EPA to move e-mail, help desk, security services to the cloud

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking to move its e-mail, help desk and security services to a cloud infrastructure as part of the agency’s efforts to comply with the Office of Management and Budget’s "cloud-first" policy, EPA chief information officer Malcolm Jackson said today.

Agencies are required to identify and move three applications to a cloud-based service within 18 months as part of OMB's 25-point plan for IT reform issued in November 2010.  Cloud computing provides on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort or interaction from the service provider.

“We’re not looking at just those three,” Jackson told attendees at a luncheon meeting today sponsored by The American Council for Technology (ACT) - Industry Advisory Council (IAC) in Washington, D.C.

Implementing your cloud-first policy? Start with email

Agency officials are looking across the entire IT portfolio to determine what applications and programs make sense to migrate to the cloud environment, he said.

“I want to get in front of managing agency technology rather than being reactive," he said. To that end, Jackson has delegated EPA’s chief technology officer to direct the development of the agency’s cloud strategy. EPA has not decided whether e-mail will be deployed in an EPA private cloud or hosted by a commercial provider, Jackson noted.

The agency is looking to establish a set of standards for dealing with external and internal cloud services that will help the agency reap the benefits of cloud technology without increasing the risk level, Jackson said.

EPA’s web site and an agency-wide e-learning program are hosted in the cloud, Jackson noted.

As a first step in EPA cloud migration, AT&T Government Solutions will also provide Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Services (MTIPS) to enhance the security of EPA's network.

AT&T will use MTIPS to secure the EPA’s Internet traffic with services such as Intrusion Detection Services, Intrusion Protection Services, Incident Response, Managed Firewall Services, and Anti-Virus Management.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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