The Pentagon. Image via DoD.

Microsoft Creates Secure Government Service Extension

Microsoft announced a forthcoming new version of its Azure cloud services certified for use with Secret classified information. The new service, Azure Government Secret, aims to give government customers all of the benefits of Azure Govenment –such as cloud computing for storage, blockchain, artificial intelligence and other applications–with unprecedented levels of security.

Azure Government already holds “the most certifications of any cloud provider,” including stringent national security requirements enforced by the Department of Defense and other federal agencies as well as organizational privacy standards. While Azure Government currently is restricted “exclusively for U.S. federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies and their partners,” Azure Government Secret is tailored specifically for a different kind of customer and will likely focus more on DoD support and other federal security/intelligence agency applications.

Current DISA standards. Microsoft’s cloud offerings are currently certified to operate at Level 5, though Azure Government Secret would entail a higher level of security. Image via DISA.

Azure Government is already certified to Level 5 Provisional Authorization with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Microsoft’s latest announcement implies that the DoD and other agencies may grant Microsoft’s services with certification at Level 6, enabling access to Secret information stored on the governments “secret Internet” network SIPRNET.