Amazon cloud computing service offers secret cloud for U.S. intelligence community

Amazon gets cozier with US spy agencies

While targeted toward the IC, and available through the IC's Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) contract with AWS, non-IC customers can also utilize the region as long as they have the proper security clearance, the post said.

The launch of the so-called AWS Secret Region comes six years after AWS introduced GovCloud, its first data center region for public sector customers.

Amazon has announced that it will be expanding its AWS cloud computing service to offer a new region tailored specifically to the United States intelligence community and their top secret workloads. The release of Secret Region suggests interest in using AWS by particular parts of the USA government. This cloud service handles the workload for government agencies and their partners that work on classified data. With this service, Amazon says, it is the "main business cloud supplier to offer areas to serve government workloads over the full scope of information characterizations, including unclassified, sensitive, mystery and top secret".

By using AWS Secret Region, the government gains access to the huge processing and data storage capabilities available through AWS while maintaining tight control over access.

'Ultimately, this capability allows more agency collaboration, helps get critical information to decision makers faster, and enables an increase in our Nation's Security'. Amazon's cloud-based envelopes - alluded to as "cans" - have been at the focal point of a few prominent security episodes as of late, in which clients accidentally left delicate data on an Amazon server in an unprotected organization.

Being that it pertains to highly-sensitive data, security and compliance will be a major feature of the AWS Secret Region.

With the new AWS Secret Region, we are bringing the same tools and workflows that are already available for Top Secret workloads to customers with Secret datasets and workloads.

The new service is air-gapped-or shut off-from the rest of the internet.

"The AWS Secret Region is a key component of the Intel Community's multi-fabric cloud strategy", John Edwards, the CIA's chief information officer, said in a statement. "It will have the same material impact on the intelligence community at the Secret level that C2S has had at Top Secret".

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