Google Workspace, formerly G Suite is one of the most popular tools for collaborating on documents/ It is extensively used by companies of all sizes. That’s why preventing data loss becomes one of key tasks for companies’ IT security teams. G suite DLP tools can be of great help
Organizations today that already have a presence in the public cloud, or that look to have a public cloud presence in the near future, have to take G Suite 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 G Suite security that organizations must focus on regarding business-critical data in the public cloud are data loss and data leak prevention. 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?
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Table of Contents
G Suite DLP (Data Loss Prevention) Best Practices
G Suite DLP is ultimately important for preventing the loss of business-critical data, which can be devastating for any organization. Data is the “new oil” of the digital world. Businesses these days live and die by data or the lack of it. 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 data centers 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. Regardless of whether the data is lost via deletion or by ransomware, each poses the risk of data loss.
Organizations must take the risks of data loss very seriously and ensure DLP is in place. 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.
Backups of public cloud data are extremely important and involve:
- Automated backups of public cloud data
- During migration, the immediate 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 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.
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 G Suite domain 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.
A word that strikes fear in 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 have 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 cloud 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
An effective G Suite 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.
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.
SpinOne – A Powerful Google Workspace Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Solution
How do organizations accomplish successful data loss protection in the G Suite today? SpinOne 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 SpinOne protects G Suite environments with its backup and ransomware protection features.
SpinOne 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. SpinOne 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 the ability of SpinOne is called “Restore in Time Machine”. This allows “going back in time” so to speak, to recover deleted files, etc. SpinOne also incorporates a Lost & Found snapshot feature that places all deleted items there by default.
Clicking the Lost & Found button displays deleted files
SpinOne’s one-click restore
SpinOne protects organizations from the damage inflicted by ransomware attacks by implementing a 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. SpinOne 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 allows to automatically recover encrypted file
G Suite Security Policies for Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
The new G Suite Security Policies offered by SpinOne 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.