Google Workspace / G Suite Enterprise Security Guide

In this guide, we will introduce the best practices and tools to enable your G Suite Enterprise Security. Learn how to secure the organization against data leaks, data loss, unauthorized access, and potential insider threats.

G Suite Enterprise Security with API based CASB

Organizations today consider CASB implementations to be a crucial aspect of their security posture with their public cloud infrastructure, and rely on API-based CASB to perform many of the following important functions:

  • Many company employees may have personal public cloud accounts that are accessible from company networks. CASBs can help prevent any data sharing between approved company public cloud resources and personal public cloud resources
  • Prevent upload and download functions
  • Monitor privileged account usage and prevent any unauthorized access using those accounts
  • Enforce a certain policy set for an end-user accessing public cloud resource based on the device or user account they are accessing
  • Enforcement of encryption policy – both in-flight and at-rest data encryption
  • Application audit of approved or potentially unwanted applications that may have access or have been linked to company approved public cloud resources
  • Confidential information detection and scrubbing – Such information as credit card numbers or social security numbers are information that organizations treat as sensitive. CASBs can detect and remediate confidential information being shared across
  • Malware/Ransomware detection and protection against threats – Generic malware and especially Ransomware are huge concerns for organizations today and these concerns now extend to cloud resources such as cloud storage. CASB implementations must be able to protect against these threats
  • Proactive security alerting that actively alerts when certain events are triggered, including sensitive data detection.

The most powerful and modern approach to instantiating a CASB is to use an API-based CASB platform.

Protect your G Suite

Try SpinOne

A great example of seamless API-based CASB integration with the public cloud is SpinOne for G Suite . SpinOne API integration offers powerful features to monitor, prevents data leakage, and protects cloud resources from malware/ransomware threats. The tight integration of features regardless of which device or network the data is being accessed from means there are zero configs that need to happen for end-users, and the security and policies cannot be bypassed. As soon as SpinOne is configured for G Suite, those settings, policies, and security templates are implemented at the cloud level via API integration, and not configured based on a proxy setting. The dashboard integration with G Suite provides a single pane of glass and very much feels like a native part of the G Suite public cloud.

Ensure Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for G Suite

Let’s take a look at the objectives of each of these types of data loss protection, and how each can play a powerful role in protecting organizational data from unexpected loss.

Effective Cloud to Cloud Backups

One of the most effective means of cybersecurity that often is overlooked is backupsBackups in themselves are a security mechanism. This can protect against accidental damage to data. In fact, over 50% of data loss issues are the result of end-user mistakes. Backups also protect against intentional damage to data caused by a disgruntled employee or an attacker. Some organizations first entering public cloud environments often mistakenly assume that public cloud vendors have robust backups of your data built into their storage plans.

Automated Daily Backups

Organizations looking to move to the Google Cloud Platform need to utilize a solution for backing their data securely and automatically. By implementing a G Suite backup solution that allows fine-grained control over backed-up files, as well as encrypts backed-up data, provides a secure and customizable approach to backing up data in the public cloud.

Backup G Suite Data During Migration

During migration to G Suite public cloud services, organizations are at risk of data loss if backups are not happening immediately. As soon as business-critical data lands in the G Suite public cloud environment, it needs to be protected. Make sure to have a solution in place before moving business-critical data. Have a solution designed to begin backing up data once the G Suite data migration begins. This way, data is protected from both sides – both on-premise and in the G Suite public cloud.

G Suite Data Deletion Control

Organizations want to choose a solution to be able to monitor the deletion of files/folders across their G Suite environment. Often, disasters with data loss can happen because administrators are unaware of the damage that has already taken place, as they have no visibility to data that has been deleted. Deleted data can then rotate off the retention policy of backups and become unrecoverable.

