Google denies lying about Apps' certification
Analyst takes Microsoft's side in dustup, says Google 'has things to learn' about working with the feds
Computerworld - Google on Monday denied an allegation by rival Microsoft that it lied about an important government certification.
But an analyst with experience in dealing with the federal government, and its contract and bid practices, said Microsoft got it right.
"Microsoft's argument is certainly valid," said Donald Retallack, an analyst and research vice president at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash. research firm that focuses on Microsoft.
Yesterday, Microsoft cited recently-unsealed court documents, including a brief from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that said, "Notwithstanding Google's representations to the public at large, its counsel, the GAO and this Court, it appears that Google's Google Apps for Government does not have FISMA certification."
FISMA, or the Federal Information Security Management Act, is a set of security standards that some federal agencies require vendors to comply with.
"We did not mislead the court or our customers," David Mihalchik, who leads the strategy and business development for Google's Enterprise team, said in a statement.
"Google Apps received a FISMA security authorization from the General Services Administration [GAO] in July 2010. Google Apps for Government is the same system with enhanced security controls that go beyond FISMA requirements," said Mihalchik. "As planned, we're working with GSA [U.S. General Services Administration] to continuously update our documentation with these and other additional enhancements."
But that's not how things work in Washington D.C.
"Just because you're certified with one system doesn't mean you're certified with others," said Retallack, who before joining Directions worked for Boeing. While with the aerospace company, Retallack frequently dealt with the federal government on contracts that Boeing sought.
The issue comes down to Google's contention that because its Google Apps was FISMA certified, the superset Google Apps for Government suite was also certified. On its Web site, Google touts the latter as FISMA-certified.
"That's not the way that the government works," said Retallack. "That would be like saying that because an electrician had met code on one house, he was certified for all the houses he built. Based on my experience with the government, each system certification is an individual process."
Even if many of the components of Google Apps for Government were previously FISMA certified by the GAO, it doesn't mean the entire system -- which is what the government certifies -- meets the requirements, Retallack added.
The dustup over FISMA is fall-out from a lawsuit that Google filed last November against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). In that suit, Google charged that the agency restricted competition by requiring bidders on a $59.3 million contract for cloud-based email and messaging services to use Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite-Federal (BPOS) system.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy
- Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works
- BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works
- Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)
- Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more. All Government IT White Papers
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- All Government IT Webcasts