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Microsoft Announces Azure Cloud For Top Secret Government Data

Microsoft Announces Azure Cloud For Top Secret Government Data

Image: Andy Feliciotti/BleepingComputer

Microsoft today announced the launch of a new offering for its mission-critical Azure Government cloud targeted at government customers and partners that regularly work with top-secret classified data.

“Today, we are announcing the expansion of our mission-critical cloud for US Government with new capabilities in Azure Government, the expansion of Azure Government Secret, and the announcement of a new cloud to serve customers with Top Secret classified data—Azure Government Top Secret,” Tom Keane, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Azure Global, said.

Microsoft is still working with the US Government on accreditation for the newly launched Azure Government Top Secret regions according to Keane.

Keane also shared the list of all available options for US Government customers based on compliance requirements, a list which also includes the commercial public version of the Azure cloud, next to the Azure Government and Azure Government Secret offerings.

Also Read: Letter of Consent MOM: Getting the Details Right

Azure Government offerings
Image: Microsoft

“The broad range of services will meet the demand for greater agility in the classified space, including the need to gain deeper insights from data sourced from any location as well as the need to enable the rapid expansion of remote work,” Keane added.

“Additionally, mission owners will benefit from greater choice in modernizing legacy systems, with a secure cloud platform that works on open standards and open frameworks with tools that work across a wide range of skill levels, from business analysts to developers to data scientists.”

Microsoft provides access to Azure Government offerings only to US federal, state, local, tribal governments, and their partners, with operations in these cloud regions available only to screened US citizens.

Azure Government also offers a comprehensive level of certifications designed to simplify even the most critical government compliance requirements.

New functionality and expanded compliance

Microsoft also launched new features for the US Department of Defense, law enforcement, and other agencies in the Azure Government Secret cloud, authorized by DoD Impact Level 6 (IL6) and Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 503.

Among them, Keane highlighted the addition of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Azure Container Instances which make it possible for developers to more easily deploy and manage containerized apps.

Azure Sentinel and Azure Security Center have also been added to Azure Government Secret for integrated threat management.

When coupled with Azure Monitor, these new security capabilities will make it a lot simpler to “collect, analyze, and act on telemetry data” from both on-premises and Azure environments.

Also Read: A Look at the Risk Assessment Form Singapore Government Requires

Availability Zones and Windows Virtual Desktop have also been added to Azure Government with FedRAMP High accreditation for higher availability of mission-critical applications and data in more secure work-from-anywhere scenarios.

At the moment, Microsoft is providing “137 Azure Government services at FedRAMP High and 97 services at Department of Defense Impact Level 5 (IL5) across all Azure Government regions.”



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