SpinOne allows organizations to move to G Suite public cloud environments with confidence. Data loss in the public cloud should be one of the major security concerns for G Suite administrators, as losing business-critical data can lead to disaster for brand reputation and customer confidence. Having a true Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution such as SpinOne provides cloud-to-cloud backups as well as an effective protection and remediation solution in the event of ransomware infections that affect data stored in the G Suite public cloud. Equally alarming security concern for G Suite administrators involves data leaks.

Risky Third-Party Apps Control

There is a wide range of third-party applications that can integrate nicely with a G Suite organization and extend functionality and features. Despite the efforts of Google and other cloud services vendors in screening applications to make sure they are safe, risky applications exist in the marketplace. Also alarming is the ability of risky third-party applications to be easily integrated by end-users into an unmonitored or uncontrolled (third-party apps) G Suite environment.

Many organizations mistakenly think that providing secure, reliable backups of data in the public cloud is the public cloud vendor’s responsibility. This same mistake can also be made with securing data in the public cloud. Organizations might assume that public cloud vendors might hold some responsibility for ensuring public cloud data is secure. Also, when thinking about third-party apps integration, it is assumed that vendors of third-party apps may also hold responsibility for the security of organization data to which they have been entrusted.

G Suite Enterprise Security

Much of the power of the SpinOne Risky Third-party Apps Control comes from the built-in Incident Response Plan. The incident response plan includes manual and automated actions that prevent data loss and data leakage. The Incident Response Plan allows G Suite administrators to be proactive by allowing them to:

  1. Quickly revoke access to third-party apps that are deemed risky and have corporate data access
  2. Use powerful machine learning to revoke access based on “abnormal behavior”
  3. Proactively send alerts to G Suite administrators notifying them of the  event
  4. Automatically blocking the download of data that is abnormal
  5. Automatically blocking abnormal cloud data migration.

Sensitive Data Control

On July 29, 2017, arguably the most shocking breach of PII (personally identifiable information) was discovered by Equifax. Over 143 million people and their most sensitive data were exposed by attackers. This was the holy grail of sensitive data leakage as it contained all the personal information for each individual in one place – name, age, address, social security number, etc. It underscores in a large way how much we value protecting sensitive data especially when it relates to our personal information. Of tremendous importance for G Suite administrators thinking about securing G Suite environments is moderating and controlling sensitive data in the G Suite environment to prevent data leaks.

G Suite security requires a multifaceted approach that includes important measures such as cloud backups, ransomware protection, and risky third-party apps control.

Sensitive data can include a wide range of information that is not to be disclosed to any unauthorized recipient. In general, it includes the following types of personally identifiable information (PII) as well as other information which may include the following:

  • Social security numbers or SSNs, phone numbers, addresses, etc.
  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) information such as patient diagnoses, treatments, and other protected health information
  • Financial or payment information – This can include the common credit/debit card numbers, bank accounts, or other financial or payment information
  • Miscellaneous sensitive information – This can be any information that is deemed sensitive by an organization such as financial records, source code, company secrets.

Google DLP or Data Loss Prevention is an automated mechanism used to monitor both Google Gmail and Google Drive for certain content configured by a G Suite administrator that protects data meeting those configured parameters from data leak.

SpinOne bolsters the native DLP functions of G Suite services and also distinguishes itself from Google DLP in key areas:

  • Google DLP only protects while SpinOne provides additional powerful monitoring that gives full visibility to G Suite administrators
  • It provides proactive alerting that gives G Suite administrators real-time visibility to defined events related to data  loss prevention and data leak
  • It is an autonomous system separate from Google services that help to bolster the native Google DLP functions.

By utilizing both the power of built-in Google DLP functions along with the extended functionality provided by SpinOne data loss protection and data leak protection, organizations are equipped to meet the overwhelming security challenge presented by Google G Suite environments and sensitive data control. With SpinOne Sensitive Data Control, data and email messages containing sensitive data can be flagged and are clearly noted in the Dashboard under the Data Audit section. Alerts are also sent out to G Suite administrators.

