Security Whitepaper: Google Apps Messaging and Collaboration Products

Security Whitepaper

Google Apps Messaging and Collaboration Products Introduction The security of online services is a topic of increasing interest to enterprises as the number of third party hosted service o!erings has expanded in recent years. The emergence of various “cloud computing” concepts and definitions has highlighted not only questions about data ownership and protection, but also how various vendors of cloud computing technologies build and implement their services. Security experts, end-users and enterprises alike are all considering the security implications of the cloud computing model.

Google Apps (comprising Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and other web applications) provide familiar, easy to use products and services for business settings. These services, characterized by redundant computing environments and dynamic resource allocation, enable customers to access their data virtually anytime and anywhere from Internet-capable devices. This computing environment — often called the “cloud” — allows CPU, memory and storage resources to be shared and utilized by many customers while also offering security benefits.

Google provides cloud services reliably due to its experience with operating its own business, as well as its core services like Google Search, in a similar manner. The security controls that isolate data during processing in the cloud were developed alongside the core technology from the beginning. Security is thus a key component of each of our cloud computing elements, such as compartmentalization, server assignment, data storage, and processing.

This paper will explain the ways Google creates a security-based platform for o!ering its Google Apps products, covering topics like information security, physical security and operational security. This exploration will demonstrate how security is an integral component of Google’s cloud computing system, as well as a core element of Google’s design and development processes. The policies described in this paper are detailed as of the time of authorship. Some of the specifics may change over time as we regularly innovate with new features and products within Google Apps.

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