When organizations are thinking of moving business critical resources into the cloud, one of the primary considerations or concerns that is generally cited is security. Google’s G Suite public cloud is a great platform that many organizations are making use of or are considering as the infrastructure platform for their move to public cloud.
From a security perspective, Google G Suite contains built-in security mechanisms that are readily available for organizations who are considering migrating to G Suite or who already have a presence there. However, as is often the case, the native tools provided can be challenging to implement or effectively make use of by organizations wanting to secure G Suite resources.
In this article, we will take a look at the top 5 G Suite security concerns and how organizations can avoid as well as remediate these effectively and efficiently. How does Spinbackup help businesses who have migrated to the G Suite public cloud take their security to the next level? What individual Spinbackup features help to negate these and other major G Suite security concerns?
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Top 5 G Suite Security Concerns
Security is quite possibly the most important topic that is considered by any organization today. A breach in security can literally take a successful and lucrative organization out of business, overnight. So, the stakes are very high for anyone that is handling customer data, which is basically anyone in business today. Security is concerning for both on-premise resources as well as public cloud resources.
Public cloud environments such as Google’s G Suite presents challenges to organizations security initiatives mainly because public cloud environments are controlled and managed much differently than on-premise resources. The traditional processes and tooling that IT engineers are used to employing for security management and processes simply don’t apply or don’t exist in public cloud environments. In focusing the conversation on Google’s G Suite environment, what are the top 5 G Suite security concerns facing organizations housing resources there?
- Cloud IAM (Identity and Access Management)
- G Suite Data Loss
- G Suite Data leak
- Insider Threats
Spinbackup provides a powerful solution to each of the above-mentioned security concerns and allows organizations to effectively and easily implement a solution to each of the above G Suite security challenges. Let’s see how.
How Spinbackup Implements Effective Cloud IAM
What is Cloud Identity and Access Management? Cloud IAM should be a key part of any organizations overall security strategy in the public cloud. In the context of Google G Suite, tt helps to manage control over public cloud resources by defining who has access to which resources. It effectively puts in place a mechanism that makes sure users prove by various means, they are the user they are claiming to be when accessing resource
Google’s G Suite environment provides native cloud IAM functionality that contains a very robust IAM feature set that allows organizations to provide:
- Cloud IAM – Cloud Identity and Access control
- Apply permissions and assign roles based on memberships
- Apply Policy to access based on roles
- Audit Access
- Automate access based on RESTful APIs
However, a successful G Suite IAM implementation can be technically challenging. Spinbackup solves many of the traditional IAM challenges surrounding traditional usernames and passwords as well as SSL certificates by taking the process of identity validation to the next level. It does this by implementing Blockchain Single Sign On.
Blockchain Single Sign On solves many of the traditional challenges by leveraging the powerful blockchain technology prevalent today to make falsifying identity virtually impossible. Traditional usernames and passwords can easily be stolen or impersonated. Even SSL certificates, while more secure, can be compromised as well. Hackers have been able to compromise root certificate authorities from which SSL certificates have been issued and are then able to compromise the entire SSL infrastructure of issued certificates.
By leveraging the blockchain, Spinbackup has implemented a futuristic solution that combines the power of certificate authentication and the blockchain together. By housing the checksum of the end user certificate in the blockchain distributed network, it is impossible for an attacker to compromise the identity of the certificate itself since that would require taking control of the entire blockchain itself. Due to its distributed nature, this is simply not possible for an attacker to do.
Additionally, Spinbackup has taken the heavy lifting out of configuring certificate based single sign on in a G Suite environment. It is accomplished in a very simple six-step process. Spinbackup takes care of the complexities of certificate generation, issuance, and management. In a relatively short period of time, organizations can effectively implement certificate-based, single sign on for their G Suite environment.
G Suite Data Loss
Protecting business-critical data in any environment must be a top priority. System downtime due to any number of reasons can lead to tremendous revenue loss for a business as well as damaged customer confidence and overall reputation. The effects of either of these may be felt for years or potentially never overcame for a business. It underscores the importance of protecting against data loss.
Cloud data backups are an important part of any on premise business-critical resource, however, backups in the public cloud can be overlooked. Organizations can mistakenly think since they are running on top of Amazon, Microsoft, or Google’s infrastructure, they will never experience data loss. However, this is a misconception. While the aforementioned public cloud infrastructures tout impressive resiliency, data loss can still happen.
The resiliency that public cloud infrastructure provides simply helps to protect organizations against hardware failure, not user induced error. What if a user or G Suite administrator inadvertently wipes out critical Google Team drives files or deletes important emails or email inboxes? Or if G Suite admin account is hacked? These types of scenarios are not easily remediated by public cloud resiliency or infrastructure.
Spinbackup provides an impressive mechanism and API-based CASB expertise for protecting G Suite public cloud data with the following features:
- Automated daily G Suite backups as well as ad hoc backups
- Powerful version control with multiple restore points that can be restored
- “Lost and Found” system that protects accidentally or intentionally deleted data
- Ability to restore or migrate G Suite data to both the source or alternate G Suite accounts
- Machine learning provides protection and automatic remediation against file damage caused by Ransomware
- Restore all files or single files/emails
- Easily backup and restore data of employees who have left the G Suite organization
G Suite Data Leak
Equally concerning for organizations today is the potential for “data leak”. We have heard recently about such data leak disasters as Equifax, Sony, and others. Businesses today must treat customer data as extremely sensitive and realize any data leak of sensitive data is unacceptable. With new compliance regulations such as GDPR set to take center stage, “privacy by design” must be implemented by businesses who don’t want to risk the hefty fines imposed by GDPR breach, let alone the damage once again to customer confidence and business reputation.
