Amazon Web Services receives critical gov't certification

The services have received authorization under the Federal Information Security Management Act

Amazon on Thursday said that many of its Web services now have a crucial certification that allows federal government agencies with strict security requirements to use the services.

Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, Simple Storage Service and Virtual Private Cloud have all received Federal Information Security Management Act Moderate Authorization and Accreditation.

Some federal agencies are required to only use services from companies that have certification under FISMA. More than 100 government agencies are already using Amazon's offerings, including the Department of the Treasury's Treasury.gov, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA and the Federal Register 2.0 at the National Archives. But the new certification opens the door for Amazon to extend its offerings to additional agencies and applications.

Amazon Web Services already has other key security clearances, including FISMA Low, FIPS 140-2, PCI DSS Level 1 and others. The services can also be used by businesses that must comply with regulations set in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Late last year, the U.S. General Services Administration gave the green light to federal agencies interested in using infrastructure-as-a-service offerings. The idea was to let agencies choose from offerings through the Apps.gov portal, where government organizations can shop for approved cloud services. At the time, the GSA said that the services, which included Amazon Web Services, would have to receive FISMA certification.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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