In recent days we have seen Gmail accounts from multiple organizations be compromised. While it is not 100% clear how the breaches are occurring, there is a standard set of security practices that can be applied both to respond to a suspected breach and reduce the chance of future breaches.
There are many things that individual Gmail users can do to secure their accounts and there are additional steps that require Google Apps administrators to perform. Below, we are going to break down the things you can do into these categories. We hope you find these helpful.
Of course, if you would like RoundTable to help you implement any of these steps, please let us know by submitting a request via our help form.
Responsive (responding to a suspected breach):
- Google keeps a 9-step security checklist that individuals can follow to secure their account. The steps take just a few minutes to read through, but can take much longer to complete the actions specified in each step. Completing these steps, however, will go a long way toward protecting your account from unauthorized access.
- The instructions at this Google support page help and administrator log off all Google sessions for a specified account. This can be helpful as it may not be possible to tell if the breach occurred on a work computer, home computer or mobile device. The steps in this support article will disconnect all those sessions for the affected account.
- Help impacted staff complete the 9-step security checklist and/or simply do it for them.
Preventative (reducing the chance of future breach):
- Good news! The preventative steps for individuals are exactly the same as the responsive steps. Google keeps a 9-step security checklist that individuals can follow to secure their account. Completing all items on this list will greatly improve the security of your account.
- Help your staff complete the 9-step security checklist. Provide trainings and individual support as needed and, where practical and supported by your organization, enforce policies that improve security, such as two-factor authentication.
- If you have not already, create SPF and DKIM records for your domain to reduce the ability of malware and spammers to spoof your domain and use phishing attacks against your staff.