G Suite Cloud Apps Security: Tools and Functions

Google Workspace (G Suite) Cloud Apps Security: Functions and Tools

Microsoft users can discover and assess more than 16,000 cloud apps with a native CASB solution—Microsoft Cloud App Security. But what about companies using G Suite (Google Workspace)?

Unfortunately, there is no similar native solution for G Suite, so these companies can look for alternative tools. In this article, we’ll analyze security functionality and specialized tools that will help you secure your Google environment from app-related risks.

Key Functions of an Effective Google App Security 

To protect your cloud data and meet compliance requirements, you’ll need a set of functions integrated with your Google Workspace and its services (Gmail, Drive, etc.). Here are the key functions required to create an effective app security strategy. 

Cloud Access Management & Shadow IT Control

Employees can easily install an app or extension and grant access to sensitive data via OAuth. In many cases, such apps and extensions are not reviewed or permitted by IT teams. And this issue is more common than you might have thought. According to Microsoft, 80% of employees use unapproved apps. This situation is known as Shadow IT – one of the biggest digital risks. 

The problem is that granting access to apps and browser extensions can lead to malware infection or data leaks. To prevent such incidents, you need to have complete visibility of what apps are connected to your Google Workspace, what permissions they have, and who their users are. Also, access management includes monitoring user logins and sessions to spot abnormal activities and prevent unauthorized usage. 

While choosing a security tool for your apps, don’t forget to pay close attention to its app database. The higher is the total number of monitored apps, the better visibility a tool can provide for your Workspace domain. 

Risk Assessment & Threat Protection

After discovering all apps with access to your cloud data, you’ll need to decide how risky they are. In other words, perform a risk assessment to determine what their security and compliance risks are. 

The risk assessment will help you to reduce the probability of a security breach and protect your data from various digital threats (for example, ransomware 2.0)

What are the specific tasks related to assessment? Here they are:

  • Creating a policy that defines the level of acceptable risk. 
  • Calculating risk score—an estimated measurement of all risks. Usually, the score is based on certificates, known vulnerabilities, patches, audit reports, user feedback, and many other factors.
  • Enforcing a policy via performing app whitelisting and blacklisting. These actions will ensure that risky apps are banned and acceptably safe ones are run and managed properly. 

Here is how app assessment works in practice: 

Convincing enough already?

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Security and Compliance Management

Automating security processes to save time for SecOps specialists is vital. But there is another significant aspect of application security management —compliance. Compliance regulations and standards like GDPR, SOC2, ISO, and others require access management in place. 

If you fail to establish appropriate security controls for apps and allow data breach, you may face severe fines for compliance violations (more about the cost of non-compliance here).

Security and compliance management functionality is an essential concern, both for operational and regulatory reasons. That’s why you’ll need analytics, reports, and notifications to plan and adjust your security management and, if needed, prepare yourself for a compliance audit.

App Security Tools

Usually, the functions mentioned above are provided by Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs). However, not all providers use this abbreviation to describe their services. So while researching tools, you’ll have to read about features carefully and decide how well they would fit into your workflow. 

Here are some of the best services that can help you with app security automation in your Google Workspace environment. 

SpinOne

SpinOne allows you to review over 60,000 apps and assess their security, compliance, and business risks. The discovered apps can be whitelisted/blacklisted based on your policies. Also, this solution provides visibility and control over data access, share, connected devices, and user behavior. Together with app security, SpinOne’s solution includes backup and ransomware protection.

If you have questions left, see how it works in detail:

SpinOne Demo

Netskope

Netskope is a company that provides cloud access control, data protection, threat protection, and other capabilities for Google Workspace. Netskope can discover up to 36,000 apps and assess their risk. Also, Netskope’s functions include login and data sharing control to prevent unauthorized data access.

Intello 

Intello’s platform allows you to view and revoke permissions belonging to connected SaaS apps (including unmanaged). Also, you can assess app risks. Another notable feature is integration with your financial apps that allows you to manage subscription costs.


Check out the detailed G Suite CABSB tools comparison:

Read It Here!