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Speedy, secure cloud a 'game changer' for the IC

In 2013 when CIA officials decided to create a dedicated cloud environment for the intelligence community with Amazon Web Services, security was top of mind. 

Four years later, the move has been “the best decision we’ve ever made” and arguably “the most secure thing out there,” CIA CIO John Edwards said of the partnership in a recent speech. The project's success is due not least because it’s a cloud completely decoupled from the public internet.

One of the biggest benefits has been the speed with which intelligence agencies can innovate in the Commercial Cloud Services, or C2S, environment. However, ensuring that those innovations are themselves compliant and secure has posed new challenges. So the CIA turned to Telos, the creator of Xacta 360, to protect C2S and all its data.

The Xacta 360 automated risk management and security compliance software scans the cloud environment for vulnerabilities and threats based on intelligence community standards, overlays, controls and audits. With the compliance automation and continuous monitoring, C2S is now able to provision and authorize in minutes or hours what previously required weeks or even months.

That speedy security and the agile collaboration it enables have been a “game changer for the community,” Edwards said.

About the Author

Laura Williams is content development editor for Security Products magazine, an 1105 Media publication.

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