Office 365

The Silver Lining to Microsoft Office 365 Government Secret Cloud

Cloud service providers have been ramping up their security measures to deliver applications and services that meet the ...

Cloud service providers have been ramping up their security measures to deliver applications and services that meet the security requirements of the U.S. Department of Defense. The Microsoft 365 Government Secret cloud has been able to obtain provisional authorization to manage classified information.

unsplash - stock - cloud computing-2The Data Climate Before Government Secret Cloud

Cloud service providers with provisional authorization from the DoD include:

  • Microsoft
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Google Cloud
  • Oracle

These cloud service providers meet the standards for Impact Level 5 data. These four cloud services are part of a $9 billion contract with the DoD for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability program. While this contract does not detail specific work measures, the JWCC program allows these CSPs to provide cloud services across all classification levels and security domains within DoD mission systems. Although this four-way deal does not promise huge profits, it grants major security clout to these CSPs.

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The Differences in DoD Impact Levels

Microsoft 365 Government Secret cloud is one of the few cloud service offerings that offer a classified infrastructure built for IL6. To appreciate this security capacity, it is important to understand information impact levels. An IL is a combination of two parameters:

  1. Sensitivity of data to be stored and processed within a cloud.
  2. Potential impact if a cloud has a breach in confidentiality, availability, or integrity of information.

There are four DoD ILs to consider:

  • IL2: Information approved for public dissemination with low confidentiality and moderate integrity
  • IL3: Information considered Controlled Unclassified Information
  • IL5: CUI also handled by National Security Systems
  • IL6: Classified information, including data up to SECRET levels

The Stringent Measures for DoD IL6 Accreditation

The DoD’s Defense Information Systems Agency handles drafting the Security Requirements Guide for DoD Cloud Computing. This SRG defines the baseline security parameters to measure the security climate of a CSO. If a CSO meets the standards set by this SRG, the DoD may grant provisional authorization to a CSP to host DoD missions. The Microsoft Government Secret cloud is one of the CSOs approved by DISA.

A CSP can apply to get a DoD PA for IL2 to IL6. The DISA designates specific criteria for managing data at each IL. To be considered for a DoD PA, a CSP must provide the following documents to DISA:

  • Readiness Assessment Report
  • System Security Plan
  • DoD System Security Plan Addendum
  • Security Assessment Plan
  • Cloud Service Offering Architecture Brief

Some of the necessary measures for an IL6 PA include:

  • The cloud infrastructure must store and process data within approved facilities that meet or exceed the highest level of classification.
  • The IL6 cloud infrastructure must be a closed and self-contained environment and is deemed to be a Secret Internet Protocol Router Network.
  • The virtual separation between DoD or federal tenants and mission systems is sufficient and minimally required.
  • Physical separation from non-DoD and non-federal tenants is required.

These measures are a small snapshot of the long list of requirements necessary for DoD IL6 accreditation. There are even citizenship restrictions on CSP personnel who have access to IL6 data. Moreover, a CSP must maintain its IL6 accreditation and is subject to re-accreditation.

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The Classified Edge of Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft typically takes the offensive when handling cyberattacks and cloud security. The Government Secret cloud is no exception, as it exceeds IL5 information measures. This cloud has an environment outfitted for IL6 data. The secure infrastructure allows highly sensitive government programs to not only store and protect their information, but also create safe cloud-based platforms to operationalize data, communicate across devices and applications, and collaborate between different systems.

In conjunction with Azure Government Secret and Top Secret, the Office 365 Government Secret cloud maