Data security is a concern for almost every business. Contrary to how data security is portrayed in movies and television, most businesses don’t have to worry about cyber attacks from malicious overseas hackers. What they do have to worry about, however, is making sure important business data is protected from loss, theft, and destruction.
On the flip side of the coin, many businesses are also embracing cloud computing. This means data is often not stored locally on company computers and/or networks. Though the convenience of cloud computing is hard to ignore, it can also create some challenges around ensuring business data remains secure.
One of the most popular tools for business cloud computing and data storage is Google’s Google Workspace. Google Workspace includes Google Drive, which is Google’s cloud data storage and backup solution. On its own, Google Drive is a lot like peer-to-peer file sharing. Anyone can create files and folders, and share those with anyone else.
Unfortunately, whoever creates files and folders in Google Drive also controls the ability to delete them. From a business perspective, this poses significant risks to data security.
The good news is that there is an answer to this potential problem, and it’s called shared drives (formerly Team Drives).
What Is Google Drive Shared Drives?
The easiest way to explain Google shared drives is that it is the same fundamental product as Google Drive, but with an added administrative layer that provides control and oversight to a system administrator.
The shared drives administrator can set up important security layers to protect business data, including things like:
- File ownership belongs to the business, not the creator of the file. This means creators can’t accidentally or purposefully delete important documents and data.
- Only system administrators can move folders
- All members can view files owned by the team
- Files moved into the drive inherit the permissions of shared drives
- Easy user management
With Google shared drives, a business can have all the benefits of cloud computing and data storage as well as business-grade data security and system administration.
Practical Uses For Shared Drives
With the added security and control that shared drives gives Google Workspace users, there are some common business data-related problems that can now be easily addressed. For example:
Improved Data Security
Shared drives immediately addresses and solves any concerns or requirements a business’s customers might have about demonstrating a secure file-sharing environment for compliance reasons.
Increased Data Protection
Without shared drives, employees are able to accidentally (or intentionally) delete data that may be critical to the business. With Google shared drives, any documents or data an employee creates can be automatically protected from deletion by anyone other than a system administrator.
Greater Operational Efficiency
Shared drives gives businesses a way to streamline data creation and sharing between employees. Having a standardized folder structure, backups, and document creation saves employees and management time and hassle.
Is Shared Drives Right For Your Business?
To determine if Google shared drives is right for your business, there are a handful of relatively simple questions you can ask yourself:
- Do I want/need, or already use, a cloud data solution?
- Do I keep important business data and/or documents in the cloud?
- Do I need to share access to important business data with other employees?
- Are my employees creating important documents and data that I don’t want to lose?
- Can my employees edit, delete, or take my business data currently?
If you answered “yes” to two or more of those questions, it’s probably worth your time to learn more about Google Team Drive.
How Much Does Shared Drives Cost?
Google Drive shared drives is part of Google’s Google Workspace Business and Enterprise plans. Shared drives is not included in Google Workspace Basic.
Google Workspace Business plans cost $12 per user, per month. Enterprise plans cost $25 per user, per month. New customers can get two months free by prepaying for a year upfront.
How To Get Started With Shared Drives
If you are interested in implementing Google Workspace and shared drives for your business, we highly recommend working with an official Google Cloud Partner.
At Fortis, we’ve invested in getting our in-house IT professionals trained on all of the Google Google Workspace apps and tools. We can migrate your existing data and documents into Google Workspace, train your staff, and help you administer the system if needed.
Please contact us today to learn more or get started.