Amazon Web Services inches closer to hosting government's highly sensitive 'Protected' data

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Amazon Web Services inches closer to hosting government's highly sensitive 'Protected' data

Amazon Web Services has inched closer to earning verification by the Australian Signals Directorate to host highly sensitive 'protected' level data for the Australian government in its Sydney region.

The hyperscale cloud provider announced yesterday that it had completed an independent assessment from the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP), allowing government agencies to self-accredit their own protected workloads on AWS.

AWS is still working with ASD, an agency within the Department of Defence, to receive verification at the protected level. Neither AWS nor any of its rival hyperscale cloud providers are yet to be certified at the protected level, though AWS can host unclassified data with its EBS, EC2, IAM, S3 and VPC services.

There are currently just four providers that have been approved to host protected data: Sliced Tech, Vault Systems, Macquarie Telecom and Dimension Data.

The hyperscale cloud provider said it will offer 46 cloud services to government customers, with more to follow. AWS said it will provide documentation to allow customers to evaluate its protected level services.

“This milestone will enable customers to run secure workloads at the protected level on AWS cloud, with the assurance that citizen data is highly secure,” AWS country manager, worldwide public sector Andrew Phillips said.

“This IRAP assessment applies to AWS Sydney region, so our public sector customers can take advantage of the latest innovations, including the most recent security features and services, as soon as they become available. Additionally, government agencies and departments can leverage the highest availability and fault tolerance in running their mission-critical workloads, through the three availability zones offered in AWS’ Sydney region.”

The announcement comes as Microsoft, AWS' largest cloud rival, prepares to announce investments it's made in Canberra to target government clients. Last year, Microsoft announced it was launching two Azure data centres in Canberra based in facilities owned by Canberra Data Centres. The two new Azure instances are expected to go live in the first half of this year.

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