Cloud
News
7/20/2009
06:23 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Apps Contract In LA Hits Security Headwind

The City of Los Angeles faces worries about privacy and security as it considers moving to Google Apps.

Google says that government agencies on all levels are considering cloud computing as an option. "We're excited that Los Angeles is considering joining other cities like Washington, D.C. and Seattle who have chosen cloud computing for their technology solutions," a spokesperson said in an e-mail. "Hosted software is designed to be extremely reliable, safe, and secure."

According to the City's report, the City's Information Technology Agency (ITA) "has stated that the level of security for City data will be higher under the proposed contract than is currently the case."

Nonetheless, the LAPD and the City Attorney have a considerable amount of highly sensitive information. The ITA believes that document confidentiality can be maintained through enterprise encryption options available through Google.

Rick Gordon, managing director of the Civitas Group, a security consulting firm, has concerns about lack of a reliable audit standard, data lock-in, and Google's opacity regarding its internal data security procedures. He characterizes the City report as "hand-waving at its worst."

"While the City will audit the service provider, neither has articulated a reliable standard to which the provider will be audited," he said in an e-mail. "More troubling is that LA will rely on the contract winner to help define a security standard -- an incestuous practice. Rather than having the provider define the security itself, the City should be looking to established third-party standards that hold the provider accountable to a reasonable level of security."

Concerns about lock-in, however, aren't exclusive to Google. According to the City's report, the LAPD currently uses 1,200 Microsoft Access databases and until Google offers an alternative that can import the data from Access, the City will have to continuing to support Access.

Chances are, however, security and privacy worries will be addressed to the satisfaction of most stakeholders. The Obama administration is specifically promoting cloud computing as a major government initiative to save money and better serve users of government systems.

With Seattle and Washington, D.C. already committed to cloud computing, and Los Angeles on the verge of doing the same, further federal, state, and local conversions to the cloud seem likely to follow.

InformationWeek and DarkReading.com have published a report on data-centric protection. Download the report here (registration required).

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
While 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.