Google revs up security play

Search giant lays plans to extend Postini security service into a multifaceted filtering system built to lock down business data and help manage compliance requirements

Rethinking security

Smaller organizations will likely be the first to adopt such services, but larger companies do seem increasingly open to the hosted applications delivery model, Babineau said.

"Google has the ability to move in a lot of different directions, but they will need to move cautiously and ensure that they hit the right price points that customers want for services like archiving, DLP, and data discovery," Babineau added.

Of course, as other experts are quick to point out, many enterprises remain skeptical of the SaaS (software as a service) model, especially when it comes to employing services aimed at ensuring the security of business and customer data.

Those same market watchers, however, concede that Google's security proposition is significant.

"It's still unclear how much market movement we will see with adoption of security software as a service; how enterprises in particular are viewing use of the tools in the future remains uncertain," said Andrew Braunberg, an analyst at Current Analysis. "Google certainly has the infrastructure in place now to create some interesting choke points for data and, of course, can bring a lot of processing power to the table."

What may also help ensure Google's success in the hosted security market is an evolving outlook toward security already under way at many organizations, the analyst said.

"People are rethinking where security should live, especially in the context of the dissolving perimeter," Braunberg added. "If Google can push clean pipes in the cloud or take a data-centric approach on the desktop, you could see how some customers might be interested."

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