Written By Daniel Chung

Though Google has provided me many conveniences in the work place, there are 5 main security concerns I have when using Google services such as Gmail, Drive, and Apps within the workplace.

Auditing and Reporting Functions Only Available in Unlimited Storage Plan
The lack of Auditing and Reporting for the basic Google for Work plan is unfortunate. We are a small team and the basic plan is perfect for us except that it does not have auditing and reporting features to help us track data usage in Google Drive.

Discomfort when Sharing with Outside Users
We have all probably felt this at one point or another. I had to share some documents with a contact point who I did not know very well. I meet people at conferences constantly but, though they seem like stand-up people for the most part, some piece of me is always a little anxious when sharing files from out of my inner work circle.

Discomfort when Sharing with Colleagues
Yes, I feel some discomfort when sharing with my own team as well. Call me a worrywart but I know I cannot fully control how my team uses my files. It is not because I don’t trust them. Trusting them might actually be the problem because everyone makes mistakes such as sending files to the wrong person. [Next Post: Top 3 Things to Know about Google’s Information Rights Management (IRM)].

One Account to Rule them All
Though Google’s integration capabilities provide me with endless convenience, at the same time it irks me to know that one account grants access to everything. I try to be conscious of it and not leave my laptop on or my Gmail logged in if I step away from my laptop but I’d be lying if I said that I had never forgotten to do so.

Lack of Control
I’ve read a few articles in regards to phishing attacks, one of which mentioned one that looked like a file shared through Google Drive with a fake login page. It looked quite convincing. The intrinsic problem when using a cloud storage service provider is that if any login information is phished or stolen, they could access our stored files from virtually any location.

Making Work Convenient
Despite these concerns, Google services can be utilized in the work space as long as all of the benefits and risks are taken into consideration.

We use Google Drive to store marketing project files and data that wouldn’t be considered high-risk. In addition, the Google Apps are used regularly for collaborative efforts because my entire team can work on one document simultaneously. Not to mention that Google’s overall integration provides a lot of convenience since everything ranging from Gmail to personal preferences to calendar events are all linked to your Google account.
Overall, it is a good resource that can be utilized in the workplace but some areas need to be assessed before determining how and how much of Google’s services can be used.