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Google Public Sector announces continuity-of-operations offering for government entities under cyberattack

November 15, 2022
Jeanette Manfra

Senior Director, Global Risk & Compliance, Google Cloud

Cyberattacks that target our government are all too common these days. From SolarWinds, to hacks against widely used email servers, to attacks against the defense industrial base, we know that cyberattacks against the public and private sectors continue to be an issue. Our latest VirusTotal malware trends report illustrates this point as well, with findings that governmental domains are among the top categories used by attackers in 2022 to distribute malicious content.

Given the external environment, government agencies in particular need reliable continuity plans in the event of an attack. In fact, two policy directives were recently issued to ensure that government entities can continue to operate. The first is a part of Presidential Policy Directive 40, which advocates that critical services are sustained in the event of an emergency—such as a natural disaster, a pandemic like COVID-19, or a major cybersecurity or ransomware attack—every U.S. government agency is expected to have a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) in place. More recently, the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also emphasized the need for COOP in its incident response playbook to strengthen cybersecurity for federal and civilian agencies. 

Google Workspace is postured to help government organizations for its business and collaboration continuity needs, ensuring agency teams continue to work effectively and securely in the event of an attack, including having critical productivity tools like email, storage, document sharing and more.

As federal, state and local agencies consider what they may do in case a breach threatens their operations, continuous access to email, chat, and videoconferencing systems throughout a catastrophic situation is a top priority. Because Google has pioneered the zero-trust approach in security with its BeyondCorp implementation, and has both FedRAMP High and Department of Defense Impact Level 4 certifications, Google Workspace can offer federal agencies peace of mind. 

"Federal and state and local agencies are aiming to increase security while maintaining trust and availability, a task that is unachievable without continuity." says Aaron Walker, research manager for World Wide Government Trust and Resiliency Strategies at IDC. "Google Workspace will help agencies utilize zero trust principles to ensure availability of document, email, and collaboration tools as incidents, breaches, and attacks occur."

Making it easy to deploy secure alternatives 

Google Workspace allows access to communications and collaboration tools that organizations need during and after an incident to keep work going. If one communication system goes down during an emergency, Google Workspace can keep collaboration and communication running smoothly. 

For provisioned users, Google Workspace can be operational immediately, allowing agency personnel to stay connected, access documents, and collaborate securely across Google's email and collaboration platform to assist customers in time of need. Specifically, using Google Workspace, agency personnel can access their emails, documents or their current calendars from their primary providers—and access the agency’s Active Directory. 

To help agencies implement this strategy and roll out Google Workspace, Google Public Sector is offering workshops for government agencies to help them determine the best strategies for resilient communications and collaboration. To learn more or to sign up for a workshop, email psworkspace@google.com or visit Google Workspace.

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