It can be extremely challenging for organizations to keep a check on sensitive data leaving the G Suite public cloud environment. How can organizations prevent G Suite data leak?
Spinbackup provides extremely robust functionality to allow organizations to maintain control over sensitive data leaving the G Suite environment. What is nice about the Spinbackup solution is that it is proactive rather than reactive. Spinbackup’s API based CASB functionality implements machine learning and AI into the picture to discern anomalies in usage patterns and when and if data is being improperly downloaded or transferred where it should not be. Additionally, blatantly sensitive data such as credit card numbers can easily be restricted from being transferred or disseminated from an organization’s G Suite environment. Custom rules can be put in place as well that can be used to define sensitive data.
Spinbackup G Suite Data Leak Protection includes:
- Built-in mechanisms to restrict credit card numbers and other sensitive data from leaving the organization or be transmitted
- Third-party app control to control, restrict, and revoke third-party applications that users have granted access to sensitive data
- Powerful machine learning algorithms quickly give visibility to users who may either unintentionally or intentionally download or transfer data to their local hard drive or to a personal public cloud account
- Scanning and profiling the G Suite environment to see any malicious login attempts or other malicious end user activity that may lead to compromised data
Arguably, at this point, ransomware is something that most individuals and organizations have either heard about or have potentially dealt with. WannaCry, Petya, and other high-profile ransomware attacks have gained widespread attention. In the matter of a few short hours, ransomware variants such as these have rendered thousands of businesses incapacitated or otherwise unable to carry on normal business operations.
Ransomware maliciously corrupts data by encrypting the data with public/private key encryption. Without paying the “ransom”, businesses do not have access to the encryption key needed to decrypt the data. Their business-critical data is essentially rendered useless. Protecting on-premise resources against ransomware can be challenging enough. How though do businesses protect their G Suite public cloud data from ransomware infection?
Once again, backups play a key role in being protected against ransomware infection. Spinbackup takes ransomware protection to the next level by proactively restoring ransomware corrupted files once those files have been encrypted AND stopping the offending encryption process that has access to the G Suite environment. Network access and permissions for the offending process are revoked, effectively preventing it from doing any more damage. Additionally, G Suite administrators are proactively notified as well.
G Suite Ransomware Protection by Spinbackup
- Machine learning powered ransomware identification and remediation
- Proactive remediation of ransomware infected files
- Files are proactively restored
- Proactive administrative alerts
- G Suite administrators are notified of ransomware activity
- Custom Policies control ransomware protection and granular customization
- Does not require an endpoint agent on connecting devices, etc
G Suite Insider Threats
Much attention is given to threats from outside the organization – i.e. hackers trying to break in. However, a very real threat to the security of any G Suite environment is users on the inside. Yes, trusted employees or end users. A critical part of any security mechanism today in the public cloud addresses threats from both outside and inside. Employees can either accidentally or intentionally jeopardize the security of a G Suite organization.
For instance, a user may inadvertently send out an email containing credit card numbers of thousands of customers. Alternatively, a malicious employee may attempt to download a large amount of sensitive corporate data from a Google Team Drive.
Either way, inside personnel with insider access to G Suite data have created a security issue for the entire organization. How can organizations deal with these very real scenarios?
Spinbackup Insider Threats Control can effectively identify and remediate the above-mentioned scenarios. With Insider Threat Detection, Spinbackup employees machine learning to quickly identify anomalies in employee behavior and effectively remediate the resulting security concerns.
Spinbackup Insider Threats Control provides the following:
- Download/Transfer anomalies
- Data Sharing outside the organization
- Abnormal login detection
- Abnormal deletions
Additional G Suite Security Features and Functionality
G Suite Security Features for Data Loss Protection:
- Automated daily scans of all 3rd-party apps integrated into public cloud environments and reports on which data those apps have access to
- Daily backups of public cloud storage for disaster recovery
- Data is encrypted in flight and at rest
- Incremental backups including metadata tagged versioning and snapshots of account data which allows restoring data that has been deleted completely
- Restores can be completed with what is called “Restore in Time Machine”
- Ability to revoke access to risky apps that have been installed and integrated with cloud environments. Information about the apps include information about the risk level, type, permissions granted to, employees accessing, and connected devices
- Proactive G Suite Security alerting to risky user behavior or app behavior
- Blacklisting apps, IPs, users, etc.
Spinbackup Cost Savings vs. Native Google Security Tools
- 100 users
- G Suite subscription must be Enterprise
- This equates to $25 per user per month – 100 x 25 = $2,500 per month
To get more
- 100 users
- You can simply choose the Basic Edition – $5 per user per month = 100 x $5 = $500 per month
- Spinbackup license = $ 5 per user per month x 100 users = $500 per month
- If you choose the G Suite Basic subscription with Spinbackup protection = $500+$500= $1,000 total
- This is $1,500 cheaper per month for cybersecurity and backup
- Think ‘outside the box’ and multiply $1, 500 by 12 to achieve $18K in annual savings!
No thanks, we’ve just saved you $18K!
Spinbackup API-based CASB – Defacto Standard for G Suite Security
There are many G Suite security concerns for organizations looking to run business critical applications and services in the G Suite public cloud. Google provides native processes and services that address many security concerns in the cloud, however, the feature set and tooling is limited.
Spinbackup API-based CASB provides true data loss and data leak protection along with cybersecurity for G Suite environments. The security capabilities found in Spinbackup are powerful and allow organizations to operate in G Suite securely and confidently. When comparing features and pricing with the more expensive G Suite Enterprise offering that enables additional security features, Spinbackup provides a much superior solution at a significantly lower cost.