October 8, 2020

BYOD – The Google Workspace Features That Ensure Device Security

Remote working and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approaches are now the norm throughout society. This means employees using their personal devices to work and access corporate data.

Whilst an excellent display of resourcefulness and resilience in current tough times; for IT managers operating with outdated IT solutions, this could be a cause for major concern. How could they keep company data safe with various device types and software versions being used? A one-size-fits-all approach to Device Management was no longer possible. 

Luckily, this is a worry that Google Workspace (Formerly known as G Suite) users need not have. Here at Cobry, we can aid you in implementing Google's security features that ensure your Google Workspace data is completely safe - even when operating with a BYOD strategy. Let’s take a look at them now. 


Google Endpoint Management for BYOD Devices

Endpoint Management for BYOD Devices

Google Endpoint Management ensures a secure BYOD approach by applying a base level of security to every device (Corporate and BYOD) that accesses Google Workspace (Formerly known as G Suite) data. IT managers can support a variety of device models (mobile and desktop) by requiring minimum software versions and refusing the use of jailbroken or rooted devices. 

When a device logs into a Google Workspace account through any browser on a Windows, Mac, Chrome or Linux device, it is automatically enrolled with Endpoint Management. This gives IT admins access to valuable information such as the device type, operating system, and its first and last sync to the admin console. 

This data aids admins in making more informed decisions around Device Management and security. Moreover, it provides a clear understanding of all of the devices that are accessing corporate information. By enrolling in Endpoint Management, Cobry can aid you in taking important remedial action if a device has been lost, stolen or compromised. For example, we can remotely log users out from devices and wipe compromised Google accounts.

So, no matter the device type and no matter the operating system; Endpoint Management gives you the information needed to effectively manage a BYOD approach. 

Device Management for BYOD Mobile Devices

If use of mobile devices is part of your organisation's BYOD approach, Google Workspace still has you covered. Google offers two solutions for mobile Device Management - Basic and Advanced.

Mobile Device Management

Basic Mobile Device Management ensures BYOD mobile devices are secured with baseline security features. With this feature, it is possible to:

  • enforce passcodes 
  • Remotely wipe Google data 
  • Receive device inventory 
  • Remotely force install applications on android devices

Using Advanced Mobile Device Management, it is possible for:

  • IT admins to apply additional controls over BYOD devices
  • Android users to use Android Profiles which keep their work and private data separate on the same device

Context-aware Access on BYOD Devices

Context-aware access uses information such as user identity, location, device security status and IP address to grant (or deny) access to Google Workspace services. This means that Google Workspace services - and data that may be stored there - are protected against unauthorised access without the need for a VPN. 

Cobry can help you make the most out of Context-aware Access by administering different levels of access depending on user attributes. For example, on BYOD devices, controls can be put in place to increase security levels such as encryption and password requirements to access various Google Workspace services. 

Therefore, through knowledge of these attributes, you can give access to the right BYOD devices and reject access requests from unwanted devices.

Context Aware access on BYOD Devices

App access control on BYOD Devices

App Access Control allows IT admins to protect corporate and BYOD devices from malicious app attacks. IT admins have full control over which third party apps are allowed to access Google Workspace data. This means they can choose to trust, limit or block access for particular apps. So, even when implementing a BYOD strategy, rest assured that important company data will remain in safe - and the correct - hands.

BYOD 2-Factor Authentication

2-Factor Authentication for BYOD Devices

2-Factor Authentication (2FA) ensures a secure BYOD strategy by requiring additional proof of identity before accessing a Google Workspace account. Step 1 includes the provision of user-sensitive information such as a password. Step 2 requires that the user use something they have to gain access. For example, an access code delivered to a different device via text message, or a third party app such as Google Authenticator. This ensures that even if a BYOD has been compromised, Google Workspace data will remain secured.

Google also offers its Advanced Protection Program to those most at risk of being targeted by online attackers. The Advanced Protection Program goes beyond 2FA by requiring the use of a physical Security Key when logging on from a new device. This means that attackers will be unable to access the Google Workspace account, even if a password has been compromised.

When being used on Google Chrome, files are automatically scanned and users are warned of potentially harmful downloads. Additionally, it blocks access from untrusted apps and provides enhanced scanning for email threats. 

Harmful file scan

Data Loss Prevention 

Data loss prevention (DLP) helps to protect information held in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Gmail from being lost, deleted or misused. Cobry can aid you in setting policies that specify which types of data are sensitive and how they should be protected. Therefore, you can be certain that your organisations important data will always be safe.

We can also enable Data Exfiltration Protection (DXP) on iOS devices to prohibit copying and pasting Google Workspace data to other accounts. It restricts the ability to drag and drop files from specific apps within users’ Google Workspace accounts. Meanwhile, on Android devices, it is possible to prevent data sharing between profiles by using Google Endpoint Management. 

Retention and eDiscovery with Vault 

Finally, Vault enables corporate data accessed by BYOD or corporate owned devices to support the organisation's retention and eDiscovery needs. This means that you can be assured data is always accessible to Vault, even on BYOD devices.


Thanks to these great features, Google Workspace users need not fret over BYOD security. No matter the device type or system, whether is corporate-owned or BYOD; enabling these features will ensure your organisations important data is always secured. Just what we all needed to hear as we embark on the coming months of remote working!

Want to know more about how Cobry can help you keep your organisation safe? Book a Discovery Call to chat to us now.

September 17, 2020

Google Calendar: Tips to get the best out of your day

Working from home can put extra strain on trying to optimise the way you use your time. So it’s vitally important you use the tools at your disposal to ensure you’re maximising each day’s potential. Google Calendar could be the answer to your prayers, here’s some tips on how to harness its power to get the most out of your day.

