Microsoft Azure offer cloud services meant for workloads classified at the US Top Secret level: Air-gapped, region-compliant platform secures ICD 503 and ICD 705 standards

Microsoft Azure Government Top Secret Secure Servers
Ultra-secure cloud servers and services from Microsoft Azure. Pic credit: Bob Mical/Flickr

Any business interested in cloud-based services with the top-most security can avail Microsoft Azure Government Top Secret. Microsoft initially developed the cloud service for government agencies that need to manage top-secret data.

Microsoft has confirmed the General Availability of Azure Government Top Secret. The company has received the Authorization to Operate (ATO) for the platform, with multiple top-end certifications.

Microsoft confirms general availability of Azure Government Top Secret:

Microsoft had announced Azure Government Top Secret back in December 2020. The company had created the platform specifically for the U.S. government.

This week, Microsoft has confirmed it is offering the platform to all businesses who are interested in cloud-hosted services with top-end security.

Microsoft categorically notes the “air-gapped regions” of the Azure Government Top Secret platform can confidently handle workloads classified at the US Top Secret level.

The new platform offers customers access to multiple geographically separate regions. Needless to mention, this facilitates meeting data residency requirements. Additionally, businesses can ensure their services continue to function despite regional disturbances.

Microsoft has achieved the Authorization to Operate (ATO) Azure Government Top Secret infrastructure. Additionally, the company has earned Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 503 as well as ICD 705 standards. While ICD 503 relates to IT systems used by intelligence agencies, ICD 705 assures physical and technical security.

Microsoft is offering more than 60 Azure services at the onset and promises several more will be available to businesses.

Speaking about the new endeavor, Tom Keane, Corporate Vice President, Azure Global, Microsoft Azure, said:

“This announcement, together with new services and functionality in Azure Government Secret, provides further evidence of Microsoft’s relentless commitment to the mission of national security, enabling customers and partners to realize the vision of a multi-cloud strategy and achieve greater agility, interoperability, cost savings, and speed to innovation.”

What services and sub-platforms does the Azure Government Top Secret offer?

The Azure Government Top Secret is essentially an extension to the Azure Government and Azure Government Secret. Microsoft has developed the portfolio in collaboration with the U.S. Government.

Microsoft’s new platform aims to cover data at all classification levels, whether it lives on-premise, in the cloud, or at the tactical edge. The Azure Government portfolio also reportedly offers access to Azure Security Center and Azure Sentinel across all data classifications.

A business using the platform gets a unified approach to cybersecurity, with the ability to integrate different security point solutions to analyze and protect resources in Azure and other environments.

In addition to the Azure Government Top Secret, Microsoft has also added new services to Azure Government Secret. Some of the notable mentions include Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Functions, and Azure App Service.

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