826690-0rm6bs9d2fps9tifvk2oodh3tasd7vl7.apps.googleusercontent.com, 946018238758-bi6ni53dfoddlgn97pk3b8i7nphige40.apps.googleusercontent.com, 406964657835-aq8lmia8j95dhl1a2bvharmfk3t1hgqj.apps.googleusercontent.com) Those are the iOS, macOS built-in clients as well as Thunderbird. We plan to eventually only allow iOS, to limit the data cached on Macs and PCs.
Enable POP access for all users Disabled
Google Workspace Sync Enable Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook for my users Disabled
Automatic forwarding Allow users to automatically forward incoming email to another address Enabled We will eventually disable this in favor of custom routing rules for domains where we want to allow forwarding. There is no mechanism for allow-listing destination domains, so we rely on alerts when new forwarding rules are added.
Allow per-user outbound gateways Allow users to send mail through an external SMTP server when configuring a “from” address hosted outside your email domain Disabled
Warn for external recipients Highlight any external recipients in a conversation. Warn users before they reply to email messages with external recipients who aren’t in their contacts. Enabled

Drive and Docs

We use Google Drive and related applications for internal and external collaboration.

Sharing settings

Category Setting name Value Note
Sharing options Sharing outside of Fleet Device Management On
Sharing options For files owned by users in Fleet Device Management warn when sharing outside of Fleet Device Management Enabled
Sharing options Allow users in Fleet Device Management to send invitations to non-Google accounts outside Fleet Device Management Enabled
Sharing options When sharing outside of Fleet Device Management is allowed, users in Fleet Device Management can make files and published web content visible to anyone with the link Enabled
Sharing options Access Checker Recipients only, or Fleet Device Management
Sharing options Distributing content outside of Fleet Device Management Only users in Fleet Device Management This prevents external contributors from sharing to other external contributors
Link sharing default When users in Fleet Device Management create items, the default link sharing access will be: Off We want the owners of new files to make a conscious decision around sharing, and to be secure by default
Security update for files Security update Apply security update to all impacted files
Security update for files Allow users to remove/apply the security update for files they own or manage Enabled We have very few files impacted by updates to link sharing. For some files meant to be public, we want users to be able to revert to the old URL that is more easily guessed.

Features and applications

Category Setting name Value Note
Offline Control offline access using device policies Enabled
Smart Compose Allow users to see Smart Compose suggestions Enabled
Google Drive for desktop Allow Google Drive for desktop in your organization Off To limit the amount of data stored on computers, we currently do not allow local sync. We may enable it in the future
Drive Drive Do not allow Backup and Sync in your organization
Drive SDK Allow users to access Google Drive with the Drive SDK API Enabled The applications trusted for access to Drive are controlled but require this to work.
Add-Ons Allow users to install Google Docs add-ons from add-ons store Enabled The applications trusted for access to Drive are controlled but require this to work.
Surface suggestions in Google Chrome Surface suggestions in Google Chrome Allow Google Drive file suggestions for signed-in users whenever a new search is performed or a new tab is opened (recommended)
Creating new files on Drive Allow users to create and upload any file On
Creating new files on Drive Allow users to create new Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings and Forms files On

Vulnerability management

At Fleet, we handle software vulnerabilities no matter what their source is.

The process is simple:

  1. A person or tool discovers a vulnerability and informs us.
  2. Fleet determines if we must fix this vulnerability, and if not, documents why.
  3. As long as it respects our remediation timelines and enough time remains for implementation and testing, Fleet fixes vulnerabilities in the next scheduled release. Else, Fleet creates a special release to address the vulnerabilities.


Fleet commits to remediating vulnerabilities on Fleet according to the following:

Severity Triage Mitigation Remediation
Critical+ In-the-wild exploitation 2 business hours 1 business day 3 business days (unless mitigation downgrades severity)
Critical 4 business hours 7 business days 30 days
High 2 business days 14 days 30 days
Medium 1 week 60 days 60 days
Low Best effort Best effort Best effort
Unspecified 2 business days N/A N/A

Refer to our commercial SLAs for more information on the definition of “business hours” and
“business days”.

Other resources present in the Fleet repo but not as part of the Fleet product, like our website,
are fixed on a case-by-case scenario depending on the risk.

Exceptions and extended timelines

We may not be able to fix all vulnerabilities or fix them as rapidly as we would like. For example,
a complex vulnerability reported to us that would require redesigning core parts of the Fleet
architecture would not be fixable in 3 business days.

For vulnerabilities reported by researchers: we ask and prefer to perform coordinated disclosure
with the researcher. In some cases, we may take up to 90 days to fix complex issues, in which case
we ask that the vulnerability remains private.

For other vulnerabilities affecting Fleet or code used in Fleet, the Head of Security, CTO and CEO
can accept the risk of patching them according to custom timelines, depending on the risk and
possible temporary mitigations.

Mapping of CVSSv3 scores to Fleet severity

Fleet adapts the severity assigned to vulnerabilities when needed.

The features we use in a library, for example, can mean that some vulnerabilities in the library are unexploitable. In other cases, it might make the vulnerability easier to exploit. In those cases, Fleet would first categorize the vulnerability using publicly available information, then lower or increase the severity based on additional context.

When using externally provided CVSSv3 scores, Fleet maps them this way:

CVSSv3 score Fleet severity
0.0 None
0.1-3.9 Low
4-6.9 Medium
7-8.9 High
9-10 Critical
Determined on a case by case basis Critical + in-the-wild-exploitation


Researchers who discover vulnerabilities in Fleet can disclose them as per the Fleet repository security policy.

If Fleet confirms the vulnerability:

  1. Fleet’s security team creates a private Github security advisory.
  2. Fleet asks the researcher if they want credit or anonymity. If the researcher wishes to be credited, we invite them to the private advisory on Github.
  3. We request a CVE through Github.
  4. Developers address the issue in a private branch.
  5. As we release the fix, we make the advisory public.

Example Fleet vulnerability advisory: CVE-2022-23600

Vulnerabilities in dependencies

Fleet remediates vulnerabilities related to vulnerable dependencies, but we do not create security advisories on the Fleet repository unless we believe that the vulnerability could impact Fleet. In some situations where we think it is warranted, we mention the updates in release notes. The best way of knowing what dependencies are required to use Fleet is to look at them directly in the repository.

We use Dependabot to create pull requests to update vulnerable dependencies. You can find these PRs by filtering on the Dependabot author in the repository.

We ensure the fixes to vulnerable dependencies are also performed according to our remediation timeline. We fix as many dependencies as possible in a single release.

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β€œSimplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching