DISA looking for info on cloud-based military email

Shutterstock image (by Pavel Ignatov): digital email icon.

WHAT: A Defense Information Systems Agency request for information on cloud-based email services released Sept. 16.

WHY: The Pentagon is looking to replace its three-year-old, unclassified email system that is currently hosted on government infrastructure and serving 1.6 million Defense Department users.

“While we recognize that shared cloud environments may provide significant opportunities,” DISA’s RFI notes, “they also present unique risks to DOD data and systems that must be addressed.”

Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen has previously noted the “political liability” a cloud email service provider working with DOD would face. DISA released a security requirements guide for cloud providers in January, to which the September RFI instructs respondents to refer.

In the RFI, DISA outlines two possible approaches for its desired email and calendaring overhaul: an on-premises option, in which a vendor would offer cloud-based service from within a DOD facility; and a more typical cloud arrangement with a vendor hosting data on its own premises.

Questions are due Oct. 8, and responses are due Oct. 15.

Posted by Zach Noble on Sep 23, 2015 at 8:00 AM


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