AWS bags US federal government certification

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AWS bags US federal government certification

Authority to operate granted.

Amazon's Web Services offering has received an official seal of approval by United States authorities, in a move that is likely to significantly boost the company's public sector business.

The cloud provider said it was now certified as compliant under the federal risk and authorisation management programme or FedRAMP, and had received two authorities to operate (ATOs) from the US department of health and human services.

These cover the AWS East and West regions, as well as Amazon's GovCloud offering in the United States. AWS offerings such as Elastic Compute Cloud, Simple Storage Service, Virtual Private Cloud and Elastic Block Store are currently included in the FedRAMP accreditation.

Amazon is currently the only cloud provider that has been certified under the FedRAMP programme.

The 2011 federal cloud computing strategy [PDF] formulated by former chief information officer of the United States Vivek Kundra specifies that government agences must take advantage of such service offerings to minimise cost while maximising capacity utilisation and improving IT flexibility.

As part of that strategy, government agencies are required to make use of FedRAMP for risk assessment and security authorisation and Amazon has now shown that AWS meets the requirements of the programme, after vetting by a third-party assessor.

FedRAMP compliance is continously monitored to ensure the cloud provider's security controls meet the requirements set out by the US national institute of standards and technology (NIST), with accreditation reviewed on an annual basis.

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