For organizations looking for an affordable, scalable productivity suite, Google Workspace is a great option. Designed with security in mind, it also has several features that promise to keep your organization’s most valuable asset – your data – safe. 

Your data is under constant threat – and the consequences can be costly

The safety of your data is under attack from many directions: cybercriminals as well as disgruntled users, accidental human error, programmatic errors and more pose a threat.  Cyberattacks especially are an ever growing challenge: incidents have doubled in some sectors due to the advances in AI enabling criminals to conduct increasingly sophisticated attacks. 

Data loss often comes with severe consequences for your business. The time and effort required to recover from the event and get critical operations running safely again can be significant. Being able to demonstrate business continuity in the event of a cyberattack is a legal requirement of regulations such as the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) and the upcoming NIS 2 directive, and fines for non-compliance are hefty. Lastly, your reputation is on the line, too, especially when it is found that data security protection was lacking.

Google’s protection is not enough

Google’s safety mechanisms include end-to-end encryption and two factor authentication. However, Google’s built-in backup and recovery solution is insufficient, leaving you and your data at risk. There are two main reasons for this: 

  • Google’s built-in backup functionality provides only temporary and limited protection

Google constantly backs up your data to meet their service level agreements (SLA) in the event of a major service outage on their part. Your data is “sharded” (partitioned horizontally) and split between multiple regions and data centers so that in the event of a catastrophic failure or cyber attack on a single data center, your “live” data will still be available to you when you open up Google Workspace.

However, there are no automatic backups beyond 25 days, and only limited protection against accidental deletion and malicious users. 

  • Google Vault is not a backup solution

Some organizations use Google Vault, a protective layer to provide data retention and eDiscovery for compliance purposes, to backup their data, however Vault is not designed as a backup tool. It only stores the latest versions of your data and is not designed for recovery.

In fact, you are responsible if your data is lost or changed in many common circumstances such as:

  1. A user has modified content and you need to restore it back to a previous state.
  2. A malicious user has been able to modify and delete data because you have given them access to it through sharing and delegation policies.
  3. An admin has incorrectly set a policy or process (such as a Vault retention policy) leading to unwanted changes to your data such as pre-emptive deletion

Google Workspace and Google Vault lack basic backup functionality

Further limitations that disqualify Google Workspace and Google Vault as effective backup and recovery methods include:

  1. No mass restoration process – Google does not provide an easy, direct and effective method of restoring data in bulk. 
  2. Data restored may not be in the format required – For example, Google Vault will only allow you to restore emails in MBOX format with no label preservation.
  3. Limited time and no version control when restoring from Google Workspace Trash – Whilst you can retrieve deleted items from Trash, you only have a limited amount of time to do so (25 – 30 days) before it is permanently deleted. You will only be able to restore the latest version of the file or email with no granular version control.

How can you protect your data from the consequences of data loss?

In summary, relying on Google and Google Vault for backup and recovery exposes your organization to significant risk from data loss. Noncompliance, reputational damage and ultimately the cost of restoring your data and recovering from the loss further strengthen the case for implementing a robust backup and recovery solution.

CloudM Backup a simple yet powerful backup and recovery solution for Google Workspace that protects your data against accidental deletion and malicious users whilst providing quick and easy mass restoration should data loss occur.

Find out how CloudM backup can protect your organisation.

Book a call with our backup specialists today!
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