Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its new Secret Region for handling cloud workloads associated with classified government data, according to a blog post. Marketed to the US Intelligence Community (IC), the region can safely operate workloads up to the Secret US security classification level, the post said.

While targeted toward the IC, and available through the IC’s Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) contract with AWS, non-IC customers can also utilize the region as long as they have the proper security clearance, the post said.

With the launch of the Secret Region, AWS now supports data that is Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret.

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“The AWS Top Secret Region was launched three years ago as the first air-gapped commercial cloud and customers across the U.S. Intelligence Community have made it a resounding success,” Teresa Carlson, vice president of AWS Worldwide Public Sector, said in the release. “Ultimately, this capability allows more agency collaboration, helps get critical information to decision makers faster, and enables an increase in our Nation’s Security.”

Being that it pertains to highly-sensitive data, security and compliance will be a major feature of the AWS Secret Region. Its assessments and accreditations for security and compliance will be made in conjunction with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Intelligence Community Directive (ICD 503) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-53 Revision 4, the post said.

The same tools and processes available through the Top Secret region will be available to customers of the Secret Region, the post said.

“The AWS Secret Region is a key component of the Intel Community’s multi-fabric cloud strategy. It will have the same material impact on the IC at the Secret level that C2S has had at Top Secret,” John Edwards, CIO of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), said in the post.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its new Secret Region for handling cloud workloads associated with the US government’s Secret data classification.
  2. Customers both inside and outside the US Intelligence Community can use the region, as long as they have the proper security clearance.
  3. The AWS Secret Region will be accredited and assessed for compliance and security under DNI and NIST standards.