You’re likely sharing these files through the cloud, and there are a number of cloud platforms that facilitate secure file sharing. Highly rated by expert reviewers, Google Drive is one of the most popular and easy to use. As you probably know, you can access documents from any device and any location with an internet connection. Google Drive also allows multiple people to work on the same file at the same time. Teamstand makes it even easier to share Google Drive files by presenting them in a collapsible panel, right where you’re already working.

The collaborative and easy-to-use nature of Google Drive makes it very popular, but these qualities also open up questions about secure file sharing.

How Does Google Drive Support Secure File Sharing?

Google Drive lets you share files and folders with different levels of security. You could publicly share a file on the web, but it's not usually the best idea, and so, Google makes doing that somewhat difficult.

You have probably shared a file through Google Drive using a shareable link, and this is a pretty secure way to share files. However, a file link can get sent to the wrong person or it can be shared without your authorization. A more secure way to share a Google Drive file is by only providing access to specific email addresses. With this security setting, only the person with access to a designated email address can see the file. Your receiver doesn’t need a Google account to access the file. With either of these approaches, Teamstand lets you easily pick out the file you’re looking for and attach it to a message in Gmail or Slack.

These are one-size-fits-all approaches to sharing files. Because every business has unique security requirements, Google Workspace does have adjustable security features that protect important data while keeping you productive. For example, administrators can set up two-step verification to lower the risk of unauthorized access. Google Workspace also lets you create custom security rules that require emails to be signed and encrypted when they contain certain types of content. Google Workspace also provides a high level of visibility, helping you make smart security decisions.

Using Shared Drive: Industry Standards for Secure File Sharing

Companies looking to set up secure file sharing usually do so by creating one or more Shared Drives within Google Drive. Administrators can add and remove people to a Shared Drive without affecting the files that are kept there.

If you use Shared Drives, you should follow Google’s best practices for securely sharing files both inside and outside your organization.

Have a Purpose for Any Shared Drive You Create

Create separate Shared Drives for different projects and collaborative teams. This approach helps you control access based on purpose, which helps avoid confusion and unauthorized access.

You should also assign individual access based on the drive’s purpose. So — if you create a drive for an ongoing project, members could be given Content manager or Contributor access, which allows them to edit content, contribute new content, move files to the trash, and so on. If a Shared Drive is for a completed project, you can change access for members to Commenter or Viewer — which prevents them from making changes or deleting files.

Creating individual shared drives also helps to prevent sprawl. If a project gets larger and larger, individual Shared Drives can be used to break up a large team into smaller teams with distinct roles, or smaller cross-functional teams.

Simplify Secure File Sharing with Google Groups

If you’ve ever tried to add a large number of individuals to something like a Shared Drive, you know it can be a mind-numbing task. Make life easier for yourself by using Google Groups to manage Shared Drive membership. With this approach, someone gets automatic membership to a Shared Drive when they join an included Google Group.

When you add an entire Google group to a Shared Drive, all members get the same access level. When someone new joins the group, you don’t have to worry about their level of access. Using Google Groups also gives you more membership capacity. You are only allowed to add up to 600 individual members to a group, but you can add as many as 100 groups of up to 50,000 members.

Keep Individual Work Out of the Shared Drive

To keep a shared drive organized and fit for purpose, make sure your members aren’t putting their personal work or files in the drive.

This best practice not only helps with collaboration; it also helps people keep personal notes and documentation private. If an employee at your company puts personal work or information in the Shared Drive and ends up leaving the company, those files could stay there long after they have left. If you have concerns about members deleting files, assign them contributor, commenter, or viewer status —all of which prevents them from erasing secure files.

Teamstand Supports Secure File Sharing

Available as a Chrome extension, Teamstand automates the organization of digital assets in Google Workspace to reduce the amount of time you spend looking for files. Our app presents organized lists of important files in a collapsible panel within Gmail, bringing critical assets to where you’re already working. Like the best apps, it’s intuitive and simple. Contact us today to get early access to Teamstand’s automated digital finding cabinet.

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