Find meeting times that suit everyone.

My first of many Google Calendar tips may seem glaringly obvious, but it’s worth noting that it can actually be very difficult. People are busy with other meetings, busy with day-to-day life and that’s fine. With Calendar, the heavy lifting can be done for you. Here’s how:

Click on search for people on the left, type in the name of someone you’d like to meet with. If they’re from the same organisation as yourself, you’re able to select their name and see their calendar overlaid on yours. This increased visibility of your colleagues’ availability makes it far easier to find an open time slot, fill in the meeting details and click save.

Operating on multiple time zones? With Google Calendar, that's no problem.

With technology, the world is becoming smaller and smaller with people becoming increasingly connected. This being said, time zones still exist, complications can still happen with regards to scheduling meetings and it can become a barrier to effective communication. That’s why this tip is so useful. One of Google Calendar's great features is being able to display multiple time zones. 

It’s very simple to begin to display secondary time zones on Calendar, simply go to ‘Settings’. Scroll to Time Zone and click the box to display a secondary time zone and select the appropriate time zone. Need to add even more other time zones? Scroll to World clock and click Show world clock. By doing this, the time zones you’ve selected will show on the left side of your calendar below the month view. You are only able to display two time zones side by side on your calendar view, however you can have multiple world clocks.

This is a huge saver of time in your day, making the process of working out suitable times to arrange meetings with people over multiple time zones.

Want to make the most of your working hours? Share them with Google Calendar.

Being able to set your working hours makes setting up meetings so much easier. Not everyone has the same working hours, and it would be unfair to expect your colleagues to know your working pattern if it’s different to theirs.

With Google Calendar, users can easily add their working hours by exploring their settings section. One of the key benefits of this is that upon adding your working hours to Calendar, whenever any subsequent event invitation is sent to you, the invitee will automatically be notified if the event is outside your working pattern. This saves time, and takes any potential hassle out of creating events and allows you to focus on other parts of your working day.

Sharing is caring!

Let other users see your availability by sharing your calendar. Do this by adjusting your default settings in order to let others in your team or organisation view the full details of events on your calendar.

The benefits of this are plentiful but are best explained by looking towards a hypothetical example. 

I’m busy, in and out of meetings all day, it’s hard to divide your attention when you’re on a video call with someone. Due to this, I can’t get any free time within the parameters of my working day to do some deep work, like writing blogs. But there, in the near future on my calendar, I see it. 1.5hrs of free time. A beacon of light. I can finally churn out a blog about the benefits of Google Calendar and how it can help you make the most out of your day.

But alas, I check my inbox. I’ve been invited to a 1 hour call to workshop future hypothetical examples in my blog content during what should have been my free time. 

I can’t blame my colleague for this, they weren’t to know.

Fast forward a day and I’ve made my calendar available to be viewed by my colleagues. They’re able to see I have a slither of free time during my busy schedule and choose not to invite me to another crisis call about my lack of imagination - I am spared. They can instead look further on in my week to see a day where I’m less busy.

Give yourself breaks.

As is mentioned above, back-to-back meetings - although often necessary - can make your day more difficult than it needs to be. That’s why we strongly encourage you to leave yourself gaps between events in your Google Calendar. 

Often, when in back-to-back meetings, you either feel overwhelmed by having constant calls and no time to work independently, or you feel that the lack of respite between calls has left you unable to prepare for the forthcoming call. 

Giving yourself breathers between meetings can really allow for you to recharge, refresh and get your mind in the right place for your next meeting!


Hopefully by making use of these Google Calendar tips, you’ll be able to get the absolute most of your working day, ensuring that your workload has a nice even spread.

If you’d like to find out more about Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and how it could help make your organisation work smarter, book a discovery call!

July 30, 2020

Why upgrade from @Gmail?

A lot of businesses use a Gmail.com account as their means of emailing and potentially collaborating on documents. Whilst this may seem like it’s working well at the moment and you may be wondering why you should upgrade to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), but, your organisational size and needs may change and the time may come where you decide to improve the way you operate.

Upgrading to a paid Google Workspace account could well be the way to enhance the way you work. There’s various benefits to using Workspace (G Suite) instead of a basic Gmail account varying from your own personalised email address to increased security and control over your data. We’ve decided to shine a torch on some of the key benefits of making the upgrade, outlining why you should upgrade to Google Workspace.

Branding

Branding is a vital part of any organisation, shaping your customers’ perception of you. This perception can stem from lots of different factors; logo, perceived quality of product, quality of customer service and many more. There are simple ways to bolster this image to promote quality and trust with potential customers. An example of this is through your email address. In the eyes of the consumer, companies with ‘@gmail.com’ email addresses appear small and unprofessional. Upgrading to a paid Google Workspace (G Suite) account gives you the ability to use your company’s domain at the end of your email address - for example, ‘info@yourdomain’. Doing this will greatly improve the likelihood of customers responding to emails as the account looks far more professional and trustworthy. Not only does it benefit the consumer, but it also benefits you, ensuring consistency in your branding.

Security/data control

When using Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), it’s also important to note some of the increased security and data control options at your disposal:

  • Shared Drives - in Workspace Business and Workspace Enterprise, you get access to a more secure way to control and provide access to company files. Provide people with more granular levels of access such as Content Manager or Contributor to ensure that people only have the abilities required to do their job.
  • Reporting & Auditing - there are a number of excellent tools in the admin console for Workspace that allow you to get insights into the usage of tools across your domain. For example, the email log search allows you to check the delivery status of emails, current assigned labels and message location of any email sent or received by your domain.
  • You Own Your Data - Google doesn’t collect or scan data for advertising purposes in Workspace, only indexing data to provide beneficial services such as spam filtering or virus detection. All of your Workspace data is fully encrypted at rest and in transit.

