There are a variety of cloud storage solutions trying to get your attention — and your data.  This guide is to help you choose the right ones that will protect you and the university.  There are two cloud storage providers under enterprise contracts with UCI.  An enterprise contract obligates a service provider (such as Google and Microsoft) to terms and conditions that result in penalties if those terms and conditions are breached, encouraging the service provider to look out for your data because it is in their self-interest.

Recommended Cloud Storage Solutions

The two services available to you are Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive when used in conjunction with your UCI identity (  If you are storing data in Google Drive or OneDrive that isn’t tied to your UCI identity, your data is not covered by our enterprise contracts.

Not Recommended – Non-Contracted Solutions

Storing files on your personal Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive using your personal identity affords no contractual protection, so if your data is exposed or stolen there is little to no recourse available. Storing your files on other sites that do not have a contract with UCI (Dropbox, Box, etc.) affords no contractual protection either.

How to Choose the Right Cloud Storage Option

Which option, Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive, is best for you?  The answer depends on what level of protection your data needs.  The UC system adopted Electronic Information Security Policy 3 (“IS-3” for short) that defines four different levels of data classification and protection.  Examples of data and the different protection levels they require (P1, P2, P3, P4) are provided on the UCI Information Security and Privacy website.  The UCI Information Security and Privacy website has more cloud guidance available to you as well.

Cloud Data Storage Reference Table

If My Data Is…The Data Protection Is…The Level of Risk Is…Can I Use Google Drive?Can I use Microsoft OneDrive?
Protected Health Information**P4HighNoNo

* Secure sharing of data in OneDrive requires the person doing the sharing to have a Microsoft A3 license at minimum.  Additional security features are available with the A5 license.  You can find more about sharing data securely with OneDrive with this set of good sharing practices.

** Neither solution is ready to accept Protected Health Information (PHI) as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rule.  Please contact OIT Security for other options that may be available to you.

How to Get More Information

Please click the buttons below to learn more about these cloud storage options.

What’s Ahead?

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) and Health Information Services are working together to extend secure collaboration between campus and Health Sciences with Microsoft OneDrive.  OIT expects to start a feasibility analysis of Google Drive for P3/P4 data this year as a first step in the journey to secure Google G Suite.