Data Loss Prevention in Google Workspace

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Keep an Eye on Your Data

The world goes through difficult times at the moment, and it seems it will take a while until things are going to settle down. The infamous COVID-19 pandemic is quickly moving from one country to another changing the world we live in and forcing people to adapt at a fast pace.

It's clear that the immediate threat is to people's health. This is why everyone is recommending social distancing and working from home (where it's possible). Now, if your organisation has a well-designed system that safely supports remote work, you may have the opportunity to move past this dark moment in time without taking too many hits.

However, many businesses and organizations are not prepared (or fully-prepared) for remote work. And, to add insult to injury, cybercriminals shamelessly exploit the situation. As such, we want to talk about Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and its importance, especially now that organisations are working more from home.

Loss of data can happen:

  • Intentionally - an employee that was already planning to leave may take advantage of the situation and emails the entire customer database spreadsheet to themselves.
  • Unintentionally - someone clicks on an infected link or one of the employees' account is hacked. Or someone in the company incorrectly shares a document or folder to allow access to anyone.

Regardless, if this happens, a data leak may (and most likely will) affect your organisation's reputation and credibility in front of customers. In addition, you will have to report a data breach and support the consequences.

Now, if you have a solid Data Loss Prevention strategy, it will be easier to prevent sensitive data (e.g credit card numbers) being shared externally.

How to Set Up DLP for Google Drive & Gmail

Remote work is a lot easier nowadays due to software and platforms that allow collaborative work, like Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, and more. In fact, many of our customers use Google Workspace to keep their business safely available at all times.

So, if your organisation uses these services, we put together two video tutorials on how to protect your data using DLP.

DLP for Google Drive

The main threat when you're using Google Drive is that users may share sensitive data with external parties (intentionally or by accident). As such, you should set a few data protection rules using the Google Workspace admin console, as we described in the video tutorial above.

For instance, the rule we created works with all file formats. It can even read the content of a PDF file or image. It is so efficient that, if you set it to block credit card numbers and someone scans a document with a handwritten credit card number, it will detect it and take action.

If you want to learn more about DLP rules for Google Drive, you can do it here.

DLP for Gmail

By setting data protection rules for Gmail, you can prevent users from taking unwanted actions. These rules scan email content and attachments and take action when a trigger event is identified.

For instance, you can set it to react to specific words, which is useful when you want to make sure employees don't send emails that may hurt your organisation's image in front of customers or partners.

If you want to learn more about DLP rules for Gmail, you can do it here.

Stay Safe

In summary, it's better to be safe than sorry! We strongly recommend identifying your risk situations and creating Data Loss Prevention strategies using the examples we offered. A good idea is to first identify all the important data in your organisation (specifically the file names and locations) and then set up DLP rules to protect them.

Also, to make sure the situation doesn't repeat, it's best to create rules that notify management of the situation. This way, you have the chance to find out if an employee is trying to sabotage the business without their knowledge (the system works as a silent alarm).

In the end, please keep in mind that uncertain times and scary situations can scare even good people into doing stupid things. As such, it's best to deploy preventive measures and contain the situation (if it happens) in a gentle and understanding manner.

Stay safe, practice prevention in your business and social distancing in your personal lives, and let's hope the situation will soon get better!