cloud security

Microsoft introduces Top Secret cloud

Microsoft on Dec. 7 announced Azure Government Top Secret, a new cloud for Top Secret classified data, and outlined new features of Azure Government and the expansion of Azure Government Secret as part of its annual Government Leaders Summit.

In a Microsoft Azure blog, Tom Keane, corporate vice president of Azure global, said Azure Government Top Secret, which has been undergoing federal accreditation, is designed to provide the same capabilities as the commercial version of Azure, Azure Government and Azure Government Secret, “enabling a continuum of compute from mission cloud to tactical edge.”

New features of Azure Government Secret, which is authorized by both Department of Defense impact level 6 and intelligence community directive 503, address needs of application developers and security analysts.  The new Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure Container Instances will allow developers to better deploy and manage containerized applications. With Azure Sentinel and Azure Security Center analysts can collect, analyze, and act on telemetry data from their Azure and on-premises environments to deliver unified security and proactive threat management. 

For the Azure Government cloud, Availability Zones give users redundancy and logical isolation of data center services, assuring that critical customer services and workloads are available anywhere 24/7. Additionally Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure Government recently became available, accredited at the high level by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

To address needs of users working on the tactical edge, Microsoft announced rugged hardware to that supports low-latency data processing, making it easier for agencies to deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning to the network edge or access satellite data in disconnected environments. The Azure Modular Data Center -- available at impact levels 5 and 6 – was announced in October, but now has a high availability power module and a network high availability module that provides network resiliency through multiple satellite communication partners in different orbits.

The ruggedized versions of Azure Stack Hub, Azure Stack Edge Pro R and the portable Azure Stack Edge Mini R are now generally available for customers in Azure Government and Azure Government Secret.

Microsoft made these government cloud announcements as part of its annual Government Leaders Summit.

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