Ensuring your data is safe and secure is another reason why you should upgrade to Google Workspace, due to its best in class security.

Device Management

Another reason to upgrade to a paid Google Workspace (G Suite) account is being able to manage the devices being used with your package. The 2 ways in which this is done is through Mobile Device Management and Chrome Device Management. 

  • Mobile Device Management - allows users to have greater control and security over data. If in place, it ensures that corporate data is safe, requiring mobile devices to a screen lock or password and can wipe all corporate data from the phone if the device is lost or stolen. You can also make your preferred work apps available to Android devices whilst also publishing and distributing private apps.
  • Chrome device management - as an IT admin for a business, you can manage Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and other Chrome hardware, from a cloud-based Admin console. Enforce policies, set up Chrome features for users, provide access to your internal VPNs and Wi-Fi networks, force install Chrome apps and extensions, and more.
  • Endpoint Verification - this can be used to manage devices outwith the Google ecosystem for example Windows or Mac OS devices. This permits you to see all information on devices that have access to your organization’s data via Chrome Web Browser. Giving administrators access to information such as device type accessing data, user and the OS. In addition, administrators are able to remotely wipe devices which are lost or stolen. You can also control access to data for specific devices based on ‘any criteria’.

For users on the Enterprise tier, it’s in the pipeline that Windows devices can also be monitored and managed using the Google admin console. This is another way in which Google Workspace places your company’s security as a top priority, whilst also giving you control over your devices.

3rd Party Tools

Google Workspace’s core apps (e-mail, calendar, file storage) are great for allowing your business and workforce to perform at the peak of its capabilities. Moreover, another benefit of upgrading to Workspace Business is the availability of 3rd party tools. These tools work intrinsically with the core Workspace apps increasing their functionality to meet your business’ needs. 

For example, Hiver is a Gmail shared inbox solution that helps teams collaborate on generic email id’s like support@, operations@. Hiver sits right on top of Gmail and gives every email that comes into team inboxes an owner and a status, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.

There are many more of these tools which can help boost the functionality of these core apps.

Additional Features

In addition to benefits previously listed, Google Workspace (G Suite) accounts have even more additional features which can really improve the way your business works.

One of these great additional features Workspace offers is greatly increased storage capacity for Gmail messages, Google Photos, and files in Drive. This is really helpful for companies, negating the need to worry about lack of storage for data.

Google Chat & Meet

Another feature which could truly transform the way in which your business communicates is being able to take advantage of Google Meet and Google Chat. These are both Google Workspace (G Suite) tools aimed around optimising the ability to communicate and collaborate on tasks, regardless of location.

Google Meet - Meet is fully integrated with Workspace, allowing you to join meetings directly from a Calendar event or email invite. All the important event details are right there when you need them, whether you're joining from a laptop, phone or the conference room.

Google Chat - A messaging tool which makes it easy for tools to get work done in one place. From direct conversations to group messaging, Chat can aid in collaboration in an easy to use, efficient manner. Users can take advantage of virtual rooms to house projects over time - plus threaded conversations. Chat makes tracking progress and follow up tasks easy.

Summary

Overall, moving from a standard ‘Gmail.com’ account and upgrading to a paid Google Workspace (G Suite) account could hugely benefit your organisation in many ways. If you upgrade to Workspace, it will boost the perception of your company amongst customers but it allows you to work in a smarter, more collaborative and innovative manner.

Contact

0333 789 0102 / info@cobry.co.uk

June 16, 2020

Google Sheets – More powerful than you think

When moving organisations to the cloud, we often find the biggest pushback against Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is the change from Excel to Google Sheets. As a long time user of both Excel and Google Sheets, I can comfortably say that for most applications and user requirements, Sheets is just as capable, and in many occasions more capable than Excel. Ben Collins (LinkedIn) summarises this brilliantly in his “Excel2Sheets” blog:

Fun Fact: Sheets actually has more formulas than Excel - this is due to the fact that Sheets is an online tool, and thus it can tap into sources of information that would otherwise be impossible to get such as live stock tickers, or live currency exchange information. The full list of formulas can be found here

Aside from this, Sheets has powerful collaboration tools and an ever-increasing number of data manipulation techniques available for your organisation to use.

Functions and Formulas

A lot of people that I’ve trained are shocked to find that Sheets has a VLOOKUP function; it not only has VLOOKUP functionality, but also complex statistical analysis formulas such as LINEST and FORECAST. Aside from this, there is a list of functions that Google provides such as GOOGLEFINANCE for tracking live stock data or GOOGLETRANSLATE for translating content within your spreadsheet. If you’re a power user, the QUERY function may be of interest to you - it’s great for finding information within huge datasets using an SQL-like query language.

Collaboration

Google Workspace (G Suite) inherently comes with collaboration tools built in, and Sheets is no exception. You may have up to 100 people collaborating on a single Sheet at a time, and giving different levels of access to your colleagues is extremely simple. The access levels are as follows:

  • View Access: Give a colleague or client view access so they can see the data in the sheet, but cannot comment or make any edits.
  • Comment Access: This allows a viewer to make comments within a cell. This is great for someone that may have an input towards the spreadsheet, but shouldn’t have complete edit access.
  • Edit Access: As the name says, this allows the user to edit the sheet just as if they were the owner.

Hidden collaboration features

Protected ranges

Within sheets, you can lock down a specific range of cells for edit access using the user's Mail address. In this example sheet, I may only want a specific subset of users to be able to change the address of my clients, and so I can protect the range for that set of users. 

  1. Select your range
  2. Right Click
  3. Protect Range
  4. Add a description
  5. Select the users that you want to be able to edit the range.

