BU Google Drive is approved to store Confidential information, including FERPA information

  • The BU version of Google Drive has been approved to store Confidential information owned or used by Boston University, therefore it may be used to store information covered by FERPA.
  • Note: only the BU version of Google Drive is approved, not the consumer version of Google Drive. This document will tell you how to properly set up BU Google Drive in order to securely use it to store Confidential information, including and student records and information protected by FERPA.
  • BU Google Drive is not approved to store Restricted Use information.  For definitions of Confidential and Restricted Use information, the Data Protection Standards.

What is BU Google Drive?

BU Google Apps are a set of services provided by IS&T that give people at Boston University access to Google’s features and tools, but with additional special protections and provisions not available with the consumer version of Google services.

BU Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage service provided by Google under this special contract.

Using BU Google Drive has several benefits:

  1. It lets you store and access your files anywhere – on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go.  Change a file on the web, computer, or mobile device and the updated version is available on every device where you’ve installed Google Drive.
  2. Any time your device has Internet access, it checks in with Google Drive.  Your files are automatically synchronized and kept up-to-date.
  3. This service makes the secure sharing and collaboration much easier:
  • Google Drive lets you choose exactly who has access to your files with easy-to-use access controls.  You can share just the one specific document or file with someone, or set up a folder in Google Drive so that specific people have access to an entire folder.  How granular you get is up to you.  That said, we recommend making security easy to maintain by keeping the permissions you set up simple, set up a folder for each different group/community with whom you want to share documents.
  • Assuming your permissions are set up correctly, your files are safer; you don’t need to email attachments anymore.

 

If you choose to use BU Google Drive, you are personally responsible for setting up security correctly.   See below for details.

Security Level Approvals for BU Google Drive

Internal

  • If you are going to store files in the cloud, even if they only contain Internal data, we recommend that you use the BU version of Google Apps (as opposed to the consumer version).  The BU version includes privacy and security features not available in the consumer version.

Confidential

  • Only the BU version of Google Apps may be used to store Confidential data.
  • The consumer version of Google Apps is not approved to store any data classified higher then Internal.

Restricted Use

  • Neither BU Google Apps nor the consumer version of Google Apps is approved to store or process Restricted Use data.

Instructions

All BU faculty and staff are expected to be familiar with the Data Protection Standards, including the Data Management Guide, Data Protection Requirements and Minimum Security Standards.  These documents explain how to handle Confidential and Restricted Use information properly.  If you have questions, ask your supervisor, Departmental Security Administrator or BU Information Security.

Installation and setup, including the proper set up of security

Instructions for setting up Google Drive are readily available from Google.  However, if you are going to use BU Google Drive to store Confidential data, it is important that properly secure files and folders you upload.  These links will show you how to set up BU Google Drive and properly set up security so that people can only view the files that you authorize them to view.

Click the link to jump to the instructions for your particular operating system.

Once you have BU Google Drive set up, don’t forget to:

Important

Failure to comply with the Data Protection Standards may result in harm to individuals, organizations or Boston University.  The unauthorized or unacceptable use of University Data, including the failure to comply with these standards, constitutes a violation of University policy and may subject the User to revocation of the privilege to use University Data or Information Technology or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Instructions for setting up BU Google Drive on a Windows computer

  1. Using a trusted web browser, go to www.bu.edu/google
  2. You will see a Welcome page:BuGooglePage
  3. Click Drive
  4. You will be asked which account you want to set up to use Google Drive
    Be sure to select your BU Google email account, then click Continue 

     

    googleDrive_UserSignIn

     

  5. You will be presented with the online version of Google DrivegoogleDriveTopMain
  6. If you want to install a BU Google Drive folder on your computer or device, click where shown by the red arrow (with the circle) below.  (If you do this on a Mac, the link below will say “Download Drive for Mac” instead.)
    When you do this, an install file will be downloaded [blue arrow (with the diamond)]. 

    googDriveMainArrows

  7. Click on the downloaded file to installGDriveInstaller
  8. Sign in to the page that opens when the install is complete:GD_ThanksForInstalling
  9. Once installed, you can find Google Drive for your PC in your Windows system tray. Here’s how it looks on the Windows system tray:

    WindowsDock

For more information on BU Google Apps, see techweb at: http://www.bu.edu/tech/services/comm/email/google/

 

 

Instructions for setting up Google Drive on a Macintosh computer

  1. Using a trusted web browser, go to www.bu.edu/google
  2. You will see a Welcome page:BuGooglePage
  3. Click Drive
  4. You will be asked which account you want to set up to use Google Drive
    Be sure to select your BU Google email account, then click Continue 

    googleDrive_UserSignIn

  5. You will be presented with the online version of Google Drive to be downloaded on a Mac computerGD_MacDownload
  6. To install a BU Google Drive folder on your Mac computer drag your BU Google drive file to your applications folder.GD_MacInstall
  7. When you do this, an install file will be downloaded [blue arrow (with the diamond)].MacGoogleDriveInstaller
  8. You will then see the following message.
    Click Open to acknowledge downloading the trusted BU Google Drive application. 

