Amazon Web Services, the cloud storage unit of Amazon.com, announced early this week that it is launching a new service called Amazon Web Services Secret Region. The new service is designed for the CIA and other intelligence agencies to handle classified information for U.S. spy agencies. The new AWS Secret Region can run workloads up to the “secret” security classification level and will match the service’s existing $600 million contract with the CIA and other agencies for running Top Secret workloads on its cloud.
This service will be given to the intelligence community through a current $600 million contract between AWS and the CIA which has made Amazon a dominant player in federal IT contracting.
“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 of 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.”
Six years ago, AWS introduced GovCloud, its first data-center region for public-sector customers. Since then, AWS announced plans to expand GovCloud. The new Secret Region indicates using AWS from specific parts of the U.S. government.
The new region will be made available to customers as a result of the contract AWS has with the intelligence community’s Commercial Cloud Services. However, the region will be accessible for U.S. government organizations that are not a part of the intelligence community as long as they file the right paperwork.
The U.S. government and Amazon are endorsing the new service as a way for the U.S. intelligence community to modernize its infrastructure and get the right information to the appropriate people faster. This deal highlights Amazon’s leadership in the cloud market. Amazon beat IBM in the deal with the CIA.