Microsoft has announced the general availability of its Azure Government Top Secret, in the company’s bid to gain more government contracts.
Government contracts are some of the most lucrative contracts for tech companies, including cloud providers. Needless to say, however, combining cloud options with classified and top secret information presents very unique challenges. At one point, Amazon had a clear lead, being the only company to have achieved the Pentagon’s Impact Level 6 certification. Microsoft closed that gap in late 2019, and has been accelerating its efforts to get government cloud contracts ever since.
The company has now announced its Azure Government Top Secret is now generally available, aimed squarely at the needs of government agencies with the strictest security requires.
“We’ve worked in close collaboration with the US Government to build a cloud portfolio that serves the national security mission and empowers leaders across the Intelligence Community (IC), Department of Defense (DoD), and Federal Civilian agencies to innovate securely wherever the mission requires and at all data classifications, with a continuum of technology from on-premises to cloud to the tactical edge,” writes Tom Keane Corporate Vice President, Azure Global, Microsoft Azure.
“Launching with more than 60 initial services and more coming soon, we’ve achieved the Authorization to Operate (ATO) of Azure Government Top Secret infrastructure in accordance with Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 503 and facilities accredited to meet the ICD 705 standards. These new air-gapped regions of Azure will accelerate the delivery of national security workloads classified at the US Top Secret level. In addition, we now have 73 services in Azure Government Secret, and we continue to bring new services into the boundary aligned to mission priorities.”
Microsoft’s work to create an Azure solution to meet the government’s toughest requirements should be a major help in its efforts to go toe-to-toe with AWS.