AWS launches a Secret region for the U.S. intelligence community

Amazon today announced that its AWS cloud computing service now offers a new region that’s specifically designed for the workloads of the U.S. intelligence community. This new AWS Secret Region (that’s really its name) can run workloads up to the “secret” security classification level and will complement the service’s existing $600 million contract with the CIA and other agencies for running Top Secret workloads on its cloud.

AWS’s announcement comes about a month after Microsoft made a similar announcement. With Azure Government Secret, Microsoft’s Government Cloud will also soon support workloads for agencies and their partners who are working with data that is classified as “secret.”

“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,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president, Amazon Web Services Worldwide Public Sector. “The AWS Top Secret Region was launched three years ago as the first air-gapped commercial cloud and customers across the U.S. Intelligence Community have made it a resounding success. Ultimately, this capability allows more agency collaboration, helps get critical information to decision makers faster, and enables an increase in our Nation’s Security.”

It’s worth noting that the original and air-gapped Top Secret cloud, which AWS operates for the intelligence community, was limited to intelligence agencies. This new Secret Region is available to all government agencies and stands separate from the earlier work AWS did with the CIA and others, as well as the existing Amazon GovCloud.

While Google has long offered its G Suite to government customers, the company’s effort to bring on more enterprise users hasn’t quite extended to government agencies and their cloud computing needs. Chances are, though, that Google, too, is working on getting the necessary certifications to handle more classified government data on its servers.