Beyond Restore: Use Cases for Google Apps Backup

Backup Man

As we have noted several times in prior posts and webcasts, Google’s internal backup systems are designed to protect you should Google have hardware or software issues. You, however, are responsible for protecting your data in Google Apps from user deletions, user overwrites, malware, hackers, and other risks.

We have identified several use cases for backup/recovery in Google Apps that you cannot do from the Admin console.

A good Google Apps backup solution does more than restore

Preserve Data From Past Employees

  • If you want to preserve data from past employees, and need more than emails, your only option is to continue paying for the suspended Google Apps accounts.
  • With the ability to restore data to others, you can keep the backup as an archive and delete the Google Apps accounts.
  • An added benefit: the cost is less than 1/2 of a Google Apps for Work license and less than 1/4 of a Google Apps Unlimited license.

Transfer Data to New Owners

  • While you can transfer document ownership though the Admin Console and ownership of Sites data through APIs, these transfers are “all or nothing” and are destructive (they remove the data from the original account).
  • With the ability to restore data selectively and to others, you can transfer specific files, folders, sites data, emails, etc. to different people as needed.
  • An added benefit: You can transfer data between employees as they change positions and responsibilities.

Archive Documents (and other data)

  • While Google Apps Vault has eDiscovery searches for Gmail and Drive, Vault only archives Gmail.
  • A third party backup solution can preserve and archive documents, as well as email, calendars, contacts, and sites data in support of your document retention policies or regulations.
  • While a user can still delete a document and empty it from Trash before the backup, most users are unaware of the steps to take. With multiple backups per day, you are protected from losses other than those of a determined malicious actor.

Escape Hatch

  • As a “best-practice”, backups should not be stored in the systems being backed up without altering the format or content.
  • The right backup solution keeps your data in a separate location/service and restores data in its original format.
  • An added benefit: With an export feature, your backups become an easier way to extract data from Google Apps.


We offer multiple backup solutions for Google Apps, click here to learn more about our preferred solution.


Don’t Let Outdated Technology Slow Your Business Down

Is Outdated Technology Slowing Your Business Down?
This article about detailing how outdated technology is slowing your business down is the first in a multi-part series providing ideas and guidance for companies looking to modernize their business with cloud and mobile solutions.

For many small business owners, it is easy to put off technology decisions for more pressing day to day matters. Sometimes, however, “If it ain’t broke; don’t fix it!” can do more harm than good. Outdated IT slows you down and costs you money in lost productivity and missed opportunities. Your old technology also sends a message to your customers about how well your business can serve theirs. In today’s cloud and mobile world, your small business has affordable access to the same caliber productivty tools and services as large enterprises. If your business is not taking advantage of the close and mobility, your competition is and you are falling behind due to outdated technology.

Here are a few ways in which outdated technology can slow down a business:

  1. Reduced Efficiency: Outdated technology often lacks the speed, processing power, and features of newer solutions. This can lead to slower system performance, increased downtime, and inefficient workflows, ultimately slowing down productivity.
  2. Compatibility Issues: As technology advances, older systems may struggle to integrate with newer software, applications, or hardware. This can create compatibility issues, data transfer problems, and hinder the ability to leverage modern tools and innovations.
  3. Limited Functionality: Outdated technology may lack the capabilities and features required to meet evolving business needs. This can restrict the organization’s ability to adopt new strategies, offer improved customer experiences, or take advantage of emerging trends in the industry.
  4. Security Risks: Outdated technology often lacks the latest security patches and updates, making it vulnerable to cyber threats and data breaches. This can have severe consequences, including financial loss, reputational damage, and non-compliance with data protection regulations.
  5. Inefficient Collaboration: Outdated communication and collaboration tools can hinder effective teamwork and communication within the organization. This can lead to delays in decision-making, slower response times, and decreased overall collaboration efficiency.

Addressing the Roadblocks of Outdated Technology in Business

Moving From Outdated Technology to The Cloud

Moving to the cloud does not need to be an “all or nothing” proposition. Most small businesses start with email and move on to file sharing/collaboration. Business apps, like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Accounting can also be good places to start, delivering a high return and value for the migration effort and spend.

For some, affordably migrating to the cloud and going mobile is easiest to accomplish with the latest version of tools and software that you already use. For others, moving to the cloud and mobile is an opportunity to change the way your team works, so moving your team to new tools is best.

Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365?

This is the question we are asked most often by fellow small business owners and IT leaders. Google Cloud or Office 365?

Our answer is: YES.

We are not saying your choice doesn’t matter when it comes to upgrading your outdated technology and speeding up your business. We are saying that Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 fit different businesses differently. Microsoft Office 365 extends the Microsoft Office ecosystem with collaboration, communication, and data/information tools that will never exist in your desktop version of Office.  Google Apps integrates broadly with most of the newer, cloud and mobile first tools preferred by small business. And, we have five ways to integrate your MS Office desktop software with Google Apps, so you don’t need to abandon the tools you already know.

