government cloud solutions

Azure Government beefs up security solutions

Microsoft announced it is expanding its ability to handle sensitive government data.

Last year the Defense Information Systems Agency granted authorization for Impact Level 5 data to be housed in the Azure Government cloud. With Azure Government Secret, civilian and defense agencies will be able to hold classified information in the cloud under a multi-tenant infrastructure.

Secret is in a physically isolated cloud that offers some extra protection for sensitive information and includes access to other Microsoft cloud innovations.

“We want to bring hyper-scaled cloud with the same innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning and security offered to our other customers,” Microsoft Azure general manager Tom Keane said at the Oct. 17 Microsoft Cloud Forum.

Microsoft is also making an effort to improve security and audit capabilities through the Azure Security Center.  The service will provide dashboards to help agencies monitor security in a hybrid environment of cloud and on-premise workloads. 

Users will be able to use Azure Security Center to apply policies to ensure security compliance and use advanced analytics to detect attacks.  The service can also find and fix vulnerabilities before they are exploited and block malicious activity through adaptive applications and network access controls.

The Azure Security Center will be available to government customers in early 2018.

Microsoft also announced plans to add more options for moving office environments into a Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure and for high-performance computing.

With Citrix VDI on Azure Government, customers can extend existing Citrix environments and deploy Windows 10 desktops into Azure Government from Citrix Cloud.

Microsoft already offers Azure Batch and the NC-series instances in the Government cloud for complex engineering and scientific workloads.  In December, Azure H-series virtual machines with InfiniBand and Linux RDMA technology will be added to the environment. 

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.

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