UK cabinet office uses software developed for GAA
A tiny corner of the British government has turned Irish, with the UK cabinet office using auditing and security software developed by a small, Dublin-based technology company.
The Government Digital Service, part of the cabinet office responsible for the gov.ukportal for UK government services and information, is using Google Audit Tool (GAT), software developed by Baker Security and Networks (BSN) to check the security of documents created with the Google Apps productivity suite that are shared externally.
The tool also shows reports of email communications between staff and external parties.
GAT provides audit information that Google’s software does not offer and generates a map of the relationships between the people sharing the information.
The tool was developed in Ireland for the GAA. The association is a BSN customer and it wanted a way to see how its members were sharing documents.
After developing software to do this, BSN realised the tool would have a wider application. GAT was launched on the Google Apps Marketplace in June 2010 and was subsequently discovered by the UK Cabinet Office.
BSN founder Robert Baker said the cabinet office had become a test site for the GAT software and was eligible for previews of new features.
BSN, which employs 15 people, gains prestige but not profit from such a significant customer, because it gives the GAT software away for free. That was a deliberate decision, said Baker, because the overall market is growing.
Technology industry analyst Gartner has called Google a “significant threat” to Microsoft in the enterprise software market. In a report published last November, it pointed to substantial wins for Google in the past year, including Spanish Bank BBVA and pharma group Roche.
GAT is actively used by more than 4,200 organisations worldwide and Mr Baker said it could be a revenue earner in the future: “We are adding serious features to it so that it has utilitarian value, even though it’s free right now . . . It meets a real business need. Knowing what documents are being shared and what potential security breaches there are is very important.”