One of the dangers of hosting your organization’s data in the cloud can be misconceptions related to the services provided. This is especially true when this involves how your data is protected.
In general, there are many misconceptions around how public cloud providers protect your business data. Also, there are services offered by the likes of Google and Microsoft that may lead some to believe they can provide effective backups of their data stored in the cloud.
A service offered by Google that you might assume provides backups of your data in G Suite is Google Vault. However, this isn’t the case. Why is that? Let’s take a closer look at Google Vault, what it is and why you still need a third-party backup solution.
What is Google Vault? Why Isn’t It a Backup?
What exactly is Google Vault? As defined by Google, Google Vault lets you retain, hold, search, and export your data from your Google G Suite environment to help support archiving and eDiscovery initiatives you need to meet. Vault supports the following platforms found within the G Suite environment:
● Hangouts Chat
● Hangouts Meet
Google Vault archiving and eDiscovery solution
The official use cases supported by Google Vault are listed by Google as the following:
● Archiving – Using the archiving functionality you can set the retention rules for how long you want to keep data before it is removed from user accounts and finally, deleted.
● Legal holds – When litigation needs data retained for a certain employee, Google Vault allows you to keep all the information associated with a specific user so the data can be used for legal and other needs
● Search – If you are looking for specific information or data found in the G Suite environment, you can search by user account, OU, date, or even a keyword. It also supports advanced searching such as Boolean and wildcard operators
● Export – Google Vault allows exporting data for further processing and review
● Audit reporting – If you need reports that detail activities in your Google environment, Vault allows examining activities based on a specified period of time
You may read through the above description and abilities of Google Vault and assume it is a true backup solution, even if not expressed as one by Google. Why is Google Vault not a backup solution?
Of primary importance when using any solution as a backup solution is having the ability to quickly and easily restore your data. Google Vault is not meant for the quick recovery of your data. In fact, there is no way using Google Vault to quickly and seamlessly restore your data back to your Google environment. Google has made Google Vault effective in getting data out of your environment, but not getting data back into your environment.
There are several key requirements for a backup solution that Google Vault does not meet:
● Stored outside the public cloud being protected
● Data can be easily restored
● Effective versioning
● Backup/restore all business-critical services and files
o Note Google Vault does not cover every type of uploaded non-Google files
● Protects all files in a given protected service
o Google Vault only protects files that are subject to a hold or retention rule. If there are files not subject to these types of rules, they will not be archived. An example is shared drive files that aren’t subject to a hold or retention rule are permanently deleted after 30 days.
Features of Google Vault
You want to use a tool for the purpose it was designed for. Google vault is not meant to be a backup too, but rather an archiving and eDiscovery tool. The intent and use case for Google vault is not designed to handle disaster recovery. Archiving and eDiscovery are different animals from DR.
Below is a good overview of the services and retention/holds on data that are possible when using Google Vault.
A special note to be aware of with Google Vault is that it only retains certain file types on Google Drive. So, it cannot retain just any file a user uploads or changes in Google Drive. The file types supported for Google Drive retention and hold include the following:
● Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Drawings
● Hangouts Meet recordings
● Jamboard files that have been saved to users’ Drives
● Non-Google files that users have uploaded to Drive (examples include: PDF, DOCX, and JPG)
Features of a Third-Party Backup Solution
A true backup solution that is capable of protecting your data in the public cloud should be able to offer several key characteristics when it comes to protecting your data. What characteristics are provided by a true cloud backup solution worthy of consideration?
● Provides automated backups of the cloud environment
● Allows easily restoring files either directly or by downloading a particular version of a file
● Does not relies on the cloud being protected
● Has the ability to protect all files stored in a service such as Google Drive (not limited to Google-specific files)
● Allows easily searching backups for specific files that may need to be recovered
● Protects backups with strong encryption, both on-disk and when transferring across the network
● Has the ability to control the retention
● Provides effective reporting on data protection
● Allows migrating data between user accounts
By looking at the above list, you get a good idea of what an effective cloud backup solution is able to provide. Easy Recovery of your data is the key difference between what a true backup solution and Google Vault. Google Vault is centered on the ability to create a snapshot of the way a certain set of data might look for a given user for a specific period of time and is geared towards archiving/eDiscovery.
Third-party backup solutions provide you with disaster recovery features and functionality that allows effectively restoring data that is accidentally deleted by an end-user or perhaps a security event involving ransomware.
What is the Best Third-Party Backup Solution for G Suite?
When considering the characteristics of a good backup solution as listed above, what is the best third-party backup solution for your G Suite environment?
A great solution for your G Suite environment is Spinbackup. Spinbackup.com is a cloud-to-cloud backup solution providing unique functionality to G Suite environments, including a top-notch Google Drive backup solution. Not only is Spinbackup an effective data protection platform for G Suite, but it also provides powerful cybersecurity features that allow protecting your data from security threats.
This dual-featured approach allows your business to meet many different needs with a single solution. Backups are essential and security is crucial. With Spinbackup, you can backup and secure your data in one fell swoop.
Spinbackup provides backups and cybersecurity for Google G Suite
Spinbackup protects Gmail, Drive, Team Drives, Contacts, Calendar, Photos, and Sites found in the Google G Suite ecosystem. What features are supported with Spinbackup data protection for G Suite?
● Automated Backups – 1X – 3X daily
● Recovery – 100% accurate recovery using the same folders hierarchy
● Deletion Control – Lost & Found folder informs you what files were deleted
● Local Downloads – download backed up data from your Spinbackup account to any device
● Migration – 4 types of data migration from one Google account to another one
● Version Control – Every version of your document is under your control
● Fast Search – Easily search for your backed-up items to help recover lost data immediately
● Activity reports – weekly and monthly reports are available to monitor data loss protection status
The public cloud is growing ever more powerful and fully-featured. No doubt moving your business-critical data and services to the cloud will afford your business many great new capabilities that are hard to achieve on-premises. Backups are absolutely necessary when housing your data in the cloud.
While Google Vault is an effective archiving and eDiscovery platform, using it as a disaster recovery platform can lead to interrupting your business continuity due to its inability to recover data effectively and efficiently. A true cloud backup solution provides many capabilities not found in Google Vault.
Spinbackup is a great third-party backup solution for G Suite. It goes above and beyond what is required for a data protection platform by providing cybersecurity features on top of backing up your data. By using Spinbackup, you can not only backup your data in the cloud, but make sure it is secure from cybersecurity threats as well.