In this article
  • Why back up Google Workspace?
  • SysCloud backup for Google Workspace

12 Reasons Why You Need Google Workspace Backup

20 Dec 2023
10 min read
Vijay Krishna
Blog Articles

Are you using Google Workspace to run your business? In case you didn’t already know, Google is not responsible for backing up your Google Workspace data. Their disclaimer clearly states that the company does not take any responsibility for data loss! 

Don’t take our word for it; here are two extracts from their terms of service

“Google won’t be responsible for the following liabilities: 
  • loss of profits, revenues, business opportunities, goodwill, or anticipated savings 
  • indirect or consequential loss” 
  • “You’re responsible for what you do with your Google Account, including taking reasonable steps to keep your Google Account secure.” 
    Given that Google is not responsible for backing up your data, it is the responsibility of administrators to ensure that their organization’s Google Workspace data is backed up regularly so that business data is always available. 
    Still not convinced? This article explores twelve more reasons why it is critical to back up Google Workspace data. 

    Why back up Google Workspace?

    1. Accidental/intentional deletion of data by users

    According to a study by Invenio IT, human error accounts for 33% of data loss incidents in businesses. 

    Users in your organization might delete a file for various reasons. A few reasons are listed below: 

    Creating space on the Drive: Whenever users on Google Workspace get a notification for running out of space, they often try to create space by deleting files that seem less important. However, this practice is risky.  

    Removing duplicates of data: Google Workspace has the collaborative feature of allowing multiple users to work simultaneously on the same file. Although this feature is quite useful, sometimes people create different versions and copies of the same file, eventually losing track of the original version! In such cases, users might accidentally end up deleting the original file while trying to get rid of duplicates. 

    Having a reliable backup solution for Google Workspace ensures that even if files are mistakenly deleted, they can be recovered easily. 

    2. Threats from third-party apps

    When installing third-party applications, users often grant access by clicking the 'allow' button without reviewing the list of permissions required by the external app. These ‘permissions’ are invisible threats that could become the gateway for a hacker to access your data. 
    They could steal, tamper with, or permanently delete your important files! 

    The "2023 SaaS-to-SaaS Access Report" by Adaptive Shield reveals that there are about 4,371 apps connected to both Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 in a typical 10,000 SaaS-user organization. Over 89% of third-party apps connected to Google Workspace represent a high or medium risk to a company's SaaS data. The report also highlights that organizations are unable to track the number of connected apps or quantify the level of risk these apps are causing. 

    Having a Google Workspace backup is crucial to protect against data loss from third-party app vulnerabilities.

    3. Risks from lost or stolen devices

    Google Workspace's 'Anytime, Anywhere' policies allow users to access their accounts on multiple devices concurrently, offering both convenience and easy accessibility. However, this feature also introduces significant security risks. In the event of a device being stolen, there's a high possibility of sensitive data falling into the hands of unauthorized individuals. 

    According to Forrester Research’s 2023 State of Data Security report, lost or stolen devices account for 17 percent of data breach incidents. 

     Such incidents not only result in the leakage of crucial business information but also put critical business data at risk of being deleted. As most files are shared and stored on Google Drive, the absence of Google Workspace backup for your business means that any deletion of these files could lead to permanent data loss. 

    4. Ransomware attacks

    In March 2023, British outsourcing firm Capita was hit by a ransomware attack, with the recovery process costing around $25 million. As a result of the attack, Capita not only incurred substantial costs but also experienced a 12% drop in its share price.  

    Ransomware is malicious software that attackers use to encrypt and lock your data, subsequently demanding a ransom for the decryption keys. Attackers can gain access to your data by sending a seemingly legitimate email with a virus-laden attachment, which an unsuspecting employee might inadvertently click on. Upon gaining access, attackers encrypt the data and issue a ransom demand, threatening to erase it unless their demands are met by a specified deadline. 
    Backing up Google Workspace data ensures that organizations can quickly restore their data in the event of a ransomware attack, thus minimizing downtime and mitigating the risk of permanent data loss. 

    protipPro tip

    SysCloud backup for Google Workspace scans the data being backed up for the presence of ransomware. Admins can take control of infected files and delete them to prevent ransomware propagation. In the unlikely event of ransomware encryption, admins can recover data from a safe backup snapshot. Learn more

    5. Vulnerabilities of Drive for Desktop

    Drive for Desktop, a tool that synchronizes files between your computer and Google Drive, carries specific security risks. If your desktop is compromised by ransomware and Drive for Desktop is set to sync instantly, it could quickly transmit the infection to your Google Drive files, rapidly encrypting and locking them. Having a Google Workspace backup is crucial to avoid the extensive time and financial costs associated with data recovery.

