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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.


 

Spring Cleaning Past Employee Accounts

Cover.eBook.Guide to Google Apps License Management
It may be the second day of Spring here in New England, but the kids are home from school and the plows were out early. Nothing like a post-winter snow to trigger the spring cleaning bug in us all. For those that work in the cloud, the start of Spring is a great time to review our licenses and our needs and to make sure we are cleaned up and ready for new growth. If you are using Google Apps For Work (GAFW) or Google Apps Unlimited (GAU), now is a great time to clean out accounts for past employees.

Easier Said Than Done

Google Apps has a simple licensing model.  Pay $50 or $120 per user per year, respectively, and users have access to everything Google Apps has to offer.  The challenge comes in when employees leave. If you want to preserve their data, your options within Google Apps are limited, and can become costly. Specifically, you can expect to pay:

  • $50 per user per year to keep a past employee’s GAFW account
  • $100 per user per year if you also have Vault
  • $120 per user per year to keep a suspended GAU account

You Do Have Options

As noted in our recent eBook, A Guide to Google Apps License Management, we discuss several strategies, including: using an “archive” account, sync & store, and cloud backup.  Both the “archive” and “sync & store” approaches are inexpensive, they are not very cost effective. If you are keeping past employees’ data, you want the information to be easy to find an usable.  These solutions can make finding and retrieving information difficult and can alter the format and formatting of documents.

Our recommended solution uses cloud backup. Backup past users to a 3rd party service that lets you restore the data to any active user if and when you need it.  It is easy to keep calendar entries, contacts, files, and emails. File formats and formatting are preserved. Finding information is easy with robust search tools.

And, the cost is affordable. Backupify for Google Apps lets your create and keep an employee archive for $24 (or less!) per account per year. This is half the cost of protecting active users, and 50% to 80% less than keeping the Google Apps accounts active.  And, you avoid the risk of damaging or losing data while shuffling information to other users or into “archive” accounts.

Contact Us

To learn more about our proven solution, along with current special offers, please contact us.

Security Alert: Protect Your Google Apps Account from Being Hacked

Data Protection
Over the past 4 to 6 weeks, we have seen an alarming increase in the number of Google Apps accounts that have been “hacked” across both our business and education customers.

Google Apps security is NOT the issue.  ALL of the hacked accounts are due to compromised user identities.

In every case we have encountered, the users have used their Google Apps email address and password with another service that has had a breach, or has had malware on their computer that provided username and password keystrokes to the hackers.

In both types of incidents, hackers then log in as the user and cause mayhem.

We strongly recommend the following actions:

1) Educate your users that they are not to use their Google Apps password for any other account not explicitly authorized. Users should also not use their Google Apps email address as the username for personal accounts with other services.

2) Check Your Systems for malware and make sure your endpoint protection is up to the task. If not, we recommend Webroot Endpoint Protection and Web Security Services (the link is to our edu site, but the service is available to business and government customers as well).

3)  Implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).  In business environments, users should be using 2FA to secure their accounts.  Implementation can be involved if you have other services linked to Google Apps, as you will need to generate service-specific passwords.

In education environments, 2FA is not practical for all users, as students and many faculty members may not have mobile devices available to access the Authenticator.  For schools, we recommend any user with partial or full administrative privileges have 2FA active.


Activating 2FA is covered by our support agreements.

For customers and others without support agreements, mention this blog post and we will discount our hourly support fee by 10%; W

We will discount Webroot deployment fees by 50%.  

Both offers expire on December 31, 2014.

Please contact our Service Desk for 2FA assistance; contact Sales regarding Webroot.