Google LLC today announced that Google Workspace, its cloud-based productivity suite, has received Impact Level 4 authorization from the U.S. Defense Department.
The authorization will enable government agencies to use Google Workspace for a broader range of tasks. As a result, it should advance the search giant’s efforts to grow the use of its cloud services in the public sector.
Before a cloud provider can host data for a federal agency, it has to demonstrate that its platform meets certain cybersecurity requirements. The exact cybersecurity requirements vary depending on the sensitivity of the data involved. The more important the information that a cloud provider hosts for government customers, the more steps it must take to protect its systems from hackers.
Google Workspace’s new Impact Level 4 authorization will enable the productivity suite to be used with what’s known as controlled unclassified information. The term covers certain “data related to critical infrastructure, defense, intelligence, finance, law enforcement, and proprietary business information,” detailed Will Grannis, the Chief Executive Officer of Google Public Sector.
Google Public Sector is a division that the search giant launched earlier this year to help federal agencies adopt its cloud services. The division will also work with state and local governments, as well as educational institutions.
One of Google Public Sector’s priorities is increasing adoption of Google Workspace. The productivity suite is already used by multiple government organizations, including the Defense Innovation Unit and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Google Workspace is also extensively used in regulated industries such as the healthcare sector.
By making Google Workspace more suitable for use cases that involve controlled unclassified information, the new Impact Level 4 authorization could encourage existing customers to increase their usage of the suite. Additionally, it may ease Google’s efforts to add more public sector organizations to its customer base.
In parallel, the process of deploying Google Workspace is set to become simpler for government customers. The Impact Level 4 authorization “means that customers in highly regulated agencies and industries can operate seamlessly without having to incur additional cost and implementation complexity,” Grannis explained.
Google’s efforts to grow adoption of its cloud services in the public sector is not limited to Google Workspace.
The search giant offers a capability called Assured Workloads that helps customers more easily secure applications deployed on Google Cloud. The feature can be used by, among other organizations, government agencies to ensure compliance with public sector cybersecurity regulations. Alongside Assured Workloads, Google provides a platform called Climate Insights that helps public sector organizations address climate change.