(Nextgov) Amazon Web Services unveiled a cloud computing region for the CIA and other intelligence community agencies developed specifically to host secret classified data.
The AWS Secret Region will allow the 17 intelligence agencies to host, analyze and run applications on government data classified at the secret level through the company’s $600 million C2S contract, brokered several years ago with the CIA. AWS already provides a region for the intelligence community’s top secret data.
“Today we mark an important milestone as we launch the AWS Secret Region,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president of AWS Worldwide Public Sector. “AWS now provides the U.S. intelligence community a commercial cloud capability across all classification levels: unclassified, sensitive, secret and top secret. 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.”
The AWS Secret Region is essentially its own commercial data center air-gapped—or shut off—from the rest of the internet. CIA Chief Information Officer John Edwards views the new region as a key step in commercial cloud computing technology that has already changed the way the IC handles data and addresses cybersecurity.
In addition to hosting, storing, analyzing and allowing various applications to ingest classified data, AWS also stood up an IC Marketplace, which allows intelligence agencies to download, test and buy software from companies based in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Cloud computing, Edwards said, is game-changing technology that provides a constant stream of innovation and is more secure than the CIA’s own internal data centers.
“The AWS Secret Region is a key component of the intel community’s multi-fabric cloud strategy. It will have the same material impact on the IC at the Secret level that C2S has had at Top Secret,” Edwards said in a statement.
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