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Amazon Web Services has become the first commercial cloud provider authorized to handle the Defense Department’s most sensitive unclassified data.
Today’s announcement that AWS has achieved a provisional authority to operate under DOD’s cloud security model is a major win for the company, as it allows DOD customers to provision commercial cloud services for the largest chunks of their data. In layman’s terms, AWS is the first company with the ability to take any and all of DOD’s unclassified data to the cloud.
Teresa Carlson, vice president for AWS’ worldwide public sector, told Nextgov: “I think it highlights our continued commitment to being a leader in cloud computing. This opens up a whole new world of opportunities for DOD to do what other groups have been doing.”
iHLS Israel Homeland Security
Indeed, AWS recently launched a private cloud for the Central Intelligence Agency to service the intelligence community, and other cloud providers have been busy picking up new business in the civilian government where billions of dollars are up for grabs.
AWS was one of the first cloud providers to meet the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), the government’s baseline security standards for cloud computing. The company was also one of three firms to meet DISA’s (Defense Information Security Agency) cloud security requirements at impact levels 1-2, which govern the agency’s least sensitive data. DISA’s cloud security model includes many additional requirements on top of what is required by FedRAMP.
Yet, civilian agencies that do not grapple with as many data sensitivity issues as DOD, have been pulling off sometimes large-scale cloud efforts while DOD lagged behind in its efforts.