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AWS GovCloud Received US DoD CSM Level 3-5 Provisional Authorization

Amazon Web Services’ GovCloud (U.S.) received provisional authorization to handle data under levels 3 to 5 from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on Thursday. AWS is the first cloud service to win approval at the 3 to 5 levels.

AWS had the authority to cover levels 1-2 data for all U.S. regions since March. But today’s approval gives AWS authority to handle much more highly sensitive data from DoD agencies. The DoD has up to Level 6 security control baselines.

DoD’s official document describes Level 1 confidentiality as,

“Loss of confidentiality of the information will have no impact, because the information has been approved for public release.”

Level 5, on the other hand, states,

“The unauthorized disclosure of information could be expected to have a severe or catastrophic adverse effect on organizational operations, organizational assets, or individuals.”

With today’s announcement, AWS just opened up a whole new market segment that could turn out to be a pretty good revenue source for it. DoD agencies will also be able to move workloads a lot faster now with much less restrictions on the AWS GovCloud. AWS had more than 600 government agency clients, as of March of this year, according to ZDNet.

The DoD has been making its shift to the cloud lately, but the speed of cloud adoption has been “fairly slow” because of the process of authorizing security, according to Defense Systems.

In fact, only four cloud service vendors currently have approvals for levels 1 and 2, and defense officials have been asking themselves if their Cloud Security Model was “too demanding,” Defense Systems said.

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