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26 Mar 14. Amazon gets clearance to provide more cloud services to Pentagon. Amazon’s cloud computing business has received high-level security clearance from the Pentagon, paving the way for it to provide more services to the US government. Cloud computing is a growing part of the online retailer’s services business and Amazon is making a big push to persuade government clients to switch their systems from old-fashioned in-house servers to its own data centres. Amazon said on Wednesday that the Department of Defense had granted its eight-year old cloud computing business new authorisations after concluding that it met the Pentagon’s “stringent security and compliance requirements”. While the cloud business remains overshadowed by Amazon’s online store, it is a pillar of the company’s drive to diversify revenues by providing pay-as-you-go infrastructure services on which others can build their operations. The revenues of the business, known as Amazon Web Services, are forecast by Macquarie Capital to grow sharply from an estimated $3.4bn in 2013 to $5.3bn this year and $8.1bn in 2015. Amazon itself does not disclose figures for the AWS business. The company’s total revenues hit $74bn in 2013. Some Department of Defense agencies, including the US air force and the navy, already use the Amazon cloud, but the latest authorisations will make it easier for other agencies to approve its use. Across the US government Amazon says more than 600 agencies use AWS services. Amazon promotes its cloud services as a means for public and private sector institutions to replace in-house servers and IT departments with external systems that are low-cost and flexible. This week the FT reported that Nasdaq was re-evaluating a landmark cloud partnership it launched with the Amazon 18 months ago. But AWS’s reliability claims have been undermined by a small number of well-publicised outages in recent years that disabled the websites of some of its clients and highlighted the risks of outsourcing to the cloud. Amazon faces competition in the cloud computing market from Google’s cloud platform, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and others. (Source: FT.com)

21 Mar 14. BAE Systems announced the launch of SIBA™, a tool that redefines and simplifies secure data collaboration and dissemination for both government and commercial customers. SIBA provides an innovative solution to secure information sharing for the nation’s Intelligence Community, as well as banks, law firms, and users of electronic medical records. The SIBA solution works seamlessly with Microsoft Office® and SharePoint®, without modifying those applications. The tool was unveiled today before joint customers at the Microsoft Technology
Center in Reston, Virginia. It is imperative that agencies in the Intelligence Community are able to quickly migrate intelligence data to shared repositories, where it can be accessed securely in real-time by multiple users in multiple agencies. SIBA provides this capability to any government agency or business by leveraging their existing Microsoft Office and SharePoint investments. Unlike competitor solutions, no additional investment is required for the development of new secure inter-agency clouds or other big data platforms to ingest, tag, replicate, and share information. SIBA enables analysts to tag (portion mark) specific characters, words, paragraphs, and images within their documents to define need-to-know access to portions of data. This allows other users, like field personnel and coalition partners, to access redacted versions of the intelligence product, based on network access and security clearance. Additionally, the solution enables, by policy, further data redaction if information is being accessed by less-trusted mobile devices, or if access is from a less-trusted network. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

27 Mar 14

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