Cloud Security

Microsoft launches Azure cloud for national security

An aerial of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on May 12, 2021. The Pentagon announced significant changes to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program this week. (Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase/Defense Department)
An aerial view of the Pentagon, Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., May 12, 2021. Microsoft announced Monday the launch of more than 60 services for its Azure Government Top Secret. (Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase/Defense Department)

Microsoft on Monday announced that it received the approval to launch Azure Government Top Secret for its military and intelligence customers.

In a blog post by Tom Keane, corporate vice president of Azure Global, Microsoft said it plans to launch more than 60 initial services with more coming soon.

Keane said these new air-gapped regions of Azure aim to accelerate the delivery of national security workloads classified as the U.S. top secret level. Microsoft already has 73 services in Azure Government Secret, and it continues to bring new services online.

"Whether in sea, land, air, space, or cyberspace, today’s mission leaders face a common set of challenges — how to make sense of an unprecedented influx of data from many disparate sources, how to modernize existing infrastructure to enable agility today and tomorrow, and how to protect data, assets, and people across a rapidly evolving global threat landscape," Keane said. "The new Azure regions for highly classified data expand the ability of our national security customers to harness data at speed and scale for operational advantage and increased efficiency." 

Tim Wade, technical director of the CTO Team at Vectra, viewed this as an important step for Microsoft's government cloud customers.

"Given the transformative nature of the cloud, we can view this as a step towards addressing what has long been an Achilles heel of national security systems and networks: the difficulty of managing critical but legacy systems whose evolving mission needs may have outpaced the capacity of existing modernization vehicles," said Wade.

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