    6. Employee overwriting data

    Google Workspace's collaboration feature facilitates the sharing of files and folders among team members, enhancing efficiency and saving time by enabling simultaneous work on the same document. However, this feature also introduces the risk of important data being overwritten by users. 
    Google's version-control system does track document changes, but manually reverting specific alterations made by a user can be challenging and time-consuming. 
    Additionally, there is a risk of collaborators inadvertently deleting a file, which might be irrecoverable by the time it is noticed. 
    Implementing a Google Workspace backup solution effectively addresses these issues, ensuring data integrity and swift recovery of lost or altered files. 

    7. Saas outages and shutdown

    While cloud-based services like Google Workspace offer convenience and flexibility, they are not immune to disruptions. These disruptions can range from temporary outages due to technical issues or maintenance to more severe scenarios like permanent shutdowns of services. 

    In March 2023, Google suffered an outage that prevented users from accessing Gmail and Google Docs among other applications. 

    During an outage, access to vital business data stored on Google Workspace can be temporarily lost, hindering productivity and potentially leading to missed deadlines or business opportunities. In the case of prolonged or unexpected shutdowns, the data stored in the cloud could be at risk of permanent loss. 
     Having a robust backup solution for Google Workspace data ensures that businesses have an independent and reliable copy of their data, which can be quickly restored in the event of Google outages which are not uncommon. 

    8. Accidental overwriting due to application integrations

    Does your business use multiple applications? 
    In businesses utilizing a variety of applications, the integration of these applications can inadvertently lead to the loss of crucial data. For example, when two applications are synced, one might overwrite existing data in the other, either partially or entirely. This can happen without warning, resulting in the loss of original data within these applications. 
    A backup solution provides a safety net, ensuring that original data can be easily recovered and restored in the event of such accidental overwriting. 

    9. Neither Google Takeout nor Google Vault is enough

    Google Takeout is a simple tool in Google Workspace that lets users download their data stored in Google's services. However, it should not be used as a backup alternative since it does not provide the security and restoration capabilities of a backup solution.  Here are a few limitations of Google Takeout as a backup alternative: 

  • You cannot download data in shared folders even if there are files inside the folder created by you.  
  • Recovery is going to be a tedious process: In case a situation comes where you have to recover all your Google Workspace data, chances are that you’ll find different file types distributed across multiple .zip files. You will have to manually sort these and put them in order. 
  • Click here for more reasons why Google Takeout should not be used as a backup alternative. 

    Google Vault is an archiving tool that retains user data stored in Google Workspace regardless of end-user actions, including permanent deletions. 

    However, if a Google account is deleted, then the data associated with that account will also be permanently deleted. Also, you cannot use Vault to quickly restore your data in the event of data loss. To know more about the difference between Google Vault and a backup solution, read this article. 

    10. Data loss during migration

    Whether it is a merger of two companies or the acquisition of a small company by a bigger one, data migration is a critical process. During data migration, risks such as data corruption, incomplete transfers, human error, software or hardware failures, format incompatibility, and security vulnerabilities can lead to data loss. 
    A backup solution for Google Workspace ensures that there is a reliable copy to restore the original data in the event of data loss or corruption during migration. 

    11. Legal compliance and litigation

    Organizations – irrespective of size – are expected to hold records of current and historical data for litigation purposes and legal compliance. 
    Though you can use Google Vault to create a litigation hold and retrieve past data from the archives, the data will be available only as long as the associated Google Workspace account is not deleted. 
    In such cases, a backup solution serves as a better option, as you will have a copy of all the data always available. 

    12. Employee exits

    When an employee leaves an organization, their user accounts are often deleted to reuse the existing license. However, this action can result in the loss of all data associated with the deleted user if you forget to transfer their data within 20 days of deletion.
    A dedicated backup solution ensures that all data, including files owned by the departing employee, is securely backed up along with original sharing permissions.

    protipPro tip
    With SysCloud’s cross-user restore feature, administrators can restore deleted Google Workspace data into a different user’s account. This is useful in the event of employee exits where you can restore the employee’s data to the manager’s or any relevant user’s account.

    SysCloud backup for Google Workspace

    Given the risk of data loss due to the reasons mentioned above and the limitations of native Google Workspace retention tools, it is crucial to have a third-party cloud backup solution in place for Google Workspace. Third-party cloud backup applications like SysCloud are reliable options to back up and restore your Google Workspace data effortlessly.

    SysCloud backup for Google Workspace backs up all essential Google apps on a secure cloud. SysCloud uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide a fully automated cloud-to-cloud backup and restore.

    With SysCloud, administrators can easily recover from accidental deletions and ransomware attacks, and spot compliance gaps in the backup archives. 

    Learn more about SysCloud backup for Google Workspace.

    In this article
    • Why back up Google Workspace?
    • SysCloud backup for Google Workspace