In this article Google is reportedly asking for assistance from the NSA. From my limited knowledge of the NSA, this sounds like the right thing to do. I have done plenty of work under non-discolure agreements (NDAs). Given the people that work at the NSA, I don’t see a problem with Google working with them. The people at the NSA are very bright (on par with the talent Google has in-house, perhaps even brighter).
Sources familiar with the new initiative said the focus is not figuring out who was behind the recent cyberattacks — doing so is a nearly impossible task after the fact — but building a better defense of Google’s networks, or what its technicians call “information assurance.”
I have two words for Google, “air gap”, at the most basic level. If the packets can not enter or leave the computer/network than at least the system is secure from over the wire attacks. Ignoring physical attacks. After all the DoD operates SIPRNet and except for a few cases of people bringing a virus to SIPRNet it is secure. Of course that is just one small part of a complete “information assurance” program, but a good foundation is required.
Unlike SIPRNet which could have multiple organizations connected which thus opens up potential security challenges, Google could have a less difficult time. Google has one entity, itself. If the reports about employees assisting the attackers is true, in a way the air gap is even more important. On the other hand if an employee(s) wanted to collaborate and get information from a secure network to the open Internet it would not impossible. If this network is secured properly, then it would be extremely difficult to accomplish, if not impossible. With no CDs, USB device, physical inspections upon entering/leaving the rooms and armed guards the ability to get information off the network either electronically or in hard copy would be difficult.