Among the vast and user-friendly Google ecosystem, lies the G Suite. This is mainly a collection of Google apps and tools used for collaboration, communication and also to enhance productivity. For the cloud computing Google domain to be productive, collaboration must be managed. As a result, this suite provides Google admin tools for effective management.
To become a perfect G Suite Admin, one must follow the best practices which ensure a steady and continuous workflow; especially the best practices that ensure data security. To illustrate, the CIA triad should never be breached. If you’re intrigued, read on to learn more about the portrait of a perfect G Suite admin.
1. G Suite Admin Monitors Google Admin Console
A perfect Google apps admin should always observe how users and apps interact with G Suite Business / Education account. For effectiveness, G Suite offers an admin console and also provides weekly reports on these interactions. Using the statistics provided, a G Suite admin can monitor every aspect of the G Suite domain. In fact, the console’s report offers major metrics such as:
- User status
- File sharing.
To monitor users, you would click on Users in the admin panel.
2. Uses a 2-step Verification to Enable Security Alerts and Reports
For robust access control, an admin should ensure there’s a 2-step verification, and users use it no matter what. Reinforced access assures that there will be no unauthorized access to data and information.
Moreover, reinforced access increases the level of authentication. Reports from the admin console display specific users who have not utilized a 2-step verification. Through this report, the admin can ensure every user engages in the 2-step verification process. Again, you can verify security processes through the Users link in the admin panel.
3. Looks for Abnormal Usage
Admins all over the world monitor systems for abnormal usage cautiously. This should be the same case for any G Suite admin. Abnormal usage indicates suspicious activities among various Google apps. Such activities include data leakage, possibly from malware attacks, third parties accessing data abnormally or even employees adding or deleting data from the system.
Another metric to look at is storage, user’s status, and security. Any spike in storage may mean that data is being deleted or created maliciously by a third-party app which has gained access with or without the user’s permission.
The last metric is file sharing. File sharing encapsulates both external and the Google Drive files. Unknown file sharing indicates abnormal usage resulting from a breach in security.
The bad news is abnormal usage is hardly detected from the admin console. Every application must be audited by admin herself and the number of external links must be calculated by her own.
The good news is that there is an automated security service designed to detect suspicious activity and send admin automated alerts within and outside G Suite about an oncoming attack, abnormal user activities and risky applications installed.
Understanding abnormal usage, the perfect G Suite admin can then make a determination whether these usages are safe or not. You can research abnormal usage through the Google Apps and Reports links in the admin panel. It is recommended to use Google Apps Reports in pair with the Spinbackup Domain Audit to reach synergy in security issues.
4. Checks 3rd-party Apps with Access to Corporate Data
Third-party apps can offer undisputed functionalities. Apps with advanced features can entice users, and make them overlook any other details such as security vulnerability associated with them. Yet, the sad truth is many have been embedded with Trojan codes.
The problem is many users will grant the apps permissions without understanding what they demand in exchange for usage. This type of vulnerability can then pose a massive threat throughout the organization.
To avoid this type of risk, a perfect G Suite admin should regularly audit all third-party apps installed by users and allow or deny their access. Auditing ensures transparency of the apps when accessing data, in addition to enabling an admin to permanently mitigate or avoid risks. These steps can be taken through the Security, Apps and Device management links in the admin console.
Full visibility over all 3rd-party apps installed with assigned to them risk levels can be gained at Spinbackup 3rd-party apps audit. This security feature provides administrator with a set of tools to monitor and detect applications of all types of risk and prevent corporate data from leaks caused by suspicious or dangerous applications.
5. Creates an Incident Response Plan
A response plan includes detection, prevention and control mechanisms. Detection is the foremost defense necessary to prevent unwanted incidents such as a virus, hackers and other malicious attacks. A G Suite admin’s response plan should have the ability to detect almost all suspicious activities before they take place.
To clarify, major suspicious activity is access to unauthorized data, instigated by third-party apps, malicious codes and even hackers – including employees. When this type of event occurs, for the compromised account the G Suite admin can use the response plan to counter it by:
- Ensuring a 2-step verification is used consistently
- Changing the access password immediately
- Neutralizing or mitigating the attack / risk.
If the super admin’s account is compromised, the response plan should be more complicated. It is explained in more detail in the case study.
6. Instills Proper Process for Employees Leaving the Company
Major security threats can originate from insiders – especially employees leaving the company. Many controls put in place to deter these types threats end up failing. It’s an admin’s duty to ensure that a security breach does not occur from within or from outgoing entities.
This can be done by adopting an insider policy which will ensure that employees’ activities on the system can be monitored at all times. The policy can be effective through raising awareness and training staff on organizational security policies.
A G Suite admin should also make sure that employees follow the company’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy put in place. Many security attacks arise from breaches which take place on employees’ external devices such as USBs, hard drives or even smartphones and laptops. If suspicious employees do leave the company, they should be denied further permission to access the company’s data and information, and admin should provide an employee’s secure exit with G Suite.
7. G Suite Admin Deploys Backup
In case of an attack, the loss and / or modification of data is inevitable. This may result from a denial of service or compromised transactions. A Google Apps admin should have automated daily backup of all G Suite data and have access to restore it at any time. Over 50% of data loss issues are due to end-user mistakes. If you want 100% data loss protection, you can try the Spinbackup G Suite Backup solution for free.
Being a perfect G Suite admin can be challenging. Mastering the above practices will ensure the success of an organization and its data. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to know you have the power to help save the company from an expensive data breach.
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