How Secure Is Google Drive For Storage?

27 Sep, 2019

How Secure Is Google Drive For Storage?

In the era of digital transformation, every business is making a move to the cloud to gain several benefits. Cloud services are scalable, flexible, highly available, and cost-effective as compared to traditional services. 

When it comes to storage options, nowadays, businesses of all sizes prefer cloud storage services like Google Drive, One Drive, etc. As per recent research, the cloud storage market will reach $97,415 million by 2022. This shows that cloud storage is gaining momentum and its adoption is rapidly increasing.

However, security is still the main concern for businesses choosing cloud storage. A huge number of them are using Google Drive for storage. 

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a cloud storage service, developed, managed and provided to the world by Google. It allows individuals and businesses to store, share, and access files. For individuals, Google offers 15 GB of storage at zero cost. For businesses, it is available with premium plans too. 

Businesses have to pay only for the storage used by their employees. The service works with Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It is a reliable source to store photos, designs, recordings, videos, and other files in the cloud. These files are available to access from any device, from anywhere.

All the files are available at a central space in the cloud, so that authorized employees can not only view and download the files but also collaborate.

How secure is Google Drive?

For the peace of mind, businesses are still wondering whether Google Drive is secure or not. In this article, we have answered this question.

Security features of Google Drive

As a dominant leader in search engines, Google follows the best security practices to ensure that all its users and their data remain safe and secure from all the cyber threats. Following are the key security features of Google Drive to protect cyberattacks:

  1. SSL Encryption: Google Drive is secured using an SSL Certificate that encrypts the communication link between Google Drive and end-users. This means that there will be no man-in-the-middle attacks to compromise data.
  2. Two-factor authentication: Google encourages all the users to enable two-factor authentication for their accounts so that the data on drive remains safe. Two-factor authentication reduces the risk of getting accounts hacked.
  3. TLS standard encryption: For all the files and documents shared between end-users and Google Drive, there is a strong TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption enabled. TLS provides end-to-end security for communications over a network.
  4. Double encryption: When the data is sent to Google Drive for storage, the drive does the un-encryption and then re-encryption for better security. Furthermore, when the data is passed between Google Drive and Google data centres, the encryption is there.

These features of Google Drive show how much secure the service is. However, in the last few years, there have been incidents where the data of Google Drive users was compromised. Simply said, it is a secure cloud storage service but there are still some steps to be taken to boost its security.

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How you can boost the security of Google Drive?

Most of the times, the security of the services depends on the users. Google and other service providers make use of the best security services and steps, but if the users aren’t aware, these services remain vulnerable.

To ensure that you aren’t the one opening doors for the data breach, here are some quick tips:

  1. Secure your network: If you are using Google Drive on networks that are not secure, then your services will remain vulnerable. You should use secure devices and stop using the service over public Wi-Fi connections.
  2. Enable two-factor authentication: You should use a strong password for your Google accounts. A strong password is one with a combination of characters, symbols, and numbers. Along with this, you should also have the two-factor authentication enabled to add an extra layer of security to your account and data.
  3. Limit sharing: Google Drive allows you to share files with team members and other people. But you should be using this feature wisely. If you are giving access to your drive to other people, then limit the sharing to a limited file or folder. Don’t give access to other full folders if not needed. Businesses shouldn’t be giving access to confidential information to the employees.
  4. Compliance: If you are using Google Drive for business, then ensure that you are following the regulations and laws like GDPR while saving the customer data. You should always remain compliant with such regulations, or your business might suffer.

How does Google Drive handle your privacy?

While Google Drive is a secure option, it is still not the best option when it comes to data privacy.

Google’s cloud storage service is here since 2012 and some individuals and enterprises have complained that Google uses its content and data for its benefits. This is true. When your data is stored on Google’s services, it is scanned and analyzed. Google uses this data to sell targeted ads and search engine advantages.

Here is what Google’s Terms of Service states— “Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”

These terms reveal that data and files on Google Drive can be read and analyzed by the company. Furthermore, the search engine giant also has a license to use, host, store, modify and do other such things with the user data. 

The data removed from Google Drive still wouldn’t be removed completely from the service. Google states that you can access and remove your data completely for some services. However, it is not clear which services allow that.

This doesn’t mean that your data will be used for wrong purposes, but the fact is that Google has access to it, and it is somehow used for their benefits. If that bothers you, then Google Drive is not the right option for you. It’s better to consider some alternate cloud storage options.

 Wrapping up

Cloud storage is the new norm today. While there are several advantages of services like Google Drive, you have to follow best practices and keep things in compliance. You can’t afford to be careless about your data, because data is the lifeblood of a company. 

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