Read time 7 minutes

Summary: This article discusses how administrators can control and secure file sharing in Google Workspace. It covers settings for enabling file sharing outside the organization, restricting sharing to specific domains, and controlling link sharing. The article emphasizes the importance of securing data and recommends a backup solution for Google Workspace.

Certainly! Google Workspace stands out as an exceptional platform, serving not just for communication but also as a robust space for storing and sharing data. Yet, do you wield the authority to regulate how your team disseminates information?

There’s a concern that some employees might be inclined to disclose confidential information to outsiders, potentially causing harm to your organization’s reputation. G Suite provides you with the tools to manage and regulate the sharing of data and information within your company, covering a range of applications such as Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, My Maps, and more.

In this article, we’ll address your queries comprehensively and explore alternative approaches to safeguarding your data.

Things to Know About File Sharing in G Suite

How can administrators gain control over information sharing? What measures can be taken to ensure secure file sharing in your G Suite? Let’s delve into it.

  • As an admin, you have the ability to enforce particular guidelines for user file-sharing or establish diverse rules tailored to each department’s needs.s
  • To implement sharing preferences for a particular group of users, you have the option of utilizing either the organizational unit or a configuration group.
  • Identify the specific audience intended to receive information within a group by establishing the target audience.
Enable File Sharing Outside your Organization

You have the power to allow your team members to share G Suite files beyond the confines of your organization through the admin console.

  1. Go to the Admin Console in G Suite and click Apps > Google Workspace > Drive and Docs.
  2. Select Sharing settings and then click Sharing options.
  3. Here, you can apply the settings to everyone and leave the top organizational unit selected, such as the organizational unit or configuration group.
  4. Tap “Share” to exchange files beyond the organization and choose the particular sharing preferences, which may encompass:
    • Invite individuals external to your organization who do not possess a Google account by sending sharing invitations.
    • Alert users when distributing files beyond the organization to safeguard confidentiality.
    • Enable users to share files and web content publicly by providing a link.

    Click Save to save your selected option for file sharing.

It may take up to 24 hours for the changes to appear in your G Suite.

Restrict File Sharing to Specific Domains

Should you wish to prevent users from sharing files with certain domains, customize the sharing rules to meet your needs. You also have the option to limit file sharing to trusted domains by implementing an allow list. This configuration provides the following choices:

  • YEither utilize the visitor sharing feature or ensure that the domain is integrated with Google Workspace.
  • Files cannot be shared with personal accounts
How to Set Allowlist Settings:
  1. Log in to Google Admin Console with your admin credentials.
  2. Go to Apps > Google Workspace > Drive and Docs from the Admin console.
  3. Click Sharing Settings and select Sharing options.
  4. If you wish to apply the settings universally, keep the top organizational unit chosen. Alternatively, opt for the child organizational unit or a configuration group if you have a specific target in mind.
  5. To extend sharing beyond your organization, simply click on Allowlisted Domains and choose from the available options:
    • Enables users to accept files from domains not on the approved list, granting them the ability to both open and edit Google Docs.
    • Alert users when sharing with domains on the allowlist – This feature enables you to safeguard confidentiality by issuing a warning when sharing files.
    • Enables users to extend sharing invitations to individuals without Google Account credentials.

    Select the Save option to store your preferences. Allow up to 24 hours for the modifications to become visible.

Restrict Complete File Sharing Outside your Organization

Click on the Save option to save your preferences. Please wait for up to 24 hours for the changes to take effect.

  • Links to files stored in Google Drive
  • To limit file sharing beyond the organization, you can adhere to the following steps:
  • Invites to live data files like Docs, Slides, and Sheets stay active for a period of 14 days.
  • You can send, receive, or directly upload email attachments from both devices and Drive.

  1. Sign in to Google Admin Console using the administrative credentials.
  2. Go to the Admin console on the home page and select Apps > Google Workspace > Drive and Docs.
  3. Click Sharing settings and then select Sharing options.
  4. If you aim to apply the settings universally, choose the top organizational unit. Otherwise, opt for a child organizational unit or a configuration group for more specific application.
  5. To restrict sharing outside the organization, click Off.
  6. Sure thing! If you wish to prevent users from accessing or editing files located outside your organization or in third-party storage systems, simply deselect the option that allows users within your organization to receive files from external sources in your organization’s box. Afterward, click on Save to apply these settings, and users will no longer have the ability to share or access files from outside your organization.

Apart from restricting users from sending/receiving files from outside the organization, you can control how users share links to files.

Control Link Sharing on Files

Certain organizations find it impractical to entirely limit user file sharing. In these instances, you have the option to manage the choices available to users when they share links to their Drive files.
Note: If you have both Cloud Identity and Google Workspace licenses, the link-sharing preferences set for Google Workspace will extend to users holding Cloud Identity licenses as well.

  1. Access the Google Admin Console using administrative credentials.
  2. Go to Apps > Google Workspace > Drive and Docs from the Admin Console and click Sharing Settings.
  3. To implement the settings for all users, choose the primary organizational unit. Alternatively, opt for a sub-organizational unit or a configuration group for more specific adjustments.
  4. Choose the Default Link Sharing option from the provided selections:
  5. Off – Allows access only to the persons with whom the file is shared
    • On – Anyone at your organization with the link – Allows anyone within your organization to access the files if they have the accurate link
    • On – Anyone with the link – This option allows anyone in your organization to search and view the files. However, the file will only be visible in the Drive if the user has access to it.
  6. Click Save to save your options.
    The changes may take up to 24 hours to implement.
Control Access to Files Stored on Shared Drives

By imposing limitations on file sharing, you gain the ability to regulate individuals who have the authority to transfer files and folders beyond your organizational boundaries when relocating content.

  • A shared drive to another drive owned by an outsider or third-party
  • Transfer someone’s My Drive within your company to a shared drive hosted by a third-party or external organization.

Your data remains secure as long as there are limitations on file sharing within your organization. However, what steps would you take in the event of a compromise? Imagine scenarios such as cybercriminals infiltrating your account or malware finding its way in.

Avoid Data Loss with a Secure Google Workspace Backup

To avoid data loss situations, you need to backup your Google Workspace data on a regular basis. To safeguard your Google Drive data efficiently while saving time, it’s advisable to employ an automated tool instead of the time-consuming process of downloading and backing up the data locally.

Kernel G Suite Backup is a cutting-edge software designed to protect your data. This tool empowers you to enhance the security of G Suite mailboxes, Drive content, Hangout conversations, appointments, and various other data. It employs a user-friendly approach for safeguarding multiple mailboxes through either a CSV file or super admin credentials. This software incorporates intelligent algorithms to streamline the process of selectively backing up designated emails and items. Additionally, it offers the flexibility to export your Google Drive data in numerous formats such as PST, HTML, MHTML, DOCX, DOC, PDF, EML, and more.

Final Words

Ensuring the security of file sharing within Google Workspace is of utmost importance for safeguarding your data, reputation, and brand integrity. Once an organization is associated with a data loss incident, recovering its former standing can be an arduous endeavor. That’s why having control over file sharing in your Google Drive is critical for every administrator. This article discusses innovative approaches for ensuring the security of file sharing within your company.