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Amazon Unveils Secure Cloud Services For Government

August 17, 2011

Amazon Web Services announced Tuesday that it is ramping up its cloud service security and access features in an effort to attract more government agencies to its online storage system.

Calling it GovCloud, Amazon says the service will comply with the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR).

ITAR regulates how government agencies manage and store sensitive data. Any cloud service used by agencies that are covered by ITAR can only be accessed by US citizens. Because GovCloud is only accessed by US citizens and complies with ITAR’s requirements, government agencies can use the service to store and manage their data easily, and safely, said Amazon.

Amazon’s cloud services already meet other government regulations, such as the Federal Information Security Management Act and the Federal Information Processing Standard. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the US Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board are two federal agencies that already use Amazon’s cloud services.

Amazon Web Services is proving that even the most sensitive data and workloads no longer have to be kept behind a firewall or in private data centers. And GovCloud looks to be a major player in Web-based storage for government data, leaving other providers to play catch-up.

Amazon Web Services’ GovCloud Region is located on the US west coast. Amazon states that all EC2 instances launched within this Region must reside within a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). In addition to EC2, Amazon also offers several new services, including Amazon Simple Storage Service, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Identity and Access Management.

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