Is Vault sufficient as a tool of data loss prevention?

Many people concerned about data loss in Workspace wonder if Google Vault is the solution to their problems. It’s not. Vault is designed to meet eDiscovery and compliance needs, but not backup and recovery needs.

While Vault is a good solution for data retention for legal needs, it doesn’t meet the primary use case for backup and restore – business continuity. Most importantly, Vault isn’t purpose-built to enable rapid, granular restores from any point in time. 

For backup and recovery, you need a solution simple & efficient designed specifically for that purpose, like  SPANNING Backup for Workspace. 

Google Vault

  • Retain, hold, search, or export Gmail, Chat, Groups and Drive (including shared Drives).
  • Does not restore data back into Google, only allows you to export data.

  • Stores all archived data only in Google.


  • Permits access only by administrators
    and named legal personnel.


  • Automatically backs up Gmail, Drive (including Team Drives), Calendars, Contacts and Sites, daily or on demand.
  • Makes it easy to restore point-in-time data back into Workspace with one click; SPANNING also allows you to export data.
  • Stores all backed up data in a private, secure section of the  cloud so that you have copies of your data in two separate clouds.
  • Permits access by end users to find and restore their lost data, and by administrators to monitor backups and restore lost data.

Spanning saves you time & granularity

Data loss User cases

Backup is nothing without fast, accurate, automatic restores. Backing up data – making a copy and archiving it somewhere – is one thing, but what matters even more is how quickly and easily lost data can be restored, how accurate and complete the restoration is, and how fast the organization can get back to business.

To clearly illustrate the differences between Vault and Spanning Backup, let’s consider two use cases: recovering lost emails, and recovering lost Drive files.

Recovering emails

Let’s say a malicious insider deleted emails and then emptied the trash in an attempt to harm the organization.

What happens when the deleted emails are needed?


The end user must contact an admin to find the emails. Once the emails are located, the admin can export them to an mbox or pst file format and then manually upload them back into the user’s Google account using a specified tool. Any labels that were previously attached will be lost.


The end user uses the search function to find the emails, then simply clicks to restore it directly to Gmail, with all labels intact.

Recovering drive contents

Drive contents (including Team Drives) can easily be deleted, corrupted, accidentally overwritten, or encrypted by ransomware.


What happens when the organization needs those lost Drive files?


In the event of a ransomware attack, Vault isn’t useful, since it doesn’t include previous versions of non-native Google files like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel – the last-known-good version before the attack. In the case of simple loss or data corruption, a user must contact an admin, who would then search for the specific Drive contents in order to find the file. Note that Vault only searches the latest version of the Drive files, and does not include deleted files. An admin would then download the files, and manually import them back into Drive. These files do not retain any sharing settings.


An end user or admin can search for the files, or view their Drive exactly how it looked from any point-in-time. An end user can then restore their files directly back into their Google account, and an admin can restore drive files into whichever account they prefer.

How can we help?

Find out how we help you protect and recover your data easily and automatically comply with data protection regulations!

  • Demonstrations and quotation requests
  • Licenses set-up
  • Training
  • Renewal negociation
protect your email