Sheet Notifications

We all have a Spreadsheet or two that we don’t like people tampering with, but sometimes someone has to edit a value within your precious sheet. We can give them edit access, but to keep a closer eye at what they do, you can enable notifications to let you know whenever someone has made an edit.

  1. Go to Tools
  2. Notification Rules
  3. Set the notifications that you wish to receive

You have the option to receive a daily ‘digest’ - a collection of events that happened to the sheet within the day, or you may ask to receive a notification instantly. Note that this may end up clogging up your inbox if too many people trigger the notification!

Explore - Using AI to parse your data

The explore tab within sheets is extremely useful. It allows you to ‘pluck’ out metrics from your dataset without thinking about what metrics you’d like to see in the first place. Here, a footballer dataset was used to ‘pluck’ out the metric regarding player height.

There were other metrics available from the explore page, but you’re also able to query the data using natural language, for example, you may ask “What’s the average wage based on preferred foot?”, here we find that footballers actually get paid the same on average - no matter what foot they use to kick the ball 🤔.

Google Apps Script (GAS)

Google apps script is an extension of Google Workspace (G Suite) that gives easy access to Workspace's API’s (Application Programming Interfaces). This, coupled with Google Sheets allows you to make powerful apps within your Workspace environment. These apps can extend the functionality of sheets, such as being able to list the current people working on a certain file, or generating a custom set of folders within Google Drive. GAS is great for filling in the gaps in your workflows and makes long, tedious tasks manageable.

If you wish to learn more about Google Apps Script, check out our page on it here.

Google Sheets Training

Cobry provide advanced Google Sheets training, along with our standard Google Workspace (G Suite) training sessions which you can find out more about here.

If you're interested in providing your team with some training on any area of Google Workspace, please don't hesitate to book a discovery call or get in touch via the details below.

Contact

0333 789 0102 / info@cobry.co.uk

March 17, 2020

7 Tips for Effective Remote Working

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in a hermetically-sealed bunker), you’ll be aware of the increased instances of Coronavirus worldwide and the demand for remote working that this has created.

We don’t want to add to the number of fear-mongering articles that are already online. However, with the increased focus on remote working as a solution to prevent the spread of the virus, we thought we’d chip in.

If you feel the need to take precautions against the virus, here are our 7 top tips on remote working.

In the UK alone, more than 1.54 million people work from home. This increase is largely due to the benefits of remote working. In fact, if your business offers remote working opportunities you can expect:

And that’s before considering the benefits gained by doing your part to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus (if it comes to that). So without further ado here are our 7 top tips for working remotely: 

Working Space

To get anything done and be as productive as possible you need to feel comfortable in your surroundings. Get plenty of natural light if possible, and if not consider investing in a daylight lamp, as this will help with keeping your alert and therefore productive. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch -- spaces that are associated with leisure time -- dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.

Ensure that you are not hunched over and that your laptop is at a good height and if possible use a second monitor to maximise your productivity. If possible consider a stand-up desk so you can switch between sitting and standing.

Dependent on your personality get storage so your desk is uncluttered and use touches such as a low maintenance plant and some personal mementoes such as a photo frame will help inspire you. Make it your own space where you can shut the door and focus.

And make sure you choose the right music to fir the task you are trying to accomplish.

If you are working remotely on a temporary basis due to isolation then you will want to keep any costs to a minimum using the kitchen table is fine especially if you will not experience to many distractions (Tip: Use headphones and play music to help keep you focused)

Desk Chair

As you will be spending some considerable time at your desk it makes sense to invest in a good, ergonomically-correct and comfortable chair. If you are comfortable you will be more effective at your work. When you're uncomfortable it's hard to stay focused and productive.

Feel free to economise on other things. You don’t have to own a desk; you can move from the dining room table to den to the patio. But see your chair as an investment, not an expense.

Use the Correct Tools 

As with the chair ensure you get the possible tools to work. This includes a laptop, noise-cancelling headphones with a decent mic (we use a Jabra headset) and a good webcam (the ones built into laptops are generally only OK at a push) alongside a good phone be it mobile or a desk version.

But don’t forget none of the above is of any use if you do not have good broadband either at home or in the local co-working space or coffee shop!

And finally chose your software of choice carefully. We believe G Suite is the best for collaboration and fits in perfectly with a remote workers scenario as within its portfolio is Meet, Chat and Voice alongside its granular document sharing capabilities.

Plan Your Day & Create a Routine

Generally speaking, we can focus on any given task for 90 to 120 minutes. After that, we need a 15 to 20 minute break so we can recharge and get ready to achieve high performance on our next task.

So do this: Split your day into 90-minute windows. Instead of thinking about an 8-, 6-, or 10-hour workday, split your day into four or five 90-minute windows. That way, you will have, say, four tasks you will get done a lot more efficiently.

It might help to create a morning and nighttime routine.

The first thing you do in the morning is the most important thing you will do that day because it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

So prepare for that first thing the night before.

Make a list. Make a few notes. Review information. Prime yourself to hit the ground running for the next day.

Communicate!

Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off the larger operation happening in the office. 

Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools (as mentioned under tools) can make it easy to check in with coworkers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture.

Working remotely requires you to overcommunicate. Tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability often. When you finish a project or important task, say so. Overcommunicating doesn't necessarily mean you have to write a five-paragraph essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself.

Exercise & Eat

Get up and move around every so often. If you are so inclined even go for a jog, whatever works for you but make sure you take a break from the screen.

Ensure that you drink water and eat healthily and at regular times as you would if you were based in an office.

See remote working as an advantage

The flexibility that working from home or remotely gives you means no lost time commuting, easy for you to get work done at odd hours -- hours you choose to work.

On your terms.

Contact

If you would like more information on how to set up your business for remote working with G Suite, please don't hesitate to get in touch, we would be delighted to have a chat about how we can help you transition to G Suite and make the most of the cloud.

info@cobry.co.uk / 0333 789 0102

March 9, 2020

Security & Compliance in The Cloud

Security & compliance is higher up on organisations' agenda than ever before and it’s not surprising. The five main trends identified by the National Cyber Security Centre in the period between October 2018 and April 2019 highlighted 5 main areas of vulnerability.

Incident trends

There has been significant use of tools and scripts to try and guess users’ passwords. This has almost become the daily norm for Office 365 deployments with attacks now being mounted at scale across the Internet without ever having a foothold within the corporate infrastructure. 

A successful login will give access to corporate data stored in all Office 365 services. For example, both SharePoint and Exchange can be compromised, as well as any third-party services an enterprise has linked to Azure AD.

Password spraying

The most common attack affecting Office 365 is password spraying, which attempts a small number of commonly used passwords against multiple accounts over a long period of time. In most cases, attackers aren’t after just one specific account. This doesn’t tend to trigger account lockouts because the limit of failed attempts is not reached, and as a result this can make it much harder for IT security teams to spot them.

A recent report stated that 60% of Office 365 and G Suite tenants were targeted with IMAP-based password-spraying attacks. However, it's important to note that G Suite administrators can disable IMAP connectivity, mitigating the risk to their G Suite users.

Credential stuffing

On a smaller scale, we have also seen credential stuffing. This takes pairs of usernames and passwords from leaked data sets and tries them against other services, such as Office 365.

This is difficult to detect in logs as an attacker may only need a single attempt to successfully log in if the stolen details match those of the user's Office 365 account.

Similarly to password spraying, this targeted method can be combatted by disabling IMAP connectivity within G Suite.

Ransomware

Ransomware attacks prevent organisations from using their computers or accessing their data, typically by encrypting files and folders. Once this hold is in place, the hackers request payment to release the organisation’s data and allow them to get back to work. 

It’s important to note, however, that no Google file formats can be affected by this as they are not traditional files like Word or Excel, they are in fact web files with no physical storage location. This means that organisations that use G Suite and store their files within Google Drive are instantly protected from ransomware attacks without having to shell out huge amounts of money on additional security products.

Email Protection

Gmail has long since been the standard-bearer for security & compliance around email through anti-phishing measures and high levels of spam protection for users. This has covered for the most part both consumer and G Suite users. 

Confidential Mode - users can help protect sensitive information from unauthorised access using Gmail confidential mode. Recipients of messages in confidential mode don't have the option to forward, copy, print, or download messages, including attachments. Users can set a message expiration date, revoke message access at any time, and require an SMS verification code to access messages.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) -  analyses the files in your organization’s Team Drives for sensitive content. You can set up policy-based actions that will be triggered when any sensitive content is detected.

Gmail Security Sandbox - a sandbox detects the presence of previously unknown malware in attachments by virtually "executing" them in a private, secure sandbox environment, and analyzing the side effects on the operating system to determine malicious behaviour.

Staff Training

All businesses need to be proactive in training their staff for GDPR. When new staff members come on board, they should receive data management training, and all members of the team should understand how your business specifically uses data. 

Allied to that, IT partners such as Cobry should be engaged to teach best practices within the organisation through training sessions, either in person or through webinars. 

2SV

One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from being hacked is 2SV.

There are multiple 2SV methods, including SMS Text, Google Prompts on mobile devices, and physical USB Security Keys.

Using 2-Step Verification (2SV) provides users with a better option to secure their accounts. As well as 2SV over an encrypted connection, users can also block unauthorised access to their accounts with Google Prompt which delivers real-time prompts, telling the user when they have logged into another device.

This update comes through as a pop-up notification on the Google app. This allows users to answer “yes” or “no” when asked, “are you logging in?”

Allied to that, additional control can be gained from deploying Cloud Identity. For full details please click here.

How Cobry Helps

One of the most comforting services Cobry offers is a full Security & Compliance Review. 

This can give you valuable insight into your organisation's security & compliance setup. You can find out more here, and you can also get in touch via the button below.

October 24, 2019

Which G Suite Edition is Right for My Organisation?

G Suite has grown and evolved a lot over the past 10 years. There's now a range of different G Suite editions to better suit the wide variety of organisations that utilise Google's office productivity platform. 

The three main G Suite editions are; Basic, Business and Enterprise, but there are also other editions that have specific use-cases, such as G Suite for Nonprofits and G Suite for Education, both of which are free to use for qualifying organisations. Each of these options provide access to the core G Suite apps such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive etc. but with advanced features and functionality being reserved for the higher tiers of Business and Enterprise.

Outside of these core offerings, there is one further G Suite edition available for organisations that are not yet ready to uproot their systems and move everything to Google, but still want to take advantage of the cloud storage and collaboration features - Drive Enterprise.

So, how do you choose the right strategy for your company? It all starts with looking at what each edition has to offer.

G Suite Basic

The Basic tier provides your business with a professional email address, 30 GB storage per user and access to Google's suite of collaboration tools - including:

  • Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms & Hangouts (for video calls and instant messaging) and more.
  • Google Apps Script - This is a scripting language with similar syntax to JavaScript which automates functions within the G Suite platform. It is commonly used for workflow-type processes.

(Remember that it’s only non-Google documents which count towards these storage limits - all Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are stored without affecting your allowance.)

Licence Costs: £4.60 per user per month

Get in touch for a setup and migration quote via info@cobry.co.uk or 0333 789 0102.


G Suite Business

G Suite Business is essentially the enhanced office suite for Google services. Alongside everything you might expect to get from Basic G Suite edition, you also get:

  • Unlimited Storage - For organisations with 5 users or more. If there are 4 or fewer users, then the available storage is 1TB. 
  • Shared Drives - Shared space where teams can easily store, search and access their files from anywhere, on any device. Any files stored in Shared Drives are owned by the organisation, not the user. Documents also inherit the sharing permissions of the Shared Drive.
  • Google Cloud Search - Search across all G Suite services, such as Drive, Contacts, and Gmail, and third-party data sources.
  • eDiscovery and Compliance - Google Vault automatically traps all Google communications in and out of the business and retains for a predetermined period of time. Its intended use is for archiving, legal holds and audit reporting.
  • Advanced Mobile Device Management - Enforce a range of policies such as passwords on devices, manage apps and the ability to wipe all data from devices.

Administrator Controls

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between G Suite Basic and G Suite Business is the additional administrative controls, such as:

  • Drive activity alerts: You can get custom alerts when documents are shared outside of your domain.
  • Advanced drive reporting: Advanced alerts, custom APIs, mobile alerts and more.
  • Security keys: Administrators can deploy and track security keys for the business.

Licence Costs: £9.20 per user per month

Get in touch for a setup and migration quote or an upgrade / custom deal via info@cobry.co.uk or 0333 789 0102.


G Suite Enterprise

Enterprise delivers a premium office suite that includes advanced security features and controls for the most demanding organisations.

As compelling and fully-functional as G Suite Business might be, there are some organisations who have higher requirements around security and compliance. G-Suite Enterprise is designed to support and enhance large businesses who want features like security key management, enterprise-grade meetings, and data loss protection features. The Enterprise edition also comes with the opportunity for 100 people to participate in Google Hangouts Meet calls, which can also be recorded and stored in Google Drive.

In G Suite Enterprise, users have access to everything you get in the Basic and Business G Suite editions, as well as:

  • Enterprise Grade Meetings - Additional features within Hangouts Meet, such as recording video meetings and increasing attendees to 100 users.
  • Data loss prevention features - Makes sure that end users do not send sensitive or critical information outside the corporate network. Think of a user creating a document, loading it with your customer’s credit card information and sharing this with an external email address.
  • Optical Character Recognition - An automatic scan of inbound and outbound Gmail messages that extracts text from images to check if those images contain sensitive information which should not be shared. If a message is found, it is quarantined and the administrator is notified.
  • Security Centre - Provides advanced security information and analytics, and added visibility and control into security issues affecting your domain. 
  • Customization opportunities - The dashboard can be customised to your organisations requirements and preferences.
  • Enhanced Email Encryption (S/MIME) - Further protects against data loss by supporting the use of third-party certificates which are uploaded by the administrators and remain in force for future email exchanges.

Premium Admin Controls

G Suite Enterprise offers the highest level of administrative control that Google has to offer. With this edition, your company will be able to:

  • Use third-party archiving products to discover and store critical emails.
  • Require security keys for users to sign into their accounts.
  • Analyze Gmail Logs in BigQuery for data collection and assessment.
  • Use S/MIME Encryption to improve email security
  • Automate tasks for mobile device management by setting custom rules that trigger when suspicious activities are detected

Licence Costs: £20 per user per month

Get in touch for a setup and migration quote or an upgrade / custom deal via info@cobry.co.uk or 0333 789 0102.


Drive Enterprise

This G Suite edition provides the complete range of Google Drive features for organisations without having to move to other G Suite services like Gmail and Calendar. Drive Enterprise includes the Docs editors, Sites, and Google Vault.

This allows organisations to create, store, share, and collaborate in the cloud — without causing any disruption that’s often associated with migrations or implementing new tools and technologies.

Licence Costs: Varies depending on storage quantities and active users. Get in touch for a quote - info@cobry.co.uk | 0333 789 0102


G Suite for Education

Educational institutions such as schools and colleges can qualify for this free G Suite edition through Google for Education. They will also benefit from access to Google Classroom which is designed to connect teachers and students, allowing for a more streamlined approach to lesson planning and management.

Find out more about Google for Education here.

Licence Costs: Free

Get in touch for a setup and migration quote via info@cobry.co.uk or 0333 789 0102.


G Suite for Nonprofits

Nonprofit organisations can benefit from this free G Suite edition through the Google for Nonprofits program, which also brings a host of other features such as a $10,000 Google Ads grant and advanced Youtube features.

Find out more and whether your organisation qualifies for Google for Nonprofits here.

Licence Costs: Free

Get in touch for a setup and migration quote via info@cobry.co.uk or 0333 789 0102.


Choosing the Right G Suite Edition

You can use our pricing calculator to get an example of your recurring costs after switching to G Suite here.

Contact

For further information on any of the G Suite editions mentioned above or to discuss the process of moving to the cloud, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the details below, we would be delighted to have a chat about how we can help.

info@cobry.co.uk | 0333 789 0102

October 14, 2019

Using a Chromebook Offline

I have been an avid user of a Chromebook (and therefore Chrome OS) since 2012 when I purchased my first - the Toshiba Chromebook 1. Over the ensuing years, I also gained experience using both Windows 10 and Mac OS platforms through various work-related positions but I always come back to a Chromebook (offline and online). I use it both professionally and personally enjoying its many advantages over more complicated rivals.

There is still a misconception that without an internet connection, Chrome OS is as useless as a chocolate fireguard, but with a bit of planning, as you would have to with a Mac or Windows machine, productivity need not suffer when an internet connection is not viable.

Follow these simple steps and enhance your Chromebook offline capabilities and some of these tips work even if you are just using the Chrome browser!

Get your Google apps ready 

Gmail

To ensure you can read and reply to your emails (needless to say they will not send until you are connected to the internet) head over to the gear icon in the top right corner, click Settings and select Offline.

Check the Enable offline mailbox and then carefully consider the other options.

Important: Save changes and create a pinned app or bookmark to your Chromebook so you can access offline. To create a bookmark click the star at the end of the search bar and save to the bookmarks bar or folder. To create a pinned app when in Gmail click the 3 dot menu top right then choose >more tools >create shortcut and this will pin Gmail to your dock.

Gmail Offline

Docs, Sheets & Slides

Firstly make sure you have the Google Docs offline extension installed. It may already be installed so if the blue-button says remove from chrome you are already set.

Next head over to Google Drive and click the Gear icon > Settings, wherein the General section you will see the Offline section. Check this box. 

Google Drive Offline

This will enable Drive to pick recently used Docs, Sheets and Slides (and any office files Word, Excel and Powerpoint) and automatically enable them in offline mode. Interestingly though, it can be rather random so it is advisable that for critical files you go in individually and make them available.  To do that open up Drive whilst online and right-click on each file needed and activate the toggle to “Available offline” if it isn't already.

Other Files on Chromebook Offline

Non-Google files such as PDF, image files and Zip files need a different approach to enabling offline access.

  • Open the Files app on your Chromebook, then select "Google Drive" from the list of choices on the left.
  • Find any file or folder you want to make available offline, right-click it, and select "Available offline" from the menu that appears.
  • If a file or folder is already available offline, you'll see a checkmark next to that same option.

Of course, any files you have manually downloaded or copied to your local Chromebook storage will be available offline automatically.

Google Keep

Google Keep is the best note-taking app around and just because you’re offline does not mean it cannot be used on your Chromebook. Make sure you have the Chrome app installed and sign in. It will automatically sync - simple as that!

Other Apps

Chrome Apps & Extensions

Your Chromebook has built-in image viewer and editor and an audio player (all within the aforementioned Files app) which work perfectly well offline.

Within the Web Store itself, you can filter by “runs offline” for both apps and extensions.

Here is our pick of the bunch

Polarr - highly sophisticated image editing app.

Pocket - Over 15 million people use Pocket to easily save articles, videos and more for later. With Pocket, all of your content goes to one place, so you can view it anytime, on any device. You don’t even need an Internet connection.

Kindle - Read books in your browser.

Lucidchart Diagrams - The easiest way to draw flowcharts, mockups, UML, mind maps and more -  online and offline.

You can check out the full range of offline-capable extensions and apps here.

Android Apps for Chromebook Offline

Embracing Android apps (as long as your Chromebook is Android enabled) will further enhance your offline capability.

For instance,  Google Calendar can be used offline along with Evernote, OneNote, Trello and Asana

Now you are all set to take advantage of productivity whilst on the go.

Time to play with Chromebook Offline

But wait! It doesn't end there! What happens if as well as work you want to play on your trip?

As mentioned Android apps being available on most Chromebooks we can download the Netflix app (subscription rates apply) and download content for offline viewing - something you can't do on a Mac! 

It is not just Netflix though the same applies to Spotify, Google Play Movies/Music /Books along with the BBC iPlayer.

Who says Chromebooks cannot be used offline!

Contact

As official Google Cloud Partners, Cobry has deployed G Suite and configured hardware from Chromebooks to Jamboards and Hangouts Meet Hardware for organisations of all sizes throughout Scotland and across Europe. 

If your organisation is considering making the move to G Suite, or has already set up their account but would like some help with device management, or any other aspects of G Suite, please get in touch via the details below – we would be delighted to have a chat.

info@cobry.co.uk | 0333 789 0102

October 1, 2019

How to Move your Organisation to G Suite

G Suite is rapidly becoming the go-to office suite for enterprises thanks to its intuitive interface and collaboration tools.

Although Microsoft Office remains the leader in terms of volume of users, G Suite has made massive inroads into Microsoft's dominance with the number of paying businesses that have made the move to G Suite having doubled in only two years.

The shift in business approach to their office suite can be explained in the fact that G Suite was born in the cloud and therefore did not come with any legacy programming or architecture. This, in turn, enabled the platform to innovate with highly collaborative tools such as Docs, Sheets and Slides. Gmail, the world's most popular email client, is the preferred choice for younger employees over Outlook and has, if required, complex email filtering and labelling functionality ensuring your inbox becomes more manageable.

Allied to this G Suite is device agnostic which means that employees can use their hardware of choice whether it is a Mac, PC or indeed the increasingly popular choice of a Chromebook - Google’s operating system of Chrome OS

A further, less heralded, factor in its increasing market share lies in Google’s drive to crack the education market. G Suite for Education, which includes apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides as well as Calendar, Jamboard and Meet, began in 2006. As of January 2019, 80 million educators and students worldwide use the Education tier along with 30 million Chromebooks. This strategy will, in essence, mean that students will already be familiar with the tools G Suite brings to the table.

So what are the steps to shift your organisation from your current solution to G Suite?

Leadership Buy-In

The first step to any successful migration has to be that the project needs to have decision-makers on board from as high up the organisation as possible using and engaging with G Suite. 

However, the challenge will be in getting these senior employees to try something new, as they will likely have been in the Microsoft world for some time. This group of people will need to see the benefits of the move to G Suite, but their buy-in is crucial to the success of the project.

Often projects fail when there is a lack of time allocated at the planning stage by key influencers, this must be avoided at all costs as planning is key to a successful deployment. 

Humans Don’t Like Change

As a general rule, human beings do not like change, getting taken out of our comfort zones or trying something different. We get set in our ways and become closed off to the idea that another way could be better and lead to benefits.

It is a crucial part of the project that evangelists are recruited, team members who can shout out and embrace the benefits of the change. These will be the cheerleaders and will have the most influence on colleagues at the coal face.

Tailor Your Approach

The benefits of making the move to G Suite will be different to each department within an organisation so when engaging, tailor the approach and training. Each tool within G Suite will have a greater impact on some departments than others. 

For example, the Finance department, typically the most resistant to moving from Excel to Sheets due to the complex nature of formulas, will need to buy into the migration of their work. 

Another example of having a different approach would be with the executive administrator or PA’s who manage multiple inboxes and calendars. The interface and settings will look different in Gmail and Calendar to Outlook and will need different deployment instructions. 

Focussing on touchpoints that affect the users in their day to day tasks will help ensure a smooth rollout and better adoption.

Phased Roll Out

No matter the size of the organisation or if spread over a number of different locations the best rollout will be a phased approach.

As well as migration issues, resources will need to be deployed for user knowledge gaps, training and problem resolution. So with all of that to be managed, migrating per department or location could be a good bet.

Most importantly, communication with stakeholders is key. Users will become frustrated and disillusioned if they are not kept in the loop with key milestones and project wins. Here the client evangelists will play an important role in this as they can amplify updates and help heal pain points within the user base.

Contact to Move to G Suite

As official Google Cloud Partners, Cobry has deployed G Suite and migrated organisations of all sizes throughout Scotland and across Europe. 

If your organisation is considering making the move to G Suite, or has already set up their account but would like some help with device management, or any other aspects of G Suite, please get in touch via the details below – we would be delighted to have a chat.

info@cobry.co.uk | 0333 789 0102

September 10, 2019

Managing G Suite Domains

G Suite has grown and matured a lot over the past ten years and so have the companies that use it. To make it easier for large organisations to manage their IT infrastructure, companies can register multiple domains within G Suite, so that all employees can be managed in the same instance, regardless of which branch of the business they are in.

There are a lot of reasons why companies purchase and operate under multiple domains, such as geographically based branding, differentiating specialisms within the organisation and of course for SEO purposes.

This blog post aims to break down the different aspects of working with multiple domains in G Suite and highlight how Google Cloud Partners, like Cobry, can help make the most of the service.

If you’re still to make the move to G Suite, you can get in touch with us to discuss how we can help your organisation make the transition as smooth as possible.

Primary Domain

When your organisation signs up for G Suite, your Admin or Google Cloud Partner provides the domain name that you would like to have associated with G Suite. This becomes the primary domain for all users and will be used to form their email address. This domain must be one that your organisation already owns, otherwise you can purchase it during the setup.

Adding G Suite Domains

If your organisation owns multiple domains, and would like to use them within G Suite, they can be added either as an additional domain or as a domain alias.

  • Domain alias: provides users with an additional email address at the domain.
  • Secondary (or non-Primary) domain: Create new users on the domain.

Domain Aliases

Domain aliases can be used as alternative names for your Primary domain, meaning that users can have multiple email addresses for the same account - ie. emails sent to the following addresses would arrive in the same inbox: user1@primarydomain.com / user1@domainalias.com.

Secondary (or non-Primary) Domains

If an organisation has been bought over or are merging with another company, they may already have a G Suite domain full of users. If that’s the case, this domain would be added as a Secondary Domain, allowing all users to be managed from the same admin console, but still providing them with their own separate inbox and account. This setup can help a lot with the smooth management of calendars and Drive sharing.

Organisational Units

Organisational Units are used to help better organise and manage the users within your domain. They can be configured to provide different features, services and access rights to different groups of users within your organisation, such as a Customer Support Team, HR & Finance, External Contractors, Senior Management etc.

These organisational units can also include users from multiple domains, as long as they have been added correctly. 

Whitelisted Domains

If there are external domains which your organisation work with frequently, such as a supplier, partner or client, you can whitelist them in G Suite. This essentially marks them as being trusted and will allow your users to share files with this domain.

Managing Multiple Domains

If your organisation has a lot of domains to manage, then G Suite has got you covered by supporting up to 600 domains in total. There can only ever be one Primary domain, but this can have up to 20 aliases to allow users to send mail from different addresses.

You can, however, have 599 Secondary domains, which is fantastic for large groups of companies who may own many businesses and want to manage their IT all under the same account.

Changing Primary Domain

Why would an organisation want to change their primary G Suite domain? There are many reasons, such as a change in ownership, a rebrand or updating to a new domain extension such as “.com” to help enter new international markets.

When updating your primary G Suite domain, you may also need to update user accounts and organisational units to match. This can have an effect on things like signing-in, 2-Factor Authentication and data synchronisation.

Single Sign-On

G Suite’s single sign-on service (and that of 3rd party solutions) provide access to a wide number of 3rd party apps, such as Copper CRM, Asana and DocuSign through the use of your G Suite account. This means that users only need to remember one set of log-in details. Provided the SSO system has been configured correctly and identifies users by email address, it will continue to work for G Suite Accounts with multiple domains.

How Cobry Help

As experienced Google Cloud Partners, Cobry can help your organisation, big or small, with all of the above-mentioned domain configurations and administration. We have had many clients come to us for help with consolidating their setup and making sure it’s easily managed going forward. 

We also help businesses ensure they have the most effective, secure and efficient setup for their needs by providing Security Reviews and Domain Audits.

So whether you need to update your Primary Domain, add a Domain Alias, a Secondary Domain or even update your account’s billing country and currency, you can get in touch with us via the details below and we will be happy to help.

Contact

If you need assistance with any G Suite related projects, please don't hesitate to get in touch via the below details, we're always happy to chat.

As G Suite is cloud-based, we are also able to help customers from all over the world.

info@cobry.co.uk | 0333 789 0102

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