ISO 27001 Compliance Guide for Google Drive 2024

ISO 27001 compliance for Google Drive

Table of Contents

Is Google Drive ISO 27001 certified?

ISO/IEC 27701 is a global privacy standard that focuses on the collection, processing and storing of personally identifiable information (PII). Google Cloud and Google Workspace are certified as ISO/IEC 27701 compliant. Google Workspace and Google Drive in particular have built-in security and compliance features, but ensuring your company is compliant while using Google Workspace requires an understanding of settings and configurations and the ability to monitor and manage your data security effectively.

ISO 27001 provides a framework for your organization to establish your own policies and procedures based on the specific needs of your business. Compliance involves implementing these policies and being able to document and demonstrate adherence to them.

Ensuring ISO 27001 compliance for your company’s Google Drive relies on four important factors:

Common pitfalls

It’s important to avoid counterproductive practices when striving for compliance. For instance, blocking all sharing within Google Drive may seem like a secure measure, but it can lead to disastrous consequences. 

Experience shows that when end-users face sudden restrictions on collaboration, they often resort to workarounds to maintain their accustomed way of working. They may download documents and store them in personal Google Drive accounts, or send them as attachments via email, WeTransfer, or other external platforms. As a result, multiple versions of the same document emerge, outside of organizational control.

Why you need a cloud software solution for ISO 27001 compliance in Google Drive

Google Workspace offers robust built-in data security features. However, when it comes to file sharing, it lacks a central overview and control. Without it, your company’s sensitive data may be vulnerable to leaks and misuse. The larger your workforce, the harder it is to stay in control of file sharing and the higher the likelihood of human error or oversight leading to data leaks.

If you are already using Google Admin Console, GAM, or Google DLP, you will find that Florbs provides an additional, deeper level of visibility and control of file exposure in Google Drive. 

With predefined filters designed for high-risk files, such as those shared with anyone via a link with editing permissions, potential threats can be quickly identified. If unauthorized access is detected, Florbs allows you to instantly remove or adjust permissions, impacting all relevant files simultaneously. 

Additionally, Florbs enables you to set up automated security workflows in Google Drive. This ensures that access permissions are automatically updated or revoked based on specific criteria, for example, if files are not accessed for 6 months, or if files labeled “Confidential” are shared with “Anyone with the link” with editor permissions.

How can Florbs help you meet ISO 27001 compliance in Google Drive

A.8.12: Data leakage prevention is a requirement when processing sensitive information. This applies to information stored in the cloud, including Google Workspace and Google Drive.

A.5.33. Protection of records. Florbs helps you meet this requirement by protecting files in Google Drive, such as personnel files, customer information, contracts, and financial records, from unauthorized access.

A.5.12. Classification of information based on confidentiality is required. With Florbs, you can create workflows to automatically classify files when certain criteria are met, saving time and effort on data classification. For example, you could create a workflow that automatically applies label “Confidential” to all files that are added to the Legal shared drive. Or you could configure a workflow to automatically label any file with “CV” in its title as “Contains PII”.

A.5.13. Labeling of information. Florbs enables effortless management of Drive labels. Labels can be associated with security policies and serve as a visual cue to employees. For instance, your company may have a policy that all files labeled as “Highly Confidential” should be unshared if they are not accessed for a period of 6 months. This policy can be automated in Florbs.

A.5.34. Privacy and protection of personal identifiable information. Florbs facilitates compliance with this requirement by safeguarding access to files in Google Drive that contain PII. For example, you could use Florbs to quickly identify who has access to files that contain PII, and revoke access permissions if necessary. To automate the process, you could establish a workflow that automatically removes all access from files containing the keywords “Resume”, or “Employee evaluation” in the title after a period of 7 months, enhancing privacy protection.

A.8.3. Information access restriction requirement specifically mentions that information must be available only for the duration it is required (Just In Time access). Florbs ensures compliance by enabling you to set expiration dates on access and automatically unshare files that have not been accessed for a specified duration of time. That ensures that once information is no longer in use, access to it is restricted.

A.5.18. Access rights to information must be granted, reviewed, modified, and removed according to the need. This requirement specifically mentions access rights in the context of employee lifecycle: joiner-mover-leaver process. Florbs provides a clear overview of all access rights for all files in Google Drive, simplifying the review process, and offers the ability to instantly modify or revoke access. Consider automating employee offboarding to ensure that former employees do not retain access to company data.

About the author

About Florbs

Florbs is an official Google Cloud Partner based in the Netherlands. Our mission is to help businesses protect their data in Google Drive from unauthorized access, because we know first-hand that it is a challenge for many companies.

Niek Waarbroek, the founder of Florbs and a Google Developer Expert, has been helping businesses in Google Workspace since 2011 as a consultant and developer. Having seen many organizations struggle with achieving a centralized, organization-wide view and control of file sharing in Google Drive, Niek took it upon himself to create Florbs.

Since its inception, Florbs has helped more than 300,000 users in companies spanning across 25 countries worldwide to protect their files in Google Drive from unauthorized access, improve compliance, eliminate human errors and prevent data loss.

Ease of use is our guiding principle, and our solutions can be used by teams with no technical IT knowledge, such as data security professionals and privacy officers.Visit our website at www.florbs.io to learn more about our services and how we can help your business succeed.

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