Google has taken another step to prove its worthiness for the enterprise. Google has earned an ISO security certification for Google Apps Business. Will the move alleviate security fears and attract new business customers?

Google Apps Adds a Security Stamp of Approval

Google has announced that its Google Apps for Business earned the ISO 27001 information security certification. The certification designates that Google is following security best practices for systems, technology, processes and data centers that support Google Apps for Business. ISO certification is well-respected, especially in highly regulated industries, for its rigorousness. 

This is not the first security certification for Google. The company obtained FISMA certification for Google Apps Government and has regular third-party audits for SSAE 16/ISAE 3402, a standard similar to the ISO 27001 certification.

However, all of this work doesn’t guarantee that Google is a security superstar. The ISO certification only signifies that Google is adhering to the security policies and practices it designed. It’s unlikely that Google is seeking a pat on the back for its hard work achieving the certification. This move is about one thing: Wooing customers.

Why Certification Matters

Security is a common topic for businesses considering a transition to the cloud. Cloud providers such as Google want to convince potential customers that cloud services are safe. Some providers like Google go a step further and champion the position that the cloud is safer than the environment found in a typical IT shop because large cloud vendors have the resources to make more substantial security investments.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. There have been multiple incidences of cloud vendors making mistakes such s reusing disk with traces of customer data still intact. Cloud vendors can also be attractive targets for attackers because they aggregate data for multiple companies. However, for many business -- especially those operating in the small and medium sector -- using the cloud is likely to have a positive impact on security.

Obtaining ISO won’t be the last effort that Google makes to wrestle market share away from traditional on-premises players such as Microsoft, but a checkmark in the security box is always a good start. At the end of last year, the company reported it had over 4 million business users and 5,000 new businesses were subscribing each day. Google must be doing at least a few things right.