SpinOne DLP: Insider Threats Control Overview

Best practices for G Suite administrators providing recommended security to the G Suite public cloud environment includes:

  • Appropriate Security Policies and training in place
  • Assign users with the least privileged access
  • Have strict password and account management policies and practices
  • Have appropriate logging, monitoring, and auditing of employee actions
  • Monitoring suspicious employee behavior
  • Providing backups of business-critical G Suite data
  • Implementing threat controls to remediate threats

SpinOne provides the powerful DLP tools that allow G Suite administrators to have the visibility to insider threats coming from end-user activity within the G Suite environment. Part of the “single pane of glass” view that SpinOne gives to G Suite administrators includes cybersecurity tools including the Domain Audit dashboard. Using this view, G Suite administrators can see a global overview of all user actions in real-time as well as an automated risk assessment evaluated by SpinOne.

Benefits of using SpinOne DLP for Insider Threats Control

The powerful Insider Threats Audit provided by SpinOne integrates seamlessly with the entire suite of data loss protection and data leak prevention provided. In fact, it is but one of the many tools provided to organizations looking to protect business-critical data with cloud to cloud backups, ransomware protection, risky third-party apps control, and sensitive data control.

SpinOne is uniquely providing all of the aforementioned tools to G Suite administrators in a single product that allows G Suite administrators to have the visibility to insider threats but also moderate and remediate any end-user activity that is deemed risky.

G Suite Ransomware Protection

With the dangers mentioned above, businesses must be proactive about protecting their data in the public cloud from ransomware infections. SpinOne provides a powerful solution to both detect and counteract the effects of ransomware attempting to encrypt data stored in the G Suite environment. It provides the following mechanisms for ransomware protection:

  • Ransomware Detection within G Suite Domain
  • Automated Blocking of ransomware encryption processes
  • Identification and Automated Restore of Encrypted Files
  • Effective Versioning System
  • G Suite Administrator Alerts

Rather than being separate, disjointed mechanisms for providing ransomware protection, the above processes provided by SpinOne work together to fluidly provide a streamlined and orchestrated protection mechanism for G Suite data. These features effectively detect, stop, and remediate ransomware damage to G Suite data.

Control Your Domain with Automated G Suite Security Policies

SpinOne moves forward with the SaaS industry, with cybersecurity remaining as a core competency. SpinOne introduced Custom Policies as a new feature for SpinOne’s Cybersecurity functionality. This feature allows G Suite administrators to set the specific scope of rules, exceptions, and notification settings in order to implement greater control over their public cloud environments and to enforce and orchestrate complex security policies across SaaS applications.

Data Audit Policies allow the G Suite administrator to disable the sharing of specific files to certain domains and specific users. Ransomware Protection custom policy enables automatic actions to be taken when Ransomware encryption or synchronization is detected. Sensitive Data Detection policy notifies the G Suite Administrator about messages containing sensitive information such as credit card numbers, while the Restore Filtration prevents restoring emails that are marked with predefined subjects, sender email addresses, and domain names.

Domain Audit Policies include Abnormal Download Detection and Abnormal Login Detection. Abnormal Download Detection notifies G Suite administrators when a user downloads a specified number of files in bulk, or when an unauthorized application is used for cloud-to-cloud synchronization. Abnormal Login Detection notifies the G Suite Administrator when a brute force login attack has been detected.

SpinOne GDPR Compliance

Recognizing the importance of GDPR compliance, SpinOne applies best practices, international standards, and follows legal requirements when building an Information Security Management System (ISMS) within the company. We incorporate the highest standards into every phase of SpinOne’s software development process, from the outset to completion. SpinOne employs the highest security and privacy controls, audited regularly in our SOC 2 reports. SpinOne’s cutting-edge services are driven by a collaborative effort with leading cloud service providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, whose reliability is globally recognized. SpinOne follows the recommendations provided by ISO/IEC 27002 to ensure that the data protection controls are implemented in SpinOne.

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