Cloud Computing

DOD approves four cloud solutions for department-wide use

Cloud Security

Four cloud service solutions thus far have achieved provisional authorization under additional security controls required by the Defense Department: Autonomic Resources Cloud Platform (ARC-P), CGI Federal's IaaS solution and Amazon Web Services' Government Community Cloud and East/West US Public Cloud.

What that means is that each of the four solutions has been assessed against additional security controls on top of baseline standards they met under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), allowing them to compete DOD-wide for cloud computing contracts under the Defense Information Systems Agency's Enterprise Cloud Service Broker catalog.

However, these CSPs have been authorized only at DOD Impact Levels 1 and 2, which cover the department's unclassified public and unclassified private information. DISA assigns impact levels to data depending on its type and confidentiality, integrity and availability in categorizations of low-, moderate-, or high-risk under the Federal Information Process Standard Publication (FIPS) 199.

The bulk of DOD's expected cloud savings is expected to occur at Impact Levels 3-5, which signify higher-risk unclassified data, but CSPs have yet to be assessed against these standards.

In an e-mailed statement, DISA Chief Technology Officer David Mihelcic said he anticipates formal assessments at impact levels 3-5 to begin in the second quarter of 2014. Impact Level 6 is designated for classified information only, and draft standards for commercial CSPs to meet have not been formally released yet for that level.

Requirements and criteria for levels 3-5 were made available to industry in December 2013, Mihelcic said. Sources tell FCW one reason for the delay between standards release and potential assessments is that templates drafted by DISA for CSPs to create their Systems Security Plans (SSPs) were held up.

"The CSPs are left basically waiting for the form," the source said.

DOD's cautious path to the cloud is a point of contention among many commercial cloud providers that view such slow efforts as contrary to the Obama administration's Cloud First policy, but some positive signs have come from Pentagon CIO Teri Takai. She recently told the House Armed Services subcommittee that nine CSPs are in the pipeline to provide services to DOD.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group