Amazon Web Services gets first DISA approval for all 5 data security levels

Photo: Tech&Net Photo: Tech&Net

Amazon announced Thursday that its Amazon Web Services platform has been given provisional authorization from the Defense Information Systems Agency to hold Defense Department data above a level 2 security impact clearance.

The authorization makes Amazon’s GovCloud the first cloud service to hold every level of unclassified DOD data.


“What that allows DOD is the ability to run any workload that’s not classified, they can run that [data] on the cloud,” Teresa Carlson, vice president of Amazon’s global public sector, told FedScoop. “It’s exciting for the Department of Defense because it allows them to access the cloud in new ways that they haven’t been able to do before and really run the key mass workloads that they have.”

In a blog post, Amazon said the Defense Department will be able to “implement a wide range of DOD requirements necessary to protect their data at these levels, including AWS Direct Connect routing to the DoD’s network, comprehensive computer network defense coverage and Common Access Card (CAC) integration.”

Carlson said GovCloud had to go through additional controls above the the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) in order to meet DISA’s criteria. DailyScoop: Amazon Webservices

“Initially achieving FedRAMP and now being the first company to achieve DOD levels 3-5, this demonstrates we are really committed to what our customers’ security and compliance regimes are,” she said. “The community has really spoken out that they are ready to make this move, it’s their next step forward into transitioning into cloud computing and we are there to support them every step of the way.”

“AWS customers across all branches of the DOD have begun driving efficiencies and reducing costs using the AWS DOD Provisional Authorization for Impact Levels 1-2, and we are very excited to further extend our services to support an even broader set of sensitive workloads,” said Steven J. Spano, Amazon Web Services’s general manager of defense and national security. “This is the most stringent reusable authorization the government has issued to date, and we are very excited to continue to innovate on behalf of the government community to provide the most secure, reliable cloud infrastructure in support of their missions.”


The announcement comes as the Central Intelligence Agency’s private cloud, run on Amazon Web Services, went live at the beginning of the month. Amazon was awarded a $600 million contract to build the CIA cloud last year.

At DISA’s forecast to industry Wednesday, Chief Information Assurance Executive Marc Orndorff hinted that “one cloud provider who is at level 3-5” would be part of DOD’s upcoming five cloud pilots for sensitive data, but would not reveal the commercial provider when asked. Twenty-four hours later, Amazon made its announcement. 

Any agency interested in procuring AWS can make a cloud service request through DISA’s Enterprise Cloud Service Broker.


Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

Latest Podcasts