AWS has launched secret zones by the name AWS ‘Secret Region’ with an aim to keep government and authoritative data discreet. A zone is a geographic location of an AWS installation where applications are hosted. The AWS ‘Secret Region‘ is aimed at keeping the data of intelligence agencies and government bodies in a private and secure environment, away from public applications . This new service will be “air-gapped” and firewalled from the rest of the internet.
Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Amazon Web Services Worldwide Public Sector commented:
Ultimately, this capability allows more agency collaboration, helps get critical information to decision makers faster, and enables an increase in our Nation’s Security
This launch has come almost six years after the inception of Amazon’s GovCloud which was followed by CIA picking Amazon as their trusted cloud partners. AWS GovCloud, a collection of dedicated data centers, was designed specifically for highly sensitive information and subject to the stringent standard of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). With the public sector moving increasingly towards cloud, Amazon’s timely launch comes as an advantage for government bodies who want access to industry-standard processes and tools while potentially lowering costs.
Carlson further added:
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
AWS’ multi-fabric cloud strategy is evident with this launch. It is estimated that Amazon comprises of up to 80% of the global cloud footprint. AWS GovCloud’s major customers include the Department of Defense and civilian agencies, which are drawn to the AWS pay-as-you-go model without upfront capital costs and just paying for the computing resources used. AWS clocked a staggering $12 billion in sales in 2016, almost double the jump from it’s previous year.
According to an AWS official, the ‘Secret Region’ will also be available to non-intelligence communities with appropriate secret-level network access, like military agencies, but they would have to use their own contract vehicles for the same.