Google gives people who use G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, or Nonprofit editions two distinct kinds of Google Drive storage: My Drive and Team Drives. Both function as a reliable location to store, organize, and share files. Yet, there’s one major difference between the 2: When you add a file to a Team Drive, all people in the Team Drive get access to the file, but when you add a file to My Drive, your file remains private by default.
Google also gives G Suite administrators the ability to adjust the default file access and sharing settings for Google Drive and Team Drives. Most G Suite administrators review and configure Google Drive settings during the initial G Suite deployment, but Google recently added more settings in mid-2018 to assist secure Team Drive data.
Assess the following settings to handle, protect, and monitor your organization’s Team Drives. You’ll need a G Suite administrator make up your organization to access Admin console settings.
Manage Team Drives – n many cases, your organization’s default Google Drive sharing settings also work as the default Team Drive sharing settings. Sign in the G Suite admin console (at admin.google.com), then navigate to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Sharing Settings. Review these setting to ensure external sharing is either allowed or restricted appropriately.
Immediately below the Sharing settings section, you’ll see Team Drive creation controls. Each of these five options prevents another action. Any selection made here relates to All the organization’s Team Drives. As an example, a G Suite administrator with an organization especially worried about security could select all five of these options, which will result in team drives access being restricted solely to individuals inside an organization, and with only individuals a Team Drive having the ability to access files on that Team Drive. This type of configuration would also constrain downloading, copying, and printing of files from your Team Drive.
A far more frequently-used configuration may be to examine only the “Prevent full-access members from modifying Team Drive settings” option. This ensures that a G Suite administrator can choose the sharing, membership, and content action options allowed (i.e., access to download, copy, or print) for each Team Drive, with no risk that a full-access member might modify these settings.
Screenshot of G Suite Admin console Manage Team Drives options (with sharing, membership, and content action options shown)
Review and manage Team Drive sharing and content action settings for any organization’s Team Drives.
Protect Team Drive content – A G Suite administrator could also review and adjust membership, sharing, and content action settings for all Team Drives. Again, login to the Admin console (admin.google.com), then navigate to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Team Drive > Manage Team Drives.
Screenshots of Team Drive sharing options – left shows items unable to be modified; right show items capable of being changed.
A G Suite administrator can restrict many Team Drive sharing, membership, and content actions (as shown on the left). More permissive options allow Team Drive members to talk about externally, add members, or copy, download, and baysuv files (as shown on the right).
As these settings affect each Team Drive, you are able to configure very flexible and open options that permit external sharing and content actions for a few Team Drives, while choosing far more locked-down options that prohibit external sharing and content actions for other Team Drives.
Importantly, as long as a G Suite administrator doesn’t prohibit it, individuals a Team Drive who may have full-access permissions may adjust Team Drive settings.
Monitor Team Drive changes – G Suite also gives administrators the ability to review Team Drive changes. Sign into the Admin console, go to Reports > Audit > Drive > take a look for the Item Type filter (in the column on the left) and select “Team Drive” from the options. Visit the bottom with this column, then select “Search” to apply the filter. You’ll then view a report of Team Drive administrative activity for the organization.
You can add additional filters for this report, too. For instance, in addition to selecting “Team Drive” items, you might also search for the “Item Visibility Change” option, and choose “Internal to External,” then select Search. This displays a report of Team Drive items available today to individuals away from organization, that were previously only accessible internally.
Your ideas on Team Drive? If you are using Team Drives for files in your organization, what settings would you use generally? If you’re a G Suite administrator, have you restricted any Team Drive settings – or do you allow most actions?