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Google Drive

Team Drives Launches for G Suite Business, Enterprise, & Education

Google DriveMost file storage solutions weren’t built to handle the explosion of files that are now created and shared in the cloud — because they were initially designed for individuals, not teams. With this amount of shared data, admins need more controls to keep their data safe and teams need to feel confident working together. Team Drives deliver the security, structure and ease-of-use enterprises need by making it easy to:

  • Add new team members. You can manage team members individually or with Google Groups and give them instant access to relevant Team Drives.
  • Keep track of your files if a team member leaves. Team Drives are jointly owned by the team, which means that anything added to Team Drives stays there no matter who comes or goes. Whirlpool Corporation, for example, uses Team Drives to manage file access. Says Troy McKim, Collaboration Principle at Whirlpool Corporation, “If you place files for a project in Team Drives, you don’t have to worry about losing them or moving them when files are re-owned.”
  • Understand and manage sharing permissions. Team members automatically see the same files regardless of who adds or reorganizes them. You can also manage share permissions by defining the restrictions for editing, commenting, reorganizing or deleting files.
  • Manage and view Team Drives as an admin. Admins can see Team Drives for a user and add new members if necessary: “Team Drives also ease the speed at which a team member can onboard and become effective in their new role,” says McKim.

Team Drives are now generally available to all of our G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers.

Pokemon Go is a Security Game?

No Pokemon Go
While the news coverage has trailed off, the Pokemon Go phenomenon continues as kids and adults continue to play, and the game expands to new locations.

Also in the news, but with less coverage, was the security hole that gave the companies behind Pokemon Go completely unfettered access to users’ Google Apps and Gmail accounts.  This access was not just to read your contacts so you can “share”, Pokemon Go had full read/write access to all user data.

In a short but sobering report, our friends at CloudLock assess and quantify the risk posed by Pokemon Go. Click here to access the report; it serves as a great example of the risks posed by 3rd party apps.


Contact us if you want to learn more about protecting Google Apps from 3rd party app risks.

 

Google Drive

Tuesday Take-Away: Google Apps Security Updates

google-drive-icon
Most organizations we work with are looking to the cloud for better collaboration, mobile integration, and remote user support. Google’s release of Drive for Work (aka Google Apps Unlimited) in 2014 promised to align Google Apps with user needs and priorities.

Over the past several months, Google has deployed several security and feature enhancements that make Drive a more robust file service. Some are only available with Drive for Work, others apply to all Google for Work domains.

Set Sharing Settings by Department
(Drive for Work / Google Apps Unlimited Only)

Sometimes different file settings make sense. You might, for example, have a research department that needs to keep information confidential and a sales team that needs to share presentations with their clients. To help manage these different sharing needs, now when you make selections in Drive settings from the Admin console, you can turn off sharing outside the domain for one organizational unit, while still allowing others to work and share files with anyone they need to.

Create Custom Drive Alerts / Track More Events with Drive Audit
(Drive for Work / Google Apps Unlimited Only)

To keep track of when specific actions are taken in Drive, you can set up custom Drive alerts. So if you want to know when a file containing the word “confidential” in the title is shared outside the company, now you’ll know. And there are more events coming to Drive audit, including download, print and preview.

Set up custom admin alerts to find out when things change
(All Google for Work Domains)

There are lots of moving parts to running a company, and now it’s easier for IT to find out about the things they care about with custom alerts — like when a new app is installed or a shared calendar is deleted — and get those right in their inbox.

Let people reset their own passwords
(All Google for Work Domains)

Recovering passwords isn’t the most pleasant thing we do in our lives. But now IT can let employees securelyreset their own passwords, so they don’t lose valuable time being locked out of their account. If this doesn’t make sense for your organization, admins can simply turn this ability off.

Disable downloading, printing and copying of any file with IRM
(All Google for Work Domains)

With Information Rights Management (“IRM”) you can disable downloading, printing and copying from the advanced sharing menu – perfect for when the file you’re sharing is only meant for a few select people. This new option is available for any file stored in Google Drive, including documents, spreadsheets and presentations created in Google Docs.

Share quickly with anyone outside your organization
(All Google for Work Domains)

When it comes to sharing, like giving final inventory lists to your caterer or last minute logos to your design agency, you want to make sure people can see it right away — whether they use Drive or not. Now, you canshare with any email address and they’ll be able to view the files you share —without having to sign-in to a Google account. Admins can disable this feature for certain departments that want to require sign-in before , while enabling it for others.

Easier Sharing of Google Docs; Watch Your Permissions

google drive
Google is making it easier to share Google Docs, Drawings, and Slides (not Sheets) with people outside your Google Apps for Business domain.

  • Files shared outside your domain to an email address not linked to an existing Google Account can be viewed without having to sign in or create a new Google Account.
  • If a file is shared with edit or comment permissions, the recieving user must still sign in with a Google Account in order to edit or comment on that file.

This change actually reflects a new “invitation” model.  When a user directly shares with individuals who do not have Google Accounts, those recipients will be able to view the file without signing in. Because no sign in is required, anyone may view the file with this sharing link until the person who the file was explicitly shared with creates a Google Account and expends the invitation.

Once the person creates a Google Account two things happen: (1) the sharing link will no longer work for new users to access the file and the sharing dialog will indicate that the invitation has been used; (2) any user who accessed the file using the sharing link while it was open and signed in using their Google Account will be added to the sharing access list for that file and will continue to have access. Users with permissions to change sharing settings can revoke this access if desired.

While you can prevent this behavior by disabling sharing outside the domain to people who are not using a Google Account via settings in the Admin console, the change makes monitoring of Google Drive permissions more important to maintaining a secure ecosystem.

Tools, such as CloudLock, provide a means for monitoring and managing permissions, helping ensure that sensitive data remains secure.  Contact us if you would like more information.