POP and IMAP are powerful protocols supported by Google Apps that allow users to download messages from Gmail’s servers locally so that mail can be accessed directly with programs like Outlook or Thunderbird. Enabling IMAP access ensures that new mail is accessible from any device at any given time, whether its your work, home or mobile device.

This great power and convenience adds another layer of responsibility for the Google Apps domain admins who have to plug security holes that opening up IMAP for the domain might cause. Rather than disabling complete IMAP access for all users in the domain, one option is to control end user access by designing policies that restrict access to only a certain subset of users in an organizational unit. (But this can be restrictive and time consuming to manage.)

An alternative? Google Apps admins could use a tool that monitors and alerts admins when there is an IMAP/POP access violation in the domain.

Introducing FreeSpace IMAP Auditor ...

FreeSpace IMAP Auditor extends existing Backupify FreeSpace functionality by providing visibility into overall IMAP usage in the Google Apps domain which not only enhances security but also increases overall domain visibility. This FreeSpace extension enables the Google Apps business admins to monitor IMAP/POP usage across the domain.

Once the domain is set up in FreeSpace, the user will now see a new “Gmail Settings Overview” section that gives information on the total number of users that were scanned by the tool, if any of the accounts were not accessible and the number of users who had IMAP/POP turned on in their settings.

On a more detailed view, the Google Apps admin has the option to not only view all users who have their IMAP/POP accounts enabled but also give them an option to directly disable individual IMAP (POP) access settings from FreeSpace.  

FreeSpace IMAP Auditor also provides a way to set up scheduled scans to monitor IMAP/POP access across all users in their domain. The Google Apps admins have the option to

  • Select the frequency of scans

  • Exclude users from the scans

  • Notify users in case of a setting violation

FreeSpace IMAP Auditor provides a clear and intuitive way for Google Apps admins to configure these options and continuously runs in the background and alerts them if there is a policy violation.

FreeSpace for Gmail (now with IMAP Auditor) is part of a collection of free cloud data tools that Backupify offers. If you have suggestions related to additional tools that would make your life easier as your organization evaluates, migrates to, or uses cloud applications, let us know! For more details on Backupify’s FreeSpace for Gmail tool, check out the product page: https://www.backupify.com/free-tools/freespace