Five Useful Email Alerts for proactive Google Apps Admins

Google Apps for Business administrators now have the option to be alerted when important changes occur for users, services or devices in your domain. This will help to increase transparency when multiple administrators have the ability to make changes to Google Apps or user settings that affect your domain. In addition, administrators can quickly take action after receiving alerts on suspicious user activity or alerts of unapproved changes made to settings in the Admin console.

Alerts are sent via email and received in real time, and therefore all super administrators can be automatically updated when events occur. Plus, administrators are not the only individuals allowed to receive notifications for user or service activity in the Admin console. You can add additional recipients if it makes sense for others in your organization to receive email alerts for any of the following events:

In this post, we will outline use cases and benefits for the alerts available in the Google Apps Admin Console. First, let’s review how to access and turn on Admin Alerts in the Admin Console.

Log in to the Admin console and select the Reports control.

Next, locate and click on Alerts in the left side panel.

To turn on an alert, click on the status switch to change it to ON. Click on the link in the Email Recipients column to manage who should receive alerts.

Deselect the checkbox next to Deliver to Super Administrator(s) if you do not want every Super Administrator for your domain to receive the alert. In the Other Recipients field, enter the email addresses of those individuals (or Google Groups) who should receive the alerts.

Note: Super Administrators have complete access and full permissions to all administrative actions in the Google Admin console. Super Administrators can assign users different admin roles and permissions to manage different settings in the Admin console. Administrators have limited privileges, which are determined by their assigned role in the Google Admin console.

1. Suspicious Login Activity
Use Case: The Super Administrators for your domain would like to be alerted when a user’s login varies from the way he or she typically accesses their account. All Super Administrators should then take immediate action to verify an account is secure when Google’s risk analysis system identifies a user’s login as “suspicious.” Suspicious activity includes logins from an unusual location, signs of abuse, or an indication that an account has been compromised.

An email alert when a suspicious login is detected will look like this:

This is to inform you that Google has detected a suspicious login for User’s Name in your domain, on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 9:12:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time. The details are:
User: User’s Name
IP from which the login attempt was detected:
Location: City, State, Country
Time: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 9:12:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Service: Gmail
Domain from where the login was detected (rDNS): _______

Please follow these instructions:

Google Apps team”

2. User’s Status Changed
Use Case: The Super Administrator(s) for your domain, as well as the Director of Human Resources want to be alerted when a user’s status is changed in the Admin console. This will ensure the HR team is aware and can take appropriate action when the following events occur:

3. User’s Password Changed
Use Case: The Super Administrator and members of management want to be informed immediately when a user’s password is reset to ensure the employees are aware when their login credentials have been changed by a Help Desk Admin. The employee’s manager can notify the user immediately when their password is reset, and avoid any interruptions in the employee’s productivity.

4. User Admin Privilege Granted or Revoked
Use Case: The Super Administrator, as well as the president of your company would like to receive automatic updates when users are granted admin privileges, or when an admin’s privileges are revoked. This alert provides complete transparency for your company’s leadership, allowing them to stay up-to-date on which individuals hold administrative rights within your organization.

5. Google Services or Mobile Settings Changed
Use Case: The Services Admins for your domain have full administrative rights for managing Gmail, Drive and Mobile settings. Since this is the case, Super Administrators should be notified of changes to Google Apps or mobile settings that directly affect business units in your organization. This alert ensures that the Super Administrators can take immediate action if an unauthorized change is made in the Admin console.

When you elect to receive alerts, Super Admins, Admins and other individuals in your organization can reap the benefits of increased security and quicker reporting. An email alert to all appropriate individuals will save you time communicating an event to your CEO, HR team, management or others who need to be aware of certain activity in the Google Admin console. Email alerts for suspicious user activity allow admins to take immediate action to protect a user’s data when Google recognizes uncommon login behavior or suspicious login attempts.

If you have any questions about the Admin email alerts described in this post, please leave a comment below. To schedule Google Apps Admin Console training for your organization’s admins, check out the Change Management & Training section of our website.

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