Monitoring access and activity in a folder and it’s child objects

GAT can monitor folders and their child objects.

If the child objects are themselves folders, the sub-folders will have to be specified individually (to show their child objects), but they can all be merged into the one report.

In fact not only can we show who has read/write access rights to the folder and the child objects, we can also show who actually visited or edited each object, whether it was a visit or an edit and the time and date of each ‘event’ and in both cases schedule regular reports.

  1. Search for the folder you are interested in
  2. Confirm from the icon it is a folder (not a file of the same name)
  3. Click on the arrow to expand the contents of the folder (This will now show all the child objects, including the detailed access permissions)
  4. Schedule the access permissions report to come nightly/weekly/when it changes, etc. Select Policy option instead of Audit, for notifications based on change and then schedule on the period you want.
  5. Schedule the access report to see who has accessed what files and when.

For sub-folders, you need to combine filters.

Having selected your top-level folder which is shown by it’s Google identifier in the search ‘chip’ area (1 above), you then select a child folder and again click on the arrow behind the folder (2 above).

You will now see the identifier for this new folder in the search chip area and all it’s child objects in the audit listing (1 above show ‘search chip’).

You now need to combine the top level and child folders into a single scheduled audit.

Steps as per screenshot above

  1. Select Recent Filters
  2. Select the last 2 search chips (each was a folder search), more could be selected.
  3. Combine these searches using ‘OR’
  4. Show the results of the combined search

You can now go ahead and schedule the report built around this complex search as you would in the single folder example.

Useful Tips.

For the access report showing who visited or edited, and when, rather than show you the full history with each report, the first report shows you every visit or edit up to the first report. Each subsequent report shows you the ‘catch-up’ since the last one ran.  This makes reading the data much easier.

For the first time, you run a report you can select the ‘Just Once’ option from the schedule drop-down menu. This will run the report immediately and send a link to you via email with the spreadsheet output.

See here for a clever tip on how to make GAT identify a tree structure in Google Drive.