Classified cloud now an option for federal agencies

Shutterstock image (by bestfoto77): cloud network security lock.

Federal agencies now have the option of moving classified data to the cloud with Amazon Web Services's new AWS Secret Region.

With the launch of the AWS Secret Region, “the U.S. Intelligence Community can now execute their missions with a common set of tools, a constant flow of the latest technology and the flexibility to rapidly scale with the mission,” said Teresa Carlson, AWS’ vice president for worldwide public sector. “Ultimately, this capability allows more agency collaboration, helps get critical information to decision makers faster, and enables an increase in our nation’s Security.”

All 17 IC agencies will be able to run classified workloads up to the secret level on the new AWS Secret Region through the CIA's Commercial Cloud Services contract with AWS. Since AWS had previously developed an air-gapped Top Secret region for the IC, the company now provides cloud services that can meet security requirements for unclassified, sensitive, secret and top-secret data.

"The AWS Secret Region is a key component of the Intel Community’s multi-fabric cloud strategy," CIA CIO John Edwards said. "It will have the same material impact on the IC at the Secret level that C2S has had at Top Secret.”

The AWS Secret Region also will be available to non-IC U.S. agencies, provided they have secret-level network access and their own contract vehicles for using the AWS Secret Region.  Non-intelligence agencies will not be able to use the CIA's Commercial Cloud Services contract.

AWS and other cloud service providers continue to expand their higher-security offerings. 

The Defense Information Systems Agency recently issued AWS provisional authorities to operate six services at Impact Level 5 in its GovCloud region, giving the company's Defense Department customers and partners the ability to run workloads for controlled unclassified information exceeding impact level 4 and for unclassified National Security Systems.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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