When you see a press release by one major technology company matched by another from a different company – and both contain an endorsement from the Federal Government – then you know that industry has reached a huge milestone.
Both Amazon and Microsoft announced today that their respective cloud services for U.S. Government agencies have been awarded the highest impact-level FedRamp Accreditation.
AWS GovCloud (U.S.) and Azure Government have both been given the go ahead by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program – or FedRAMP – as being secure enough to hold highly sensitive workloads. This high baseline is essentially a standardized set of security requirements that cloud providers must comply with before the U.S. Government and its agencies can put such workloads on their respective cloud platforms.
The workloads in question include Personally Identifiable Information (PII), sensitive patient records, financial data, law enforcement data, and other Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
According to Microsoft’s press release, the “high-impact” tag means that if such data is leaked, it could have “a severe adverse effect on organizational operations, assets or individuals.”
The significance of this accreditation is tremendous for both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services because, until now, only low and moderate-impact workloads could be migrated to the cloud by federal agencies.
Some of the other cloud systems that are compliant with FedRAMP are: IBM – SmartCloud for Government, Akamai – Content Delivery Services and AT&T – AT&T Government Cloud, among others.