No lie: GSA backs Google on FISMA certification

The General Services Administration says its FISMA certification for Google's Apps for Government "remains intact" during review.

The General Services Administration has backed up Google in its contention that its Apps for Government online office suite is, in fact, certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act.

“GSA certified the Google Apps Premier environment as FISMA compliant in July of 2010," the agency said in a statement reported by Business Insider. "Google Apps for Government uses the Google Apps Premier infrastructure but adds additional controls in order to meet requirements requested by specific government agencies. The original FISMA certification remains intact while GSA works with Google to review the additional controls to update the existing July 2010 FISMA certification.”

The statement came in response to claims by Microsoft and the Justice Department that its Apps for Government suite isn’t certified under FISMA and that Google has misled customers about its FISMA status.

Earlier, Google’s security chief also responded to the claims. “These allegations are false,” writes Eran Feigenbaum, the company’s director of security, in a post on Google’s official blog that were also submitted to the comments section of GCN’s story on the claim.

“We take the federal government’s security requirements seriously and have delivered on our promise to meet them,” Feigenbaum writes. “What’s more, we’ve been open and transparent with the government, and it’s irresponsible for Microsoft to suggest otherwise.”


Related story:

Did Google lie about Apps for Government’s FISMA certification?


The dispute started with a Justice Department brief in a lawsuit that Google had filed against the Interior Department, in which Google claims Interior had not considered Google Apps when choosing Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite, a Google Apps competitor for cloud-based services, as an agencywide e-mail system. (BPOS does not have FISMA certification.)

In the brief, which was unsealed April 8, Justice lawyers write that, contrary to Google’s claims, “it appears that Google’s Google Apps for Government does not have FISMA certification.” The upshot from the brief: Google Apps Premier received FISMA certification in July 2010. Apps for Government is based on that product, but with added security controls, and has been submitted for certification.

Microsoft drew on the brief in an April 11 blog post by David Howard, Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, essentially accusing Google of lying about the certification for Apps for Government, since it is different from the certified version.

In his response April 13, Feigenbaum that Apps for Government’s certification was being reviewed, but was covered under that of Premier..

“Google Apps for Government is the same technology platform as Google Apps Premier Edition, not a separate system,” he writes. “It includes two added security enhancements exclusively for government customers: data location and segregation of government data. 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.”

In congressional testimony April 13, GSA Associate Administrator David McClure described the process for Apps for Government as a recertification.

At a hearing held by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), McClure described the issue, reported Business Insider.

“In July 2010, GSA did a FISMA security accreditation for ‘Google Apps Premier,’ " McClure said. "That's what the Google product was called, and it passed our FISMA accreditation process. We actually did that so other agencies could use the Google product. If we do one accreditation, it's leveraged across many agencies. Since that time, Google has introduced what they're calling ‘Google Apps for Government.’ It's a subset of Google Apps Premier, and as soon as we found out about that, as with all the other agencies, we have what you would normally do when a product changes: You have to recertify it. So that's what we're doing right now, we're actually going through a recertification based on those changes that Google has announced with the ‘Apps for Government' ” product offering.

In his post, Feigenbaum said GSA and FISMA, a 2002 law that requires agencies to certify information security processes for IT systems, recognize that products evolve and that recertification is part of the process.

“We regularly inform GSA of changes to our system and update our security documentation accordingly,” he writes. “The system remains authorized while the changes are evaluated by the GSA. We submitted updates earlier this year that included, among other changes, a description of the Google Apps for Government enhancements.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.