Browsing: cloud computing

NIST cancels conference as shutdown looms

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At least one federal conference is being postponed this week because of a potential government shutdown. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is postponing its Cloud Computing and Mobility Forum this week “because we could not guarantee NIST’s facility would be open on the first day of the meeting, Oct. 1,” according to an agency spokeswoman. “The meeting has not been rescheduled.” More than 500 people had registered for the conference, including about 130 federal employees. Many federal employees would be forced to stay home without pay if Congress doesn’t strike a budget deal by midnight. Just at DoD, some 400,000 employees…

Amazon gets federal cloud certification

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Amazon Web Services is the latest vendor to pass a rigorous security review for all federal cloud products and services. So far, only CGI Federal and North Carolina-based Autonomic Resources have completed the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). The governmentwide program was launched in June to standardize security reviews of commercial cloud products and is housed within the General Services Administration. Under the FedRAMP program, Amazon was granted an Authority to Operate (ATO) by the Health and Human Services Department. This means HHS has certified that Amazon’s GovCloud and regional cloud service offerings meet federal security standards, and the company’s services are…

GSA to launch cloud broker pilot

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The General Services Administration is moving forward with plans to stand up a cloud broker contract for acquiring and managing the performance of federal cloud services. The Department of Homeland Security is one of two agencies that has committed to testing GSA’s cloud broker model in a pilot program expected to launch this fall, said GSA’s Mark Day. Speaking Monday at the annual Management of Change conference in Maryland, Day said GSA will award one contract to test the concept of a broker model and reevaluate the pilot by year’s end to determine how it could be expanded. GSA has not yet defined…

DISA reaches milestone in quest to manage and negotiate cloud contracts

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The Defense Information Systems Agency is one step closer to standing up cloud broker services for the Defense Department. As DoD’s cloud broker, DISA will manage the use, performance and delivery of cloud services and negotiate contracts between cloud service providers and DoD consumers. DISA announced Tuesday that it has developed a process for gathering and assessing DoD’s cloud computing requirements, evaluating vendors’ cloud offerings against contract requirements and has created a catalog for cloud services. In a June 2012 memo, DoD Chief Information Officer Teri Takai said all DoD components must acquire government or industry-provided cloud services using DISA, or obtain a…

GSA seeks industry input for cloud security program

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Federal officials are working to streamline the government’s security program for cloud products and services. A critical part of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)mandates that cloud vendors hire a third-party organization to verify they meet federal security requirements. Today, the General Services Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology must first approve those third party-organizations, or 3PAOs. Then there’s the task of monitoring the performance of the 3PAOs and recommending whether to renew or revoke their status. In a request for information to industry, GSA asked for input on how to privatize the accreditation process for 3PAOs. As FedRAMP…

Federal cloud program approves two contractors

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CGI Federal this month became the second vendor to complete a new security review process for all federal cloud products and services. The Virginia-based company already provides cloud computing services for several agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the General Services Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) was launched in June to standardize security reviews of commercial cloud products and is housed within GSA. North Carolina-based Autonomic Resources was the first company to receive what’s called a provisional authority to operate from FedRAMP’s joint board of CIOs. The provisional ATO proves a…

Federal cloud program certifies first vendor

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North Carolina-based Autonomic Resources last week became the only firm to complete a new security review process for all federal cloud products and services. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) was launched in June to standardize security reviews of commercial cloud products. The program is housed within the General Services Administration. As part of FedRAMP, a joint board of chief information officers from the Homeland Security and Defense departments and GSA reviewed Autonomic’s cloud offering and whether it met federal security standards. The company had to verify that it met some 300 security requirements, including proof that its…

Army moves 500,000 email users to the cloud

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To date, the Army has migrated 500,000 email accounts to the cloud, according to a news release. The Army expects to move a total of 1.6 million email users from disparate local servers to centralized servers operated by the Defense Information Systems Agency by March 2013. The Army projects the move, which began January 2011, will save $380 million through fiscal year 2017. The migration hasn’t come without challenges, delays and much scrutiny. The Army was forced to suspend the migration in December after concerned lawmakers temporarily withheld funding for the program, pending a detailed review. About 520,000 people across the Defense Department, including the Joint…

DoD releases cloud computing strategy

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The Defense Department will expand its use of cloud computing through a four-step plan, which includes incentivizing DoD components to use shared cloud services and training acquisition professionals to procure cloud technologies. DoD’s Cloud Computing Strategy released Wednesday outlines a phased approach for adopting both commercial and government-provided cloud solutions. According to the strategy, DoD will: – Foster adoption of departmentwide cloud services through an outreach campaign to increase the number of cloud consumers and providers. – Optimize data center consolidation by eliminating duplicative software and providing information technology services, hosted in the data centers, in a standard way. – Incorporate cloud hardware…

Cloud security program officially launches

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A program intended to standardize the government’s security certification of cloud products and services is now accepting vendor applications. Starting Wednesday, cloud service providers and agencies can apply to have products and services vetted under the Federal Risk and Authorization program (FedRAMP). The program is managed by the General Services Administration. Companies that already provide cloud technology to agencies under GSA’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service contract will be among the first to have their technology vetted through FedRAMP. Companies on existing government contracts that provide popular cloud services, such as email services, will get priority vetting early on. By June 2014, all cloud…

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