    GD_OpenDownloadMac

  9. Sign in to the page that opens when the install is complete:GD_ThanksForInstalling
  10. Once installed, you can find Google Drive for your Mac/PC in your Windows system tray or Mac menu bar.GD_MacDock

For more information on BU Google Apps, see techweb at:  http://www.bu.edu/tech/services/comm/email/google/

 


Security:  Set up your BU Google drive file and folder access permissions correctly

When you have successfully installed BU Google Drive for your Mac/PC, the contents of My Drive will sync with the contents of a folder called Google Drive on your personal computer.  You can move files that have been shared with you to My Drive as well as export files to selected users you want to share your secure documents with.

Google provides detailed instructions on Google Drive security: https://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2494822&topic=2816927&rd=1

You should have already set up your BU Google Drive so that any file you upload will only be accessible to you (default behavior).  If you want another person to be able to access the file or folder you will have to explicitly grant them access.

Google Drive provides two ways that you can provide access to others,

  1. Anyone can access it if you give them a secret link.
    In the security field, this is called “security by obscurity” and is fine for files that do not contain any sensitive data, but is not acceptable for anything sensitive. No log in required; anyone who has the link can get to this file…
  2. Only named people (people that you have put in to Google drive) can access the file.  This will require them to log in first so that the system knows who they are before it allows them access to the file.

If you are going to put BU Confidential data on your BU Google drive, you need to use named access only.

https://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2494886&topic=2816927&ctx=topic

We recommend that you do this at the folder level, but if you want if you want to do it for the file..

Give example:

Sharing a file with an email address or mailing list

    1. Go to drive.google.com.
    2. Create a folder that will contain the confidential files you wish to share.  For this example I created a folder called “Confidential Files”.
    3. Check the box next to the file or folder you’d like to share (red arrow), then click the share icon (blue arrow)GD_AddPeople

      …You can also get to the permissions settings by clicking the down arrow beside the folder… 

      GD_ConfidentialFiles

      …and then selecting Share… (blue arrow with diamond)

      GD_Share

 

    1. Make sure that “Who has access” is “Private – Only those people listed below can access” (red arrow w circle)
      If this is not already the case, click Change… (blue arrow with diamond) 

      GD_ChangeAccess

    2. Select Private and click Save GD_SharingSettings

 

  1. To add people , scroll to the bottom of the screen and add their BU email address.
    You can add a single person, a mailing list, or choose from your contacts. 

    GD_AddNames

  2. Choose the access level from the drop-down menu next to each collaborator: “Can view,” “Can comment” (Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations only), or “Can edit.”GD_ShareSaveNames
  1. Click Share & save.  If you upload any file to that folder, it will inherit these positions.
  2. You can also set permissions on a single specific file by checking the box beside that file,
    then clicking the share icon:

 

GD_AddPersonLogo

Instructions for setting up Google Drive on a iOS device

Once you have set up your BU Google Drive (above), you may access it through your iOS device:

  1. Go to the App Store on your iPhone or iPad to http://www.google.com/mobile/ios/
  2. Search the App Store for “Google Drive.”GD_AppStore
  3. Find the search result with the Drive icon:GoogleDriveIcon
  4. Select which device you want to install Google drive on and install the app.
  5. Open the app and sign into Google Drive.

iOS_MainScreenGDApp_Get Started

Exceptions

BU Information Security is authorized to grant exceptions to the requirements set forth in this document.  Any exception granted will require a thorough review of the situation and will be based on the implementation of appropriate compensating controls.  All exceptions must be documented and approved per the Risk Acceptance Policy (Contact BU Information Security).

References

Documentation provided by google about GoogleDrive:

The Boston University Data Protection Standards:

The Boston University FERPA policy:

Key Contacts

  • BU Information Security

BUInfoSec@bu.edu             (617) 353-9004

  • Executive Director & Information Security Officer

Quinn Shamblin                    (617) 358-6310

History

Date Action By Supersedes
05/28/2013 Original Draft BU Information Security –Original–
05/29/2013 Approved Quinn R. Shamblin, BU Information Security –Original–
05/31/2013 Approved Jeffrey von Munkwitz-Smith, Ph.D, Registrar –Original–