This week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched its AWS GovCloud service, targeted solely at US government departments and contractors. AWS GovCloud is physically and logically accessible by US persons only, meeting regulations such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  Consequently, it enables US government agencies and contractors to process and store more sensitive workloads in the cloud.

The launch not only strengthens Amazon’s position in the federal cloud services market, but highlights some of the security issues that surround data storage in the cloud. Outsourcing IT to the cloud is a key focus for the US government, which estimates that closing more than 800 data centers (about 40 per cent of the government’s data center count) by 2015 will save taxpayers $3 billion. However, when it comes to sensitive data, it’s not just a case of selecting a public cloud provider and making the leap.

Huddle is trusted by governments worldwide, including around 70 per cent of UK central government departments, so we understand governments’ security concerns. While we recognize that the majority of the market is certainly well-placed to benefit from public cloud offerings, government is one of the few sectors where regulatory requirements make this impossible. Yes, our public sector customers already use the secure public version of Huddle for external collaboration with data up to IL2 (‘Protected’ classification), but when you start to move into the realms of classified data, the security requirements shift.

For this reason, we announced Huddle IL3 (‘Restricted’ classification) with FCO Services last month. Hosted on FCO Services’ Government Secure Application Environment (GSAE) cloud infrastructure, Huddle IL3 will enable teams across government to access and distribute restricted data with the appropriate security measures and accreditations in place.

The launch of AWS GovCloud and how the US government is starting to take advantage of the cloud as a whole should also provide enterprises that have yet to make the move with food for thought. Flexibility and cost savings are just two of the many benefits of the cloud. With more than 100 federal, state and local governments already using Amazon’s cloud service, including NASA and the Recovery and the Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board, isn’t it time for enterprises to get off the fence?

Request a Demo

© 2006 - 2021. All Rights Reserved.