Both ecosystems help you get stuff done faster, communicate more efficiently, and make mobility easier. Which solution is best for you depends on a factors ranging from where your team works and how you want to improve communications and collaboration to which line of business systems are critical to your success. By looking at your full IT environment, you can pick the cloud productivity platform and other cloud services that make the most sense, and delivery the greatest return.

Footprints, Workloads, and Clouds

Beyond your basic productivity suite (email, documents, spreadsheets, files, etc) and collaboration tools (voice, chat, conferencing, document sharing), more small businesses are moving other workloads from their on premise footprint into the cloud. Do not get flustered by the jargon! Workloads are simply applications or data processing; your footprint is the physical IT systems you use; and the cloud is, well, any cloud infrastructure or hosted service where you can run your workloads.

For small businesses like yours, moving other applications into the cloud will improve security and reliability, offer better business continuity, and mitigate or lower costs. And while some applications don’t have a cloud version you can use (i.e., Quickbooks Online lacks features and reports most of our customers want or need), you can move those systems onto cloud server with remote desktop access.

Overcome Outdated Business Technology Today

Your job is your business and serving your customers. Our job is to make sure your IT helps you do your job better and more efficiently.

To overcome day to day challenges, businesses should regularly assess their technology infrastructure, identify outdated systems, and prioritize necessary upgrades. Investing in modern, scalable, and secure technologies can help streamline operations, enhance productivity, improve customer experiences, and position the business for future growth and success.

Talk to us about your business, your goals, objectives, and priorities. Challenge us to find ways to help you reach your goals with our managed cloud services. We will bring our vision, enthusiasm, expertise, experience, and pragmatism, along with our commitment to either add value, or get out of the way.

Let’s start the conversation!

Be Able to Recover

Backup Man
Accidents will happen. And while accidents that damage or destroy data are more common, malicious attacks will happen as well.  The rate of ransomware is on the rise and large companies are not the only targets. Whether by phishing attack, advanced persistent threat, or other means your company is seen as having data valuable enough to extort a ransom, you are a target.

In short, if you are reading this, you are a potential target.

While improving your endpoint protection and educating users can greatly minimize your risk, no malware solution can provide you with a guarantee against ransomware. So, if you are hit, you need to be able to recover.

For your on-premise systems, you most likely have a backup/recovery solution. In the event of ransomware, you can delete the encrypted files and restore from a point in time prior to the attack. Yes, you lose data, but a solid backup plan can minimize the loss and the impact.

Your cloud data needs the same protection. You want the same recovery process.  

Traditional and cloud backup services can be installed and connected to cloud servers in much the same way as they work for on-premise servers. For cloud file services, like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, traditional backup solutions will not work as they cannot connect to the service. The same holds true for data in SaaS applications like  You need a specialized solution.

Our Recommendation

For most of our Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 clients, we recommend Backupify as our preferred solution for several reasons:

  • Multiple backups per day for some or all users
  • Unlimited backup space
  • Unlimited backup retention
  • Multiple admin accounts with delegation
  • Powerful search
  • Fast restores
  • The ability to archive data for past users (Google Apps)

Our Offer

Try Backupify for free for 21 days. If you like what you see, we can save you money on license and support.  If not, we discontinue the service.

Interested? Let us know.

Third Party Apps: The Overlooked Data Risk

risks of third-party apps It is easy to overlook the risks of third-party apps. You see a cool app and install it on your phone. You see the prompt asking you for permissions. It is not clear what the app wants to access or why, but you want the app. You click “Grant” or “Allow” and away you go. Some third party now has access to your contacts, you schedule, and maybe even your files. Whether mobile apps, browser extensions, or freemium apps, your user community is installing apps and tools and granting access to your data. And while most apps are harmless and well-behaved, one rogue app can be a disaster.

The Hidden Dangers of Third-Party Apps

Not every app, and not every app provider, is trustworthy.  And since most apps need access to some of your data in order to function, permissions should not be granted without some forethought. Preventing individual users from installing apps and granting permissions, however, is nearly impossible. Most small and midsize organizations have neither the money or resources to micromanage browsers and mobile devices — especially in our BYOD world.

