Many government agencies have been slower to adopt the cloud because of the specific regulatory requirements, compliance issues and security regulations. To mitigate this, Amazon Web Services is launching AWS GovCloud, a new secure region specialized for U.S. government agencies and contractors to move more sensitive workloads into the cloud.
Amazon says that many government agencies with data subject to compliance regulations such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations were not allowed to manage and store defense-related data in a cloud environment that could be accessed by anyone outside the U.S.
Because AWS GovCloud is physically accessible by the U.S. only, government agencies can now manage more heavily regulated data in AWS while remaining compliant with strict federal requirements. Amazon says that GovCloud offers similar levels of security as other AWS Regions but also supports existing AWS security controls and certifications such as FISMA, FIPS 140-2 compliant end points, SAS-70, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS Level 1.
AWS resources that can be deployed from AWS GovCloud include Amazon EC2, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).
Already, NASA is using the AWS GovCloud, says the company. Over 100 government agencies use AWS in some form, so these agencies now have the option of moving over to the GovCloud.