You use Google Vault alongside your G Suite email, hangout chats, groups, and Drive. So, your data is protected from accidental or malicious loss, right? No.
Google Vault is not a backup solution; it’s an eDiscovery and archiving solution with hold, search, and export features in case of litigation. And it isn’t fool proof.
Just recently, Google Vault was caught up in a security leak by where a large trove of private documents was released to the public. Plus, there are significant limitations to what Google Vault can do in terms of archiving data, protecting against data loss, and recovering information.
So, what can Google Vault do?
What Is Google Vault?
Google Vault is a web-based application that can be added to G Suite Enterprise, Business, and Education editions for $5/user per month. You can use Vault to:
- Archive: Determine how long you want to retain data before it is removed from a user account and deleted from the Google system.
- Hold: Place holds on users to reserve their data indefinitely for legal or other obligatory reasons.
- Search: Search data by user account, organizational unit, date, or keyword.
- Export: Export data for additional review.
- Audit: Create audit reports to see the actions of your Vault users.
Google Vault offers email retention, search, and export when requested by a Google Apps administrator. To use its features, you have to be an administrator.
The issue is that Google Vault requires a lot of work on the part of your IT Google administrator. They have to specify exactly which emails they want to preserve and for how long. Google Vault will only preserve items that match the indicated criteria and only for the time required. This means that your IT department will need to know, at the very beginning, what should be kept for legal or compliance purposes.
Once items are saved, you can easily perform a Google Vault search or export to find the data you need. Just take a look at this short three-minute video about how to search and export in the Vault.
Google Vault isn’t a backup and recovery solution. It’s an eDiscovery and archiving system that should only be used when specific information is required for litigation, not as a data protection service.
SaaS Cloud Backup
An SaaS cloud backup and restore solution such as CloudAlly is a natural progression from Google Vault. It fully and automatically creates backups of your Gmail, Drive, Classic Sites, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Chats every day without your IT administrator being required to do anything. Unlike Vault, CloudAlly saves everything for as long as you need it. You have unlimited storage retention, so that at any point in time you can search and export the data you need. In addition, you can also restore data to a person’s account, which is something Google Vault cannot do.
But do you really need CloudAlly when the G Suite already saves your data? Yes.
One of Google’s best features is its ability to auto-save Google Docs and other data without requiring you to click “File>Save.” The problem is that this auto-save feature doesn’t protect against user-deletion. Once a user empties a trashcan, the data is deleted from the Google Site. And while some data is recoverable, there’s a time limit of 25 to 30 days.
As for email, as discussed earlier, Google Vault only saves emails that match the retention rule that your IT administrator sets up. If an email doesn’t fit the specified criteria, it’s lost.
Using Both Google Vault and CloudAlly
Using CloudAlly alongside Google Vault means that you have a simple way to recover your data without any extra effort on your part as well as a way to archive and discover information required for litigation.
CloudAlly preserves all your data from email to contacts for recovery and search. No matter if a person deletes or even overwrites data, CloudAlly offers you a simple way to recover data and protect against loss.
Google Vault’s export and search preserves your email and Drive for legal compliance purposes. It helps you discover data that you may need, but it doesn’t protect you from data loss.
In short, you need both CloudAlly and Google Vault to be completely protected. Check out our G Suite backup solution.