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February 22, 2023
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 min read

What is Google Workspace / G-suite Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Curious about GSuite or Google Workspace DLP? Find out how DLP tools can help you protect your data and safeguard your business from potential security risks in google workspace

What is  Google Workspace / G-suite Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Calendar Icon White
February 22, 2023
Clock Icon
 min read

What is Google Workspace / G-suite Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Curious about GSuite or Google Workspace DLP? Find out how DLP tools can help you protect your data and safeguard your business from potential security risks in google workspace


Organizations increasingly rely on cloud tools like Google Workspace to streamline operations and increase collaboration in this digital age. But with the convenience comes a question: Is your data truly safe?

Companies face security breaches, unauthorized access, and data loss every day. If confidential information like emails, documents, or client data were to get into the wrong hands due to a vulnerability in your Google Workspace, it would be disastrous for your company. Not only could it result in financial losses, but also cause a serious breakdown in trust from clients.

Google Workspace data loss prevention is possible with the right strategies and proactive measures. Here’s what you need to know about Google Workspace DLP to prevent any potential threats before they arise.

Why Google Workspace DLP matters?

Google Workspace is a powerful tool for business sharing and collaboration. It's low-cost and easy to use. So it’s no wonder organizations large and small have adopted it. 

But Google Workspace carries risks. Google implements multiple features to prevent data loss and common security attacks. However, security is a shared responsibility with the customer on Google products. That’s why Google provides a set of best practices and security checklists for organizations of all sizes.

Insufficient Google Workspace security measures can lead to disaster. Imagine if someone gained access to a spreadsheet containing customer contact information. 

Data loss can cost your company dearly. The worldwide cost of a data breach in 2022 was $4.35 million. In the United States, it's even higher - $9.44 million.

Additionally, you may have additional data loss prevention requirements for your business. (For example, the HIPAA Security Rule covers patient health data in the United States.) These regulations may require you to implement stricter controls on who has access to specific data and how it’s shared.

That’s why Google Workspace security needs to be part of your overall information security plan

G-Suite's Built-in Security Features

Google Workspace stands out from other digital collaboration tools for its powerful suite of productivity tools and its commitment to user security. It offers DLP solutions like Google Workspace Data Loss Prevention (DLP) monitors and controls data transfer, ensuring sensitive data stays within the organization. 

For healthcare-related organizations, it has even more stringent security measures with Google Workspace HIPAA compliance to ensure patient data is highly secured. With these features in place, Google Workspace provides a reliable and secure digital workspace for all users.

Here are some tips on how to enhance Google Workspace data loss prevention:

1. Enforce 2-step verification

2-step verification (also called MFA, or multi-factor authentication) requires users to use a second form of authentication besides their password. Often, this is a code sent via SMS or created by an authenticator app. 

Google workspace security: 2-step security in the Google Admin console.

You can enable 2-step verification for your organization by navigating to your Google Admin Console, selecting Security from the navigation menu, and then selecting Authentication -> 2-step Verification. Enabling 2-step verification in the Google Admin console.        

Before enabling this, educate your users on what MFA is and how they can enroll. Consider configuring the On from date and the New user enrollment period to give people time to onboard. 

2. Use Reports to gain insights

The Reporting Highlights page in your Google Admin console provides several informative roll-ups for assessing your Google Workspace security posture. 

For example, you can see if you have any inactive users. Inactive users are usually people who have left the company. These represent a considerable insider threat vector. (Consider the system administrator who caused USD $1.1 million in damages after his employer fired him.) To prevent this, either suspend or delete an account ASAP when someone leaves the company.

You can also see how many files are being shared. You can even see whether they are shared inside or outside your organization. The more external sharing, the higher the risk for data loss.

The external links report in the Google Admin console will show how many links are shared over time with people outside of your organization.   

Google Workspace Security - report on number of external links from Google Admin

You can access even more security-relevant information in drill-down reports. Use the Accounts report (Reports -> Apps Reports -> Accounts) for this. It shows how many users comply with organizational password strength rules. The report also highlights how many are using 2-step verification. Use these reports to drive compliance with organizational security policies. 

3. Limit user rights

At smaller organizations, it’s common to give users broad privileges. Such rights sometimes include administrator access.

That increases the attack vectors against your Google Workspace. All it takes is for someone to crack (or guess) the password of an admin user, and it’s game over. 

Limit administrator rights to a few select people. Consider limiting user rights further by:  

  • Controlling file sharing capabilities - e.g., by turning external sharing off.
  • Creating a resource hierarchy to limit access to more sensitive information. For example, customer contact information or future product plans.
  • Limiting external sharing to specific trusted domains, such as partners and customers. 

4. Educate your users

Employees can undo the best security. Most of the time, this is done without ill will. People get busy and take the easiest path. 

Train all new employees on Google Workspace security best practices. Specifically, ensure they know organization rules on password strength, password sharing, and information sharing with partners and customers. Create a culture of security at your company by always encouraging users to consider the possible risks their actions might have.

Limitations of built-in Google Workspace DLP features

1. Vulnerabilities with built-in features

While Google has implemented strong security measures, especially with features like Google Workspace DLP (Data Loss Prevention), there's always a risk of a data breach. For instance, Google Drive, a core component of Google Workspace, allows sharing and collaborating on documents. However, tracking who has access to specific information can be challenging, leading to potential unintended disclosure.


  • If an employee's Google account is compromised, all files in Google Drive or Gmail will be accessible and stolen. Customer trust will be eroded.
  • A user may still email or share a file or document containing sensitive information. Even if you discover this breach, the damage may already be done. 

2. User activity dependence

The security of Google Workspace heavily relies on user activity. Ensuring that staff are educated on Google Workspace data loss prevention best practices is essential to mitigate risks associated with human error.

3. HIPAA compliance issues

For organizations in the healthcare sector, Google Workspace HIPAA compliance is a significant concern. While Google Workspace can provide tools and features to enhance compliance, such as Google Workspace HIPAA compliance, achieving full compliance doesn't solely depend on Google Workspace. Organizations must proactively set up and monitor their environment to meet all HIPAA requirements.

The need for proactive measures

With its built-in DLP features, Google Workspace offers some protection against data breaches. However, organizations cannot solely rely on these features. A more comprehensive approach, focusing on Google Workspace data loss prevention, is required. This includes regular audits of user access settings and continuous employee training on best practices, ensuring the organization remains HIPAA compliant within the Google Workspace environment.

Strac DLP for Google Workspace / Gsuite

With its suite of tools, Google Workspace is undeniably beneficial for enhancing collaboration and productivity. However, it also brings forth challenges related to data security and compliance. 

Strac Google Workspace Redaction Showcase
Gmail Data Loss Prevention

Organizations can better safeguard their data by understanding these challenges and taking a proactive approach, especially in areas like DLP and HIPAA compliance in Google Workspace.

Strac Zendesk Redaction
Google Drive DLP.

Improve Google Workspace security with  Strac detects potential leaks across various platforms, including Google Workspace apps. With the increasing emphasis on Google Workspace DLP and HIPAA compliance, Strac is invaluable for safeguarding your Google Workspace. 

Founder, Strac. ex-Amazon Payments Infrastructure (Widget, API, Security) Builder for 11 years.

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