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

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

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

As opposed to other Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions, which are available for anyone to use, the Secret Region is specifically for use by the U.S. Intelligence Community.

With the launch of the Secret Region, AWS now supports data that is Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently debuted a cloud service for the U.S. Intelligence Community dubbed "Secret Region", accessible only to those with a secret level classification from the government.

Known as the "AWS Secret Region" it will allow the 17 intelligence agencies to host, analyze and run applications on government data classified at the secret level.

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Just like GovCloud, AWS Secret Region is operated by employees who are USA citizens on United States soil and is only accessible to vetted U.S. government customers and their partners, who must also be vetted USA citizens. 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.

In the past, Amazon had launched the Top-Secret Region, the first air-gapped commercial cloud, which turned out to be a huge success in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

AWS claimed the launch is significant as it means US government users can turn to one cloud for most of their needs, rather than having to shop for multiple clouds for data with different sensitivities. AWS customers benefit from data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations. The Secret Region marks an expansion of those existing services. The AWS Secret Region will be assessed and accredited for security compliance under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Intelligence Community Directive (ICD 503) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-53 Revision 4. "It will have the same material impact on the IC at the Secret level that C2S has had at Top Secret", John Edwards, CIO of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), said in the post.

The "region" in the name of the new service is Amazon's term for a data centre and will be just one among many regions operated by the company as part of its AWS supercomputing cloud.