Here's your certification. And your comfort blanket
Google Apps for Government is designed to meet the information-security laws that bind federal agencies. But it's also meant to provide a kind of comfort blanket for any government agency — from the federal level down to the local — that's wary of moving their data onto third-party servers in the so-called cloud.
"There is a fundamental trust question about turning over services and data to a third party," Google president of enterprise Dave Girouard said when announcing the service this morning at the company's headquarters in Mountain View. "Some people are very comfortable with it. Others find it intrinsically scary. This is just a step down that road...to develop procedures and processes to bring credibility to the cloud."
Google has tweaked the security controls used by its existing Google Apps online suite in an effort to gain FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) certification, and last Thursday, a FISMA rubber-stamp was applied by the federal government's General Services Administration. But the new service also segregates Gmail and Google Calendar data into their own US-only portion of Google's back-end infrastructure — a move that goes beyond FISMA and that, as Google freely admits, doesn't necessarily mean added security.
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By: Cade Metz