The blog post came after Microsoft criticized Google for misleading customers about its compliance with the standard.
At issue is whether Google Apps has achieved certification under the Federal Information Security Management Act. FISMA set a stringent security standard that some federal agencies must require their vendors to comply with.
On Tuesday, Microsoft pointed out recently unsealed U.S. Department of Justice court documents that say Google Apps for Government does not have FISMA certification, even though the company's websites say it does.
"Let's look at the facts," Eran Feigenbaum, director of security for Google Enterprise, wrote on Wednesday. He said Google Apps received FISMA certification from the General Services Administration in July 2010. Google has since started using the name "Google Apps for Government" to describe the service and has added two "security enhancements," he wrote.
"In consulting with GSA last year, it was determined that the name change and enhancements could be incorporated into our existing FISMA certification. In other words, Google Apps for Government would not require a separate application," Feigenbaum wrote.
However, while the service didn't require a new application, it apparently did require re-certification. In testimony in front of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday regarding the issue, Dave McClure from the GSA said that when products change, vendors have to recertify them, according to a Business Insider report. He confirmed that the agency is going through a recertification process for Google Apps for Government, which he called a "subset" of the original service, Google Apps Premier, that was initially certified.
The disagreement, then, appears to be over whether Google should say Google Apps for Government is FISMA certified while it is going through the recertification process. The company firmly argued it should.
"FISMA anticipates that systems will change over time and provides for regular reauthorization--or re-certification--of systems," Feigenbaum wrote in the blog post. "The system remains authorized while the changes are evaluated by the GSA."
"We've been very transparent about our FISMA authorization," he wrote. "Our documentation has always been readily available for any government agency to review, and dozens of officials from a range of departments and agencies have availed themselves of the opportunity to learn more about how we keep our customers' data secure.
"We'll continue to update our documentation to reflect new capabilities in Google Apps," he wrote.
Microsoft did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Google's blog post.
- Google I/O 2013's Coolest Products and Services
- 10 Star Trek Technologies That are Almost Here
- 19 Generations of Computer Programmers
- 25 Must-Have Technologies for SMBs
- A walking tour: 33 questions to ask about your company's security
- 15 social media scams
- The 7 elements of a successful security awareness program
- 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.
- Federal IT Innovation Caught in a Catch-22
- Fed resources shoring up old infrastructure, holding back new technologies.
- Case Study: Hospital Turns to Email Archiving Solution to Ensure Regulatory Compliances
- Read this case study to learn how a cloud-based email archiving solution enabled the hospital to meet government mandates and helps avoid thousands...
- Case Study: In-the-Cloud Email Service Replaces Three Point Products
- Read this case study for more information on a comprehensive in-the-cloud email service to help replace three point products.
- Case Study: Simplifying the Transition to Exchange 2010 with Email Management Solutions
- Read this case study to learn how a cloud-based email management solution greatly simplified the company's transition to Exchange 2010.
- What does it take to deliver Security, Privacy and Trust at Mimecast?
- This whitepaper explains the process and controls that Mimecast put in place to deliver a secure, private and trusted SaaS platform for your... All Government IT White Papers
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Enterprise File Sharing: All You Need to Know
- Security. Scalability. Control. These are just some of the many benefits of enterprise cloud file-sharing that you'll discover in this KnowledgeVault, packed with...
- Bridging HTTP and FTP with FileXpress Internet Server
- What if you could take an FTP server on your internal network, and allow external users (partners or customers) to securely access it...
- MFT and FileXpress - An Overview
- Business users and applications exchange files on a regular basis. File transfer is a core part of the flow of business activity.
- Content Analytics: Big Data Conquered, Customer Service Elevated
- For organizations looking to start a content analytics program or improve their existing capabilities, Aberdeen Group and IBM will lay out several recommendations... All Government IT Webcasts