Google has announced that it has received the first Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification for its Google Apps government cloud computing services, making it the largest contender in the federal adoption of the cloud.
During an interview with Federal News Radio, Google Business Development Executive David Mihalchik explained that Google is now certified as meeting the security controls under FISMA and that a full suite of office applications will now be available to federal, state and local municipal agencies under “˜Google Apps for Government'.
“This is a top to bottom security review of all the controls in place for Google Apps,“ Mihalchik said. “FISMA requires over 200 security controls that were fully documented for Google Apps, tested and validated by an independent auditor and thoroughly reviewed by the General Services Administration. We are very, very excited that this represents a green light for federal government agencies to move forward with cloud computing with confidence, specifically with Google Apps.“
Back in September 2009, Google announced that it had submitted a certification and accreditation package to the General Services Administration (GSA). The certification means that the clients will be “able to deploy Google Apps knowing that it is authorized to operate under FISMA,” he explained.
Now, there are at least a dozen federal agencies evaluating Google Apps for Government after they received the green light from GSA.
“We believe that now, in federal, we will see the same kind of adoption that we have seen in the state and local,“ he said.
The benefits of cloud computing, explained Mihalchik, include cost-saving, the ability to upgrade applications with improving technology and allowing agencies to focus on their mission as opposed to their IT infrastructure.
“What it means for federal customers is that they have a way of evaluating the security of Google Apps,“ Mihalchik said in an interview with ExecutiveBiz. “[The customers will be] able to understand that Google Apps has equal or better security than their existing systems.“