Sep 20 2022

Why Your Campus Needs a Google Workspace for Education Audit

Checking administrative settings and mapping out Google’s domain services can provide security peace of mind and open up space-saving storage opportunities in higher education.

Google Workspace for Education has become a popular platform for higher education institutions, with many tools working together seamlessly to provide technology solutions for everything from email hosting to word processing to video collaboration.

But with those myriad tools comes a lot of information to monitor (the Google Admin console has more than 1,000 settings) to ensure that Google Workspace is delivering on its potential — and just as importantly, to confirm that the platform is as secure as possible as cyberattacks on colleges and universities continue to intensify.

This is where a Google Workspace for Education audit can help. During an audit, a team of CDW AmplifiedIT experts painstakingly pore over every platform configuration, then provide a comprehensive roadmap for IT teams to follow to fix any settings that need to be adjusted.

Here’s what you can expect from a Google Workspace for Education audit and why your college or university should consider one at least every two years.

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Why Your University Needs a Google Workspace for Education Audit

Some colleges and universities have been using Google Workspace for Education (previously called G Suite for Education) for at least a decade, taking advantage of Google’s domain services, Gmail platform and, at the time, unlimited free storage.

But many universities haven’t looked closely at the platform since then, other than to incorporate new applications and address Google’s recent announcement that it was placing storage limits on its free service. That development has become particularly important in higher ed, where longtime Google users may have thousands of legacy email accounts, especially for alumni and other inactive users, that could be taking up a lot of storage space unnecessarily.

Security is also a major concern in higher education, and legacy platforms can expose institutions if they are not updated. Google Workspace for Education auditors know what to look for to close the back doors that cybercriminals seek. Auditors can also produce documentation of their work, something some cyber insurance companies have started requesting before taking on higher ed clients.

When higher ed users and IT administrators are looking under the hood of Google Workspace for Education, they’re noticing that Google, like any software developer, has made countless changes to the platform’s settings. What was once on by default is now off by default, for example, and the constant tweaking and updating by Google can leave even the most seasoned IT professionals scratching their heads.

The Google Workspace for Education audit experts, meanwhile, have seen it all and will lay out a detailed map of which settings can or should be adjusted, confirm that security settings are up to date and explain why their recommended changes should be made.

READ MORE: Boosting interoperability between Google and Microsoft.

What Goes Into a Google Workspace for Education Audit?

Once a college or university’s Google administrator requests an audit, the AmplifiedIT team will use its vast experience in higher education to look at each institution’s setup and will spend about four weeks conducting the audit.

After an initial call with the IT team, the auditors are given super administrator access and use a set of tools to run diagnostics on the platform. When the tools report their findings, the auditors double-check the results against the settings on a university’s specific domain to create a comprehensive document outlining any recommended changes.

That document is shared with the school’s IT team, at which point the AmplifiedIT experts will go through the document in detail and show their findings side by side with the super administrator console.

How Often Do You Need a Google Workspace for Education Audit?

The AmplifiedIT team recommends an audit every two years, or more frequently if staff turnover is high. Think of audits as a wellness check, where IT “doctors” can screen for a potential problem before it grows into something much bigger.

If your team is ready for a Google Workspace for Education audit, contact the AmplifiedIT team today to arrange an initial consultation.

This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.

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