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Best Practices for Data Loss Prevention in G Suite

Now, all kinds of organizations utilize the public cloud as their data storage and data management platforms. It is convenient: the cloud doesn’t need setup and maintenance; it is easily scalable and not exposed to physical damage.

But there is one mistake that almost all organizations who use public cloud make: they overestimate its security. The well-thought and easy-to-manage environment of G Suite deludes many of us into thinking that its security is bulletproof. If you think the same way, you got things wrong.

Learn one thing: data your whole organization relies on can be lost irrevocably with the one wrong click. All the documents people collaborate on at this very moment, presentations for your pitches, calendar meetings scheduled a month ahead, emails, and phones of your customers and vendors – it all can be gone in a blink of an eye.

What can you do to protect your data from loss in G Suite? Let’s take an in-depth look.

What is Data Loss Prevention

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a set of methods, rules, actions, and regulations that prevent a company from losing valuable data. By “valuable,” we mean all kinds of data your workflow depends on. It can be documents, emails, contacts, calendar. DLP strategy takes into account all the risks, both standard and specific for your niche, and creates a corresponding set of preventative measures.

1. Prevent G Suite Account Takeover.

Account takeover can (and usually do) happen silently and wreak havoc across your organization for weeks and months before you find out. The most dangerous scenario is when the compromised account turns out to be an admin’s account. With this kind of access, a threat actor can disrupt the whole work process by leaking, infecting, or deleting all key data.

Account takeover can happen by password spraying aka brute-force attack, by stealing or buying login credentials on the darknet. The problem is, it is hard to disclose without special security monitoring tools since the access comes from a seemingly legitimate login.

Those tools help to detect the number of login attempts, where it is coming from, and what actions have been done under this account since the alleged account takeover. For example, suspicious activity can be characterized by the following signs: rapid growths of file downloads or uploads, deletions, or doubtful application connections. A good security monitoring tool will detect suspicious activity and lock down the account until clarification.

2. Protect your G Suite from malware

Ransomware has evolved in Ransomware 2.0 version that can affect cloud applications, including Gmail, Google Drive, Shared Drives, Calendars, etc. The most popular way to infect G Suite with malware is by spreading phishing emails with malicious links and attachments. But it also can be through a brute-force attack, when a criminal invades into the system and infects it from within.

And don’t forget about the network vulnerabilities, malvertising, and fake applications whose only goal is to spread malicious executables.

What can you do to enforce malware protection:

  1. Use antivirus software.
  2. Update your software and operating system.
  3. Train yourself along with your employees.
  4. Take control over the applications and add-ons.

 

3. Backup G Suite data

Backing up your files is not a matter of question, and still, lots of people out there don’t bother themselves with such a fundamental issue. Whereas you are counting if you can afford backing up your G Suite or not, the probability of your business losing all its critical data is increasing. And for business, data equals everything.

If you want to protect your business, backup your G Suite apps, there, all your workflow is kept, and if it is disrupted, the downtime can hit your business hard. Most of the small-to-medium businesses can’t survive downtime without significant money losses.

So think yourself, if cutting some slack for yourself now is worth tens of thousands of dollars losses when the data loss will occur. And the probability is, it will happen.

Here are the most important reasons for having automated backup:

  1. Human error. Accidental deletions occur every day. You can’t possibly follow all your employees, students, or whoever is the leading chain in the dataflow in your organization. The human factor is inevitable: people can be scattered, inexperienced, or just ignorant and negligent when it comes to using an online data management suite. Remember that when you relentlessly put your data integrity in the hands of your employees.

Even reliable employees may make blunders that may expose the whole company’s security.

  1. Insider threats. In this case, the intentions behind the data loss are malicious and aimed towards bringing harm to the company. You barely can know the intentions of your employees, but still, most of them are provided with access to the valuable information in order to do their job. You, most likely, can’t control their activity within their G Suite account. This means they can delete business-critical data in a blink of an eye, and you would never know it was them.
  1. Incorrect migration. Your data can be easily lost because of the messy migration of data between G Suite accounts. The higher the volume of data you have, the more problematic it is to migrate it without complications. Why? Because of G Suite native limitations that make it stressful and time-consuming. Therefore, some business-critical files can be lost in the process.

Conclusion

In order to prevent data loss, your G Suite administrators must have the ability to control user activity, what data they are sharing, deleting, and downloading, what risky third-party apps they are installing, excessive login attempts (which are usually brute-force attacks).

The essential part of the Data Loss Prevention strategy is backup. Most preferably that it has some inbuilt cybersecurity features in it, this is why we advise using SpinOne for g suite: it will not only reliably backup your G Suite applications 3x a day, but will also protect them from insider threats, malicious applications, ransomware infiltrating in your backups.

Check out SpinOne backup and get a peace of mind!

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