Using third-party apps can come with certain risks, and it’s important to be aware of them before installing and using such applications. Here are some common risks associated with third-party apps:

  1. Security and Malware: Third-party apps may pose security risks as they are not subject to the same level of scrutiny and oversight as apps available on official app stores. Some third-party apps may contain malware, spyware, or other malicious code that can compromise your device’s security and steal personal information.
  2. Data Privacy: Third-party apps may collect and misuse your personal data without your knowledge or consent. These apps may access sensitive information stored on your device, track your online activities, or share your data with third parties for targeted advertising or other purposes. This makes a good case for implementing proper data protection and security measures.
  3. Compatibility and Reliability: Third-party apps may not be as reliable or compatible with your device as apps provided by trusted sources. They may crash frequently, have compatibility issues with your operating system or other apps, or cause other technical problems.
  4. Lack of Updates and Support: Third-party apps may not receive regular updates or support from developers. This can lead to compatibility issues with new operating system versions or security vulnerabilities that go unpatched, leaving your device exposed to potential threats due to outdated technology.
  5. Inadequate User Reviews and Ratings: Unlike official app stores that have stricter review processes, third-party app sources often lack reliable user reviews and ratings. This makes it challenging to assess the quality, safety, and overall user experience of these apps.
  6. Legal and Copyright Issues: Some third-party apps may infringe upon intellectual property rights, such as copyrighted content or trademarks. Installing and using such apps could potentially lead to legal repercussions.

To minimize the risks associated with third-party apps, consider the following precautions

The Best Ways to Safeguard Your Device and Data from Third-Party Risks

Fortunately, for those of us running Google Apps and other cloud services, we have affordable solutions for monitoring and managing third party app access to your data.

Our Recommendation to Shield Your Device from Potential Harm

If you are running Google Apps, we generally recommend BetterCloud Enterprise as our preferred solution for several reasons:

  • The Domain Health and Insight Center provides you with activity reports, alerts, and advanced reporting
  • Bettercloud includes a robust suite of Google Apps admin tools that are not available in the Google Apps Admin Console, including bulk actions, dynamic groups, and a user deprovisioning wizard
  • BetterCloud monitors and lets you manage third party app access to any data within Google Apps, and provides a trust rating to help you determine which applications pose a risk
  • BetterCloud monitors activity in Drive against business rules to ensure compliance with data privacy policies and regulations. BetterCloud will proactively modify permissions and send alerts to prevent accidental or intentional violations.

Additional Ways to Guard Against the Pitfalls of Third-Party Apps

  • Only download apps from trusted sources, such as official app stores or reputable websites.
  • Read reviews and ratings from other users before installing an app.
  • Check the permissions requested by the app and ensure they are necessary for its functionality.
  • Keep your device’s operating system and security software up to date.
  • Use reputable antivirus software to scan apps before installation.
  • Be cautious when granting excessive permissions or sharing sensitive information with apps.
  • Regularly review and remove any unused or suspicious apps from your device.

How Cumulus Can Help Protect You From Third-Party App Risks

While there is a minimum fee for BetterCloud Enterprise, you can try BetterCloud for free for up to 30 days.  If you like what you see, we will waive the setup fees.  If not, you can keep running the Domain Health and Insight Center for free.


How to Upgrade Your Endpoint Protection

endpoint protection upgrade Most malware and virus protection takes the form of an endpoint protection solution that resides on each PC or Mac. As the system accesses files, the content is compared against a database of malware profiles. These types of solutions are failing more frequently as the number of malware variants skyrockets and the threats get more sophisticated.  Detecting malware depends more on analyzing file behavior patterns than it does the file content. This poses the need for an endpoint protection upgrade to ensure proper protections are in place.

Symantec Endpoint Protection Upgrade

Upgrading Symantec Endpoint Protection is an important step to ensure that your endpoint security solution remains effective against evolving threats. It’s important to note that specific upgrade processes may vary depending on your environment and the version of Symantec Endpoint Protection you are currently using. Here are some steps you can consider when upgrading Symantec Endpoint Protection:

  1. Review the System Requirements: Before upgrading, ensure that your systems meet the minimum requirements for the new version of Symantec Endpoint Protection. Check the product documentation or contact Symantec support for the specific requirements.
  2. Backup Configuration and Data: Prior to upgrading, create a backup of your existing Symantec Endpoint Protection configuration settings, policies, and any important data. This will allow you to restore settings in case of any issues during or after the upgrade.
  3. Check for Compatibility: Verify the compatibility of any third-party software or integrations with the new version of Symantec Endpoint Protection. Ensure that they will continue to function properly after the upgrade.
  4. Plan the Upgrade Strategy: Develop an upgrade plan based on your organization’s requirements. Consider factors such as the number of endpoints, network bandwidth, maintenance windows, and any potential impact on users or critical systems.
  5. Test in a Lab Environment: If feasible, set up a test or lab environment to perform a trial upgrade. This allows you to identify and address any potential issues before rolling out the upgrade to your production environment.
  6. Communicate with Stakeholders: Notify relevant stakeholders, such as IT teams, end-users, and management, about the upcoming upgrade. Provide information about the benefits, timeline, and any potential impact on their workflows.
  7. Obtain the Latest Version: Obtain the latest version of Symantec Endpoint Protection from the official Symantec website or through your authorized Symantec partner. Ensure that you download the correct version for your operating system, and don’t let outdated technology slow your business down.
  8. Read the Upgrade Documentation: Carefully review the upgrade documentation provided by Symantec. Follow the step-by-step instructions and pay attention to any specific considerations or prerequisites mentioned.
  9. Perform the Upgrade: Execute the upgrade process on a test system or a small group of endpoints first, ensuring that everything functions as expected. If successful, proceed with upgrading the remaining endpoints according to your plan.
  10. Post-Upgrade Testing and Validation: After the upgrade, perform thorough testing to validate the functionality of Symantec Endpoint Protection. Test key features, policies, and ensure that endpoints are adequately protected.
  11. Monitor and Troubleshoot: Monitor the upgraded environment closely for any issues or unexpected behavior. Address any problems promptly and seek assistance from Symantec support if necessary.

Remember to consult the official Symantec documentation and support resources for detailed guidance tailored to your specific version and environment.

Cloud-based Alternatives offer Better Endpoint Protection Solutions

Traditional endpoint protection software is limited by the local device resources and the need to minimize performance degradation.  Instead of using a database with megabytes or gigabytes of information, cloud-based solutions compare file content and behaviors against terabytes of information, improving accuracy and dramatically reducing risks. The footprint on the endpoint can be significantly less, avoiding the performance impact of most endpoint protection software. Cloud-based endpoint protection solutions offer the ability to protect users across devices — PC, Mac, iOS, and Android — through a single system and management console.

Leveraging a cloud-based endpoint protection solution can improve your protection against current and evolving risks, at a more cost-effective price.

Our Recommendation

We recommend Webroot SecureAnywhere as our preferred solution for several reasons:

  • Webroot is better at catching behavioral malware, such as ransomware
  • Webroot can coexist or replace your current endpoint protection solution
  • Webroot can protect individual devices, or users across multiple devices and device types
  • Webroot has a small, secure footprint that does not create performance issues

Other Best Practices for Endpoint Protection

mplementing best practices for endpoint protection is crucial to safeguarding your devices and data from security threats. Here are some key practices to consider:

  1. Use a Robust Endpoint Protection Solution: Deploy a comprehensive endpoint protection solution that includes antivirus/anti-malware, firewall, intrusion prevention, and other security features. Regularly update the solution with the latest security patches and definitions.
  2. Keep Operating Systems and Software Up to Date: Ensure that all endpoints have up-to-date operating systems and software applications. Enable automatic updates to receive the latest security patches and bug fixes, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities being exploited.
  3. Employ Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Implement MFA for accessing critical systems and sensitive data. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide additional verification factors, such as a password and a temporary code sent to their mobile device.
  4. Enforce Strong Password Policies: Enforce the use of strong, unique passwords across all endpoints. Encourage the use of password managers to facilitate the creation and management of complex passwords. Consider implementing password expiration and complexity requirements.
  5. Educate Users about Security Awareness: Conduct regular training sessions to educate users on common security threats, such as phishing, social engineering, and malicious attachments. Teach them to recognize and report suspicious activities to help prevent breaches.
  6. Implement Least Privilege Principle: Assign users the least privileges necessary to perform their tasks effectively. Limit administrative access to only those who require it. Regularly review and revoke unnecessary privileges to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.
  7. Enable Endpoint Encryption: Encrypt data on endpoints, especially laptops and mobile devices. Full disk encryption helps protect sensitive information in case of theft or loss. Additionally, consider encrypting data during transmission using secure protocols (e.g., HTTPS).
  8. Regularly Back Up Endpoint Data: Perform regular backups of critical data on endpoints. Use both local and off-site backups to ensure data availability and quick recovery in the event of data loss or ransomware attacks. You may also consider evaluating SaaS backup solutions.
  9. Implement Network Segmentation: Segment your network to limit the lateral movement of threats. Divide your network into logical zones with restricted access controls and monitor traffic between segments for potential threats.
  10. Monitor and Analyze Endpoint Activity: Implement endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions to monitor and analyze endpoint activities in real-time. This helps identify and respond to suspicious behavior, malware, or breaches promptly.
  11. Regularly Conduct Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Testing: Perform regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing to identify and address potential weaknesses in your endpoint security infrastructure. This helps proactively identify and remediate vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
  12. Establish an Incident Response Plan: Develop and document an incident or breach response plan outlining the steps to be taken in case of a security incident. Regularly review and update the plan to ensure its effectiveness and alignment with emerging threats.

Upgrade Your Endpoint Protection Today

Try Webroot SecureAnywhere for free for 21 days and let’s see if your current solution is missing any risks. If you like what you see, we can save you money on licenses and support.  If not, we discontinue the service. Get in touch today to see how we can help with endpoint protection and other data protection and security needs.