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G Suite Security. Best Practices for Data Loss Prevention

G Suite Security.  Best Practices for Data Loss Prevention

Data Loss Prevention Spinbackup

Organizations today who already have a presence in the public cloud, or that look to have a public cloud presence in the near future, have to take security very seriously. Today’s modern businesses with digital resources have to be concerned with data security that exists not only on premise, but in the public cloud. G Suite administrators need to follow certain security best practices to ensure that the data and identity resources living in the public cloud are secure.

However, two of the key areas of security that organizations must focus on regarding business-critical data in the public cloud are data loss and data leak. Losing or leaking business critical data into the wrong hands can have very serious consequences both legally and financially for an organization. Let us take a closer look at the two problem areas mentioned above – data loss and data leak in the realm of G Suite public cloud services. What are the major security concerns that lead to data loss and data leak and how can these be prevented?

Major G Suite Security Concerns

Data Loss Prevention

Losing business critical data can be devastating for an organization. Data is the “new oil” of the digital world.  Businesses these days live and die by data or the lack of. It is the lifeblood of today’s organizations living in a highly digital world. As mentioned, data loss is a tremendous concern for businesses, especially as they move to the public cloud. Often on-premise backup processes that protect data in private enterprise datacenters don’t extend well to the public cloud. Intentional or accidental deletion of important data can create serious issues for organizations.

Add to data loss caused by intentional or accidental deletion, today’s malware, including the feared “ransomware” variants, can render organization data useless via undetected encryption of files, folders, etc. Whether data is lost via deletion or by ransomware, each pose the risk of data loss.

Organizations must take the risks of data loss very seriously. Using powerful cloud based solutions, organizations must accomplish the following to prevent data loss:

  • Effective cloud to cloud backups
  • Ransomware detection and prevention

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 security that often is overlooked is backups. Backups 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.

While public cloud vendors do offer exceptional resiliency from a service level, organizations are ultimately responsible for their data and in particular, backups of their data. By placing data in the public cloud, organizations must be ready to have an effective means of backing up business critical data.

Backups of public cloud data are extremely important and involve:

  • Automated backups of public cloud data
  • During migration, the immediately backup of data
  • Deletion control – Control who and what is able to delete data

Automated Daily backups

Backups of public cloud data are extremely important and should be automated. Organizations looking to move to the Google Cloud Platform need to utilize a solution for backing their data securely and automatically. By implementing a 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 Data During Migration

During a 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 migration begins. This way, data is protected from both sides – both on-premise and in the G Suite public cloud.

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.

Organizations need an effective solution to gain the visibility needed across the organization to detect and display files/folders and other data that have been deleted either accidentally or intentionally. This allows organizations to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to data loss in the public cloud.

Ransomware Protection

A word that strikes fear into organizations today when it comes to data loss is ransomware. Ransomware is a new type of malware variant that has gained tremendous popularity among attackers. Instead of simply damaging files, they are encrypted with an encryption key that only the attacker knows. The files are then held for “ransom” until the infected user provides payment, generally by anonymous currency such as bitcoins. WannaCry, Petya, Bad Rabbit, and others have recently made headlines across the world, as business operations of large corporations have been brought to a halt with the above ransomware infecting business-critical systems. New variants are developed each day.

Many have mistakenly thought that simply moving data to the public cloud, either G Suite or others, protects them from malware or specifically ransomware infections. However, this is not true. Often, public cloud data storage will utilize a synchronization process from on-premise workstations to public cloud data. If local copies of data are encrypted, these ultimately get synchronized to the public cloud as well.

An effective Ransomware Protection Solution provides:

  • Ransomware Detection
  • Automated Blocking of Encryption Processes
  • Automated Restore of Encrypted Files
  • A Versioning System

Ransomware Detection

An effective ransomware protection solution for public cloud data includes ransomware detection. This allows organizations to be alerted to suspected ransomware events as well as to be proactive, having the visibility they need to stop the attack. This helps mitigate the scope of the attack drastically, as in the case of data loss, by the time a ransomware event is detected, the damage has already been done.

Automated Blocking of Encryption Processes

Aside from being alerted that a ransomware event is taking place, a truly effective ransomware protection solution would enable organizations to have an automated process to mitigate the attack in real time as well. This includes blocking the attack source in real time and being able to automatically identify the number of damaged files.

Automated Restore of Encrypted Files

An effective G Suite ransomware protection solution for public cloud data would also provide the ability to automatically restore encrypted files. Identifying file damage from ransomware, if done by hand, can be tedious work! Running a recovery process for those damaged files can be equally tedious. Having a solution that can automatically remediate ransomware infections can provide a powerful security mechanism for organizations moving data to the public cloud.

Versioning System

Should backups of public cloud data only include one version of your files/folders? A potent ransomware protection solution includes the ability to provide multiple versions of files and folders stored in the public cloud. This provides the ability to have multiple versions to revert to when it comes to restoring data. G Suite administrators want to have the ability to restore multiple versions of files if need be.

Spinbackup – A Powerful Data Loss Pevention Solution

How do organizations accomplish successful data loss protection in the G Suite today? Spinbackup offers a powerful solution to protect organizations from data loss by including state of the art cloud-to-cloud backup as well as ransomware protection for G Suite environments. Let’s see how Spinbackup protects G Suite environments with its backup and ransomware protection features.

Cloud-to-Cloud Backups

Spinbackup produces powerful cloud-to-cloud backup by providing automated daily backups of G Suite environments to Amazon Web Services storage. The data copied from public cloud providers is encrypted both “in flight” and “at rest” so that it is both secure when transferred over the network and while retained on disk. Spinbackup performs a full backup of data and then incremental backups that include metadata versioning and account snapshots after each backup. This allows restoring lost items or even entire accounts, with one click!

This granular, versioned, restore ability of Spinbackup is called “Restore in Time Machine”. This allows “going back in time” so to speak, to recover deleted files, etc.  Spinbackup also incorporates a Lost & Found snapshot feature that places all deleted items there by default.

Restore in Time MachineClicking the Lost & Found button displays deleted files

Restore Google Drive Items

Spinbackup’s one-click restore

Ransomware Protection

Spinbackup protects organizations from the damage inflicted by ransomware attacks by implementing powerful Data Protection Algorithm:

  • Detecting the attack
  • Blocking the source
  • Identifying the number of files damaged
  • Automatically recovering encrypted files

This provides both ransomware detection as well as automatic ransomware recovery.  Spinbackup detects a ransomware infection underway and automatically blocks the offending source of encrypted files sync, then alerts G Suite administrators. Powerful algorithms help to identify the number of files that have been damaged. The auto-recovery process can then automatically begin to restore the damaged files.

ransomware protection

Ransomware protection allows to automatically recover encrypted file

Custom Policies

The new Custom Policies offered by Spinbackup allow organizations to have granular control over cybersecurity settings for G Suite public cloud environments. By utilizing the Data Audit Policies, fine grained control over ransomware protection policies can be defined.

data audit policies

Thoughts

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 Protection solution such as Spinbackup allows organizations to move to G Suite public cloud environments with confidence. Spinbackup 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. An equally alarming security concern for G Suite administrators involves data leak. What is data leak and how can organizations effectively protect against sensitive data leaving a G Suite organization? We will take a look at this in our next post.

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