Google’s G Suite is a comprehensive cloud-based productivity suite that includes everything from email and calendaring, to a full range of business productivity applications, which includes substantial cloud storage. With aggressive pricing, cross-platform support, and tight integration with Android devices, G Suite has proven to be as popular with small businesses and educational users as it has with the millions of individuals who use their free accounts every day.
For email users, Gmail has always provided spam filtering and consistently updated their platform to improve security. Unfortunately, breaches still happen. Convincing phishing attacks against Gmail users seen in early March 2017 and a Google docs hack in early May 2017 showed that all it takes is one user clicking on a malicious email to create havoc for other users and their organization.
Where G Suite provides a range of tools that satisfy most user’s needs, they lack several business-critical features that some organizations (such as municipal governments, non-profits, or school districts) require for both security and compliance.
Below, we take a look at a few of the potential issues with G Suite as it stands and some of the ways you can address them.
Gmail provides generous storage, their own unique user interface, and basic protections from spam, phishing, fraud, and malware— that’s where they stop. With the current threat landscape, these basic features are not enough; advanced threats can still slip through G Suite’s defenses. And even mobile users aren’t immune—G Suite only recently (in April 2017) added features to their mobile client to protect against malicious hyperlinks.
While G Suite’s existing features are adequate for many users, there are still use cases where additional layers of protection are desired or required. For example, with the basic service, Gmail doesn’t provide email archiving, which is something a small medical or law office would require for compliance. Additionally, archiving data requires their Vault product, which is a separate subscription or part of their more expensive Business class service; Data Leak Protection (DLP) is only included at their highest Enterprise level of service. Municipal governments and school districts can face the same concerns with email security—their institution is subject to legal and regulatory requirements that individuals and many other small businesses don’t face.
As a leader in cloud integrated security, Barracuda provides a comprehensive solution for these problems. Barracuda Essentials includes an email protection layer with Barracuda Email Security Service, which gives robust spam and phishing protection, anti-virus, and antimalware capability. It also includes an email continuity service to cover a potential Google’s system outage. While outages in Gmail are rare, the ability to continue sending and receiving email even during an outage can be a life saver for any business.
Link Protection adds another layer of security by rewriting potentially hostile links and checking them at “time-of-click” to protect users from malicious sites. Link Protection even includes a user training element to help users understand the threats we’re protecting them against and how to avoid them in the future. As they say, “knowing is half the battle,” and Link Protection can give users the knowledge.
With Barracuda Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) we add a layered defense against sophisticated malware and ransomware attacks, including protection against never seen before zero-day exploits. ATP leverages Barracuda’s entire suite of products, including email security, next-generation firewalls, and web security gateways to drive breadth and depth of information into the machine learning system.
As mentioned earlier, several industries require comprehensive, immutable archives of all email sent or received from protected accounts for regulatory compliance. Gmail’s Vault doesn’t meet that sort of regulatory requirement; Essentials, on the other hand, includes a journaled archive system that does.
Archiving isn’t just useful for compliance. While Gmail provides tagging and search capabilities out of the box, Barracuda’s archive solution provides versatile, granular, tools that let end users search their own archived emails.
Finally, Barracuda Essentials includes DLP functionality to prevent sensitive data from leaking from your organization through email.
While Google G Suite provides good basic security for their web-based and mobile platforms, some users will find unacceptable gaps they need to fill. Barracuda Essentials fills the gaps and provides the security features G Suite lacks.
If you want to see what Barracuda Essentials can do to protect your G Suite deployment, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial and test it in the real world with your own environment.