Google Workspace apps (formerly known as G Suite apps), is a collection of an entire set of productivity apps, such as Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, GMail, Google Meet etc, which are used by companies, enterprises, universities and many more, on a daily basis to collaborate on, share, store and edit data of the organization by setting user access control.

 

Threat to G Suite apps?

G Suite applications face a huge threat of data breach if IP restriction is not enabled. Since G Suite applications can be accessed anywhere, at any time, and on any device by any users of an organization (depending on access control) it has attracted the attention of hackers who are constantly trying to exploit the bugs present in the G Suite apps to access company sensitive data. This sensitive data is prone to attacks and constant threats of data leaks. So how can you secure G Suite apps? G Suite apps can be secured from unauthorized access by setting up IP restriction with a reverse proxy server. Lets see what is IP restriction?

What is IP restriction?

IP restriction simply means, to restrict access to something on the basis of the IP addresses. By enabling IP restriction, only certain admin users and other users will have access control for the cloud application (such as G Suite apps) to be protected. IP restriction allows a company’s organization to prevent access to files and folders, from any user whose IP address has not been whitelisted. So IP restriction becomes an incredible security feature to prevent unauthorized access and set user access control for company resources.

With a reverse proxy server, you can set G Suite IP restriction to set access control to your Google apps based on the whitelisted IP addresses. This way you can restrict users by IP and prevent unauthorized access with G Suite IP restriction.

G Suite IP restriction rules allow your organization’s admin to allow or restrict access to certain IP addresses or an entire range of IP addresses. This way an organization can secure their data from unauthorized, unregistered and public users on a foreign network from accessing their personnel and business related data stored on G Suite apps by enabling IP restriction with reverse proxy. A point to be noted about G Suite IP restriction, this security feature can be implemented for individual G Suite apps as well. Meaning, you can individually set access control and restrict access to Google sheets, docs, slides, etc as per admin and company needs.

The most prevalent in use example of G Suite IP restriction is that of creating security groups for Google Data Studio. In this case, the admin can configure and whitelist IP addresses that should be allowed access to the Google Data Studio according to user groups that need it. The admin can later also configure the access control settings and remove the group as per the company needs or add another group of IP addresses at the same time.

 

Top 5 benefits of enabling IP restriction to secure G Suite apps, with a reverse proxy server:

  1. Prevent access from any user on a foreign network.
  2. Monitor traffic and check where the access requests come from.
  3. Restrict an entire range of IP addresses of users with Google Workspace IP Restriction.
  4. You can also enter specific IP addresses of certain users from access G Suite apps.
  5. No need to install third party software for user authentication.

 

Implementing G Suite IP restriction

Let’s see how G Suite IP restriction works with an example,

Let’s say a company is using G Suite Apps for their daily information workflow. The company has enabled IP restriction with a reverse proxy and have whitelisted all the IP address ranges for the company network. Suppose there are 2 users: Jayden and Lexi in the organization. Jayden is on the company network and Lexi is not on the company network. 

A reverse proxy can be configured to allow or block users with Google workspace IP restriction.

Since Jayden is on the company network, his IP address will be whitelisted by the reverse proxy server. Hence, he will be authorized to use the G Suite apps.

Since Lexi is not on the company network, her IP address will not be whitelisted by the reverse proxy server. Hence, she will not be authorized to access any of the G Suite apps.

 

Secure G-Suite using Reverse Proxy

 

Conclusion: 

Reverse Proxy is the best practice that allows you to set access control over applications by enabling IP restriction. We can configure which IP address from a particular network should gain (or be denied) access, in order to secure Google Workspace apps (G Suite) and prevent unauthorized access requests from devices operating on a foreign network.

So, if you’re looking to establish a Reverse proxy for your company, miniOrange fits the bill with world-class service and reasonable pricing.

 

Reference links:

  1. Google SSO
  2. Bot traffic mitigation.
  3. Load balancing.
  4. IP restriction.
  5. Content caching.

 

Other Products Reference links:

  1. How to Setup G Suite/Google SAML SSO (Single Sign-On) for your account with Cloud Identity.
  2. WordPress G Suite / Google Apps SSO Login.
  3. Google Workspace Multi-Factor Authentication.
  4. Single Sign-On (SSO) for Apps Using Google Apps as IDP

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