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G Suite Admins Blog > Security and Governance

Security, Compliance and Governance for the Midmarket and Enterprise with Google Vault

Copy of apps admin blog (9)Security, governance and compliance. These three terms are crucial to businesses of all shapes and sizes today. Without them, you couldn't hope to protect the huge amounts of data that stream through your company every day. The problem is, now that there's so much information out there to work with, organizations are struggling to handle their compliance strategies in a simple and efficient nature.

Google Vault is an application for the Google Apps network that allows today's companies to archive, retain, search, and export an organization's chat messages, emails, and more for compliance purposes. Entirely web-based, Google Vault for mid-market and enterprise customers is included in the "Business" package for Google Cloud. It helps you meet your compliance needs, without asking you to spend huge amounts on initial investments for extra software.

The Basics of Google Cloud Vault

In a world where companies are gathering more useful, and potentially dangerous data than ever before, Google created the Vault to make managing that information flow as simple as possible. Google Vault allows companies to hold, retain, search, and export their data to support the eDiscovery and archiving needs of their existing strategy. For instance, with Vault, you can manage your email messages, Google Groups, Hangouts chats, and files in Team Drives with ease.

In simple terms, Google Vault allows today's customers decide what kind of content they want to hold onto, then it gives them simple and efficient access to that data, so they can ensure it meets with their compliance and eDiscovery needs. The GCP Vault works with the other components of the G Suite Business and Enterprise editions, which means you can draw your corporate data from G Suite products like Google Drive, Gmail, Google Teams Drive, Google Hangouts Meet, and Google Groups.

Because the Google Vault is all about security and compliance, it allows you to protect your business data using archiving strategies and legal holds. You can safely set your retention policies on supported content for a whole domain, or you can set up your compliance strategies for specific units in your mid-market or enterprise business. When setting up units, you can choose specific query terms and date ranges to suit your needs. Vault even makes it easy to manage and track logged information for auditing purposes.

What's more, when it comes to searching for Data, Google makes managing your information simpler than ever. You can find and retrieve crucial information from your strategy, even from accounts that might be suspended. This is the easiest way to gather all the information your legal team needs or prevent loss of data that can occur during employee turnover.

Data Governance with Google Vault

Google Vault is an "eDiscovery" and compliance system. In other words, it's designed to support the process of managing, storing, and finding information in electronic format. Google ensures that you always have access to the information you need when you need it most. However, it also gives you the power to remove specific data from an account. Google Vault comes at no additional cost to Enterprise and G Suite Business users. However, you can purchase it as an add-on feature for Google's Basic G-Suite package.

When you access your Google Vault system, you'll be able to set up and determine your retention policies to suit the specific compliance standards around your business. For instance, you can decide what kind of data you want to store, who you should be allowed access to that information, and whether your information should automatically be deleted after a certain length of time. This could be critical to some of the security compliance standards like GDPR that offer the right to be forgotten.

Setting up custom rules for your data management strategy means that you're prepared to comply with any of the regulations that might emerge for your industry. Additionally, it's worth noting that the Vault system automatically begins the process of purging data that exceed your coverage period when you submit a new rule, so make sure that you don't initiate any new rules until you ensure they're properly configured.

 Google Vault Features

Google Vault comes packed full of features to make compliance and data governance simple. You can set retention rules that specifically indicate how long chat histories and email messages should be held before they're removed from your inbox and deleted from the Google system. You can even create custom rules that are based on specific search terms or date ranges, with the freedom to implement as many guidelines as your business needs. Other features include:

  • Legal holds: Put legal holds on data that might be critical to your compliance efforts. You can place holds on any of the content in a user's account, including emails and on-the-record chats, or target specific pieces of content using terms and dates.

  • eDiscovery: With Google's advanced search features, you can browse through your domain's history, email, and on-the-record chats on Google Hangouts by keyword, date, and user accounts. eDiscovery works with Gmail and Hangouts, as well as Google Drive accounts. You can search through Google file types, and non-specific files like JPG, DOCX, and PDF.

  • Easy Exporting: With Google Vault, exporting data to your system is easy. You can access email, chats, and files from your drive and use additional processing to support your compliance needs. You can even use Vault's "audit" reports to learn about some of the actions that other Vault users have used for their security and governance systems.

 Unlocking the Google Vault

Importantly, while Vault is a fantastic resource for archiving, retaining, searching, and exporting organizational email, hangout, and drive data - it's not a backup solution or recovery system. You can keep the data you need for as long as you like and remove it when it's no longer needed. However, once the data has been removed, there's no recovery solution available. Therefore, Vault is designed specifically for eDiscovery and investigations.

If you're not sure how to proceed with your own compliance efforts, or you need some help making the most out of Google Vault, reach out to the experts at Coolhead Tech today. We can make sure that you have the right security strategies in place for your midmarket or enterprise business.