Amazon Web Services on Monday unveiled a new cloud computing service designed specifically for the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies to host secret classified data.
The AWS Secret Region is the company’s latest offering to attract U.S. government customers in a still-expanding federal cloud sector with billions of dollars of contracts at play. Amazon says it is the first service from any cloud provider to allow the 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, including the CIA and FBI, to host and run applications with government data on classified at the secret level.
“AWS now provides the U.S. Intelligence Community a commercial cloud capability across all classification levels: Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret,” Teresa Carlson, AWS vice president of Worldwide Public Sector said in a statement. “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.”
AWS already has strong inroads with U.S. intelligence agencies. In 2013, the company won a cloud computing contract from the CIA worth $600 million over 10 years to develop a private cloud for the government’s 17 intelligence agencies.
Security concerns have slowed cloud adoption at the federal level, as some agencies remain cautious about migrating sensitive and classified information to the cloud. AWS’ new cloud region for data classified as secret is the latest attempt by a commercial cloud provider to satisfy those concerns. AWS already provides a region for the intelligence community’s top secret data.
The new regions will also be available to government agencies that are not part of the intelligence community but that have “appropriate Secret-level network access and their own contract vehicles,” Amazon said.