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.
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- 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 New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings
- This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools
- The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution
- In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- Pragmatic Endpoint Management: Empowering an SMB Workforce in the Age of Mobility
- Lacking the time for proper training and education, SMB administrators often resort to taking shortcuts to keep their environment running.This paper discusses the... All Government IT White Papers
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- How to Protect Enterprise Data Yet Enable Secure Access for End Users Learn how BYOD, Big Data and the use of rogue applications and devices is putting corporate data at risk, best practices from IT...
- All Government IT Webcasts