For a while now Google has been trying to diversify its revenue by going into the enterprise space with Google Apps, the productivity suite that includes Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and more. They’ve gained some traction so far, having signed some multi-million dollar contracts with large corporations, government entities and universities. But to turn Google Apps into a multi-billion dollar revenue source, Google needs to address the fears organizations have about cloud security. That’s why they released a Security white paper last week. The main argument is that data is stored and replicated across several disparate data-centers with multiple security levels. Google also has a security page for schools. On it they say:
It’s your content, not ours. Your Apps content belongs to your school, or individual users at your school. Not Google.
We don’t look at your content. Google employees will only access content that you store on Apps when an administrator from your domain grants Google employees explicit permission to do so for troubleshooting.
We don’t share your content. Google does not share personal information with advertisers or other 3rd parties without your consent.
We sometimes scan content. And for very good reasons, like spam filtering, anti-virus protection, or malware detection. Our systems scan content to make Apps work better for users, enabling unique functionality like powerful search in Gmail and Google Docs. This is completely automated and involves no humans.
As a fellow cloud company we often face the same concerns over cloud security, so it’s nice to see how Google addresses them. Monitis is actually at an advantage because we performance data, not sensitive personal data. We share a similarly secure infrastructure, storing data on several disparate data-centers. Given Google’s vast network of data-centers, there’s no reason why Google Apps should be any less secure than storing data in-house, and white-papers like this one will accelerate cloud migration.