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How Secure Is Google Drive for Business Use?

by | Apr 20, 2023 | Business Advice, Cyber Security

Many use Google Drive as a main form of cloud storage because it’s free and simple to use. With more than a billion users, it’s among the brand’s most widely used products. Due to a rise in remote work, businesses have shifted to cloud office suites, such as Google Drive. What’s more, the integration of Drive with Gmail, Meet, Calendar, Chat, etc. makes it easier for teams to collaborate. Nevertheless, you might wonder how safe Google Drive is for business data.

Spot Migration will walk you through the security features of Google Drive to answer how secure Google Drive is for a business. Use our guide to help protect your privacy and your business’s data. If you have any questions please give us a call at (312) 561-9703.

What Is Google Drive?Google Drive icon with folders with data in them as an icon

Drive is a cloud storage service that is part of the Google Workspace family, offering up to 15 gigabytes of shared, free storage for personal use across all Workspace apps and Google products. Documents and other files created in Docs are automatically saved to Drive, along with emails in your Gmail account. Together with content production tools, such as Google Sheets and Slides, Drive can often be used in conjunction with other parts of the digital workspace, such as Calendar, Meet, and Chat.

How Safe Is Google Drive for Storing Files?

Drive files are kept on Google servers located all over the world, so what level of data encryption and security does Google provide? Drive encrypts files in transit with 256-bit Secure Sockets Layers (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) and files at rest with 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) keys. Put simply, with SSL/TLS and AES keys, files are broken up and reorganized into complicated bits of data that are extremely difficult to decrypt back into readable information. They stay in this form until you or another qualified viewer or user, such as the recipient of an email, accesses them.

Due to the dangers of data theft over an open network, Google implements robust encryption for all files in transit across its apps and services. A hacker operating on your network could technically intercept data transmission from your computer to Google Drive, but 256-bit encryption makes this incredibly challenging. For added confidence, you can take additional steps to encourage total protection, such as getting the assistance of an IT service.

Is Data Vulnerable in Google Drive?

There is a widespread misperception that cloud servers are not as safe as alternative methods, such as local storage. Theoretically, if hackers can take advantage of a weakness or incorrect configuration in cloud servers, it might lead to a data breach.

Thankfully, the likelihood of these breaches happening is limited at best, especially because Google maintains the most advanced server architecture possible. Google Drive offers numerous security layers that are continuously updated to counter the most recent attacks. Although other cloud data storage options exist, most competing businesses can’t match the time and money Google puts into cybersecurity. As a result, it’s fair to say that Google Drive protects data effectively and can be trusted for business use.

Google Drive Security Tips for Businesses

Google employs teams of security specialists to keep an eye on its cloud servers, checking them for flaws. That being said, there are steps you can take to further limit the risk of a breach. Just follow the Google Drive security tips below:

Ensure You Have a Secure Password

Make sure your password is long enough to be secure and distinct from the one you use for other accounts. This reduces the risk of any other accounts exposing your Google Drive password.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

We recommend enabling two-factor authentication, or 2FA, from the account security section of your Google account settings. A second page will appear after entering the right password for the account, where you must enter an additional code. You can choose from a few methods for the second authentication, such as entering a code sent to their phone via text. This makes sure that even if hackers have your password, they can’t access your Google Drive data without also having access to the device used to receive 2FA codes.

Share Drive Links Wisely

You should only share access to a Google Drive file with the people who need it. You have different permission options available for every file, both regarding access and permissions to comment, edit, and more. Make sure you don’t unintentionally give a person freedom to share a link or do more than view a document if you don’t want them to have such permission. 

Also, you should only share access to a Drive file with another person by adding their email address to the file’s list of shared Gmail addresses. Using this method prevents them from sharing the link unless specified, and they can only access the file when safely logged into their Google account.

Use Google Admin Tools

There are a ton of products for Google that add an extra degree of protection for Google Workspace administrators. Some examples include:

  • Google Workspace security center: Offers sophisticated security analytics, visibility, and control over security issues.
  • Context-aware access: Control which apps a user can access depending on factors such as user identification, location, device security status, and IP address.
  • Data loss prevention: Allows you to put security policies and workflows in place to help prevent data from leaving company accounts.
  • Google Vault eDiscovery: Lets you keep, hold, search for, and export user Google Workspace data.

You can even set limits on drive synchronization to prevent end users, such as customers, from syncing data to their own devices. Making your company’s data safer on your users’ endpoints, such as laptops, desktop computers, and mobile phones, is possible with endpoint management, and details such as these only scratch the surface. We recommend looking through your Google Workspace for more potentially useful apps and functions, or just getting a Spot Migration consultation.

The takeaway is that Google Drive is a very secure storage option that can be made even more efficient with proper management and security procedures. Get started with Spot Migration, and let your company take full advantage of Google Drive and other Workspace features.

 

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