Project Description

📖 3 mins read

Google Drive File Ownership: Your first check-point to Drive Security

Google Drive file ownership! Yep, that crucial security door you can’t leave unsupervised when most of your collaboration happens in Google Drive. 

And now, with many of us working remotely from home, I’d say that a little extra vigilance is even more needed.

But why is Google Drive File Ownership that important?

Ever dealt with a Drive file recovery puzzle where you had to painfully patch the pieces together to find an important file?

Experienced an orphaned file situation before or a permanent deletion of an important file which couldn’t be altered 🤦‍♀️?

If your answer is Yes, then you understand the frustration that comes with it (especially with sensitive or vital files) — If your answer is No, then I wish you never have to, and advise you to keep on reading 👇

When assessing basic security goals like Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and information security, how well you handle Google Drive file ownership and sharing at your organization can mean the world.

How? — Let’s dig deeper 🪓

As you probably know, every file Jenna (let’s call her Jenna) creates, syncs or uploads, Jenna automatically becomes its owner, right?

Now, as the owner, Jenna has powerful rights over her files, including:

    1. Sharing them with other people inside or outside.
    2. Adding/Removing inside or outside collaborators.
    3. Permanently deleting the file from Google Drive.
    4. Changing visibility options.
    5. Allowing collaborators to change access privileges for others.

If you take a closer look at these rights, you’ll see how one simple mistake or accident from Jenna can have huge security implications. Especially when handling sensitive data.

To that, we advise you to identify a ‘Drive treasurer(s)’ and transfer ownership of sensitive files and folders to them. That could be an IT admin or a trusted user familiar with the best security practices there.

This will significantly boost your Google Drive security against major security incidents like data loss or data breach.

Transferring Google Drive File Ownership: 

Ok so once ownership is transferred to someone else, the original owner won’t be able to revoke these changes.
1. The new owner will be able to remove the original owner entirely from the file whenever they wish.
2. The original owner will no longer be able to delete the file or share it with anyone else.

How do you Transfer Google Drive File Ownership?

There are THREE ways to do that 👇:

1.Transfer the Ownership Yourself as the ‘Owner’

  1. Share the file with the person you want to transfer ownership to.
  2. Now click Advanced.
  3. Click the Down arrow to the right of the person you’ve already shared the file with, then Click Is owner.
  4. Save changes.

After you transfer ownership, the new owner will receive an email notifying them of the change.

2.Via a G Suite Admin

A G Suite Admin can change file ownership in Google Drive. 

3.Via Delegated Auditors

The easiest way to comprehensively do so is using GAT+

GAT+ enables G Suite Super Admins or delegated auditors to easily transfer ownership of an individual file or multiple Google files across their organization. 

Google Drive Security Sharing Best Practices:

Here are also 10 more POWERFUL ways to better manage and SECURE file ownership and sharing in Google Drive using GAT 👇:

  1. Replace current sharing permissions on your Google Drive files.
  2. Remove all permissions on Google Drive shares with the exception of a single user.
  3. Find publicly shared Google files.
  4. Search for Specific File Types in your G Suite Domain and Change their ownership in Google Drive.
  5. Manage files owned by leaving users easily.
  6. Remove All permissions to all ‘Sensitive’ folders and their sub-folders.
  7. Understand Google Group activity email and file sharing.
  8. Remove external shares when files haven’t been accessed for a certain number of days.
  9. Find and Transfer Ownership of Mp3 Files.
  10. Detect a Sharing Policy Violation in Google Drive.

Check out these fantastic capabilities if you haven’t already to better secure your Google Drive Ownership and Sharing door. 

Interested in GAT but not an existing customer? — Contact us here or simply book a free demo with one of our Tech experts.

Don’t forget to add Google Drive File Ownership to your security checklist and of course share this piece with your friends and colleagues on social media using the buttons below 👇

Stay safe and ‘Secure’ in every way 🙋‍♀️

Thanks for sharing and spreading the word!