Avoiding Mobile Landmines with Google Drive for Education

The invasion of technology into the classroom at all levels of education continues unabated. With this infusion of technology into the classroom, the job duties of a CIO or IT director of an education institution have exploded exponentially.

Picture this, you’re the CIO or director of a large university who has been tasked with monitoring and protecting the data for all faculty and students, on and off campus. Lately, you feel at times as though mobile devices are running amok with the real prospect of critical data breaches, all on your watch. Cyber security breaches are a serious threat; and the proverbial clock is ticking to get ahead of this gathering storm.

Mitigating Cyber Risks

Certainly, you are challenged to manage and mitigate the 24/7 data security risks your university faces due to the proliferation of mobile devices. Your students and faculties’ use of free consumer grade apps, grading solutions, file, sync and sharing solutions continue to make the environment increasingly unmanageable.

Faculty and students often work using their personal devices, albeit with no audit control capabilities. In fact, it is common that sensitive data remains in personal consumer-grade accounts long after faculty/students leave campus.

So how does one tackle the mobile security threats throughout an education environment?

Introducing Google Drive for Education

Google recently released Drive for Education, available to all Google Apps for Education customers at no charge.

Here are the four main features of this new release:

  • Unlimited Storage. There is no more worrying about how much space you have left, or about which user needs more gigabytes. Drive for Education supports individual files up to 5TB in size. It will be available in coming weeks.
  • Vault. Google Apps Vault is Google’s solution for search and discovery for compliance needs, and it will be available free to all Apps for Education users by the end of the year.
  • Enhanced Auditing. New reporting and auditing tools and an Audit API that easily allow you to see the activity of a file, are also on the way.
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM). With MDM, you can monitor activity on student or faculty mobile devices with granular controls. Controls include the ability to provision the devices with enterprise apps (including app whitelisting and blacklisting), enforce security and usage policies, and protect device data from malicious attacks or theft.

These features seem pretty important, right? Wrong, they’re revolutionary.

Another Freebie: Google Classroom

Google Classroom is another great tool for educators. It’s a free suite of productivity tools which include Gmail, Drive and Docs. The objective is to toss book bags off the shoulder, thereby enabling the paperless classroom. If your institution’s educators are looking to save time, improve organization, and enhance communication — all while keeping all data secure — then click here to learn more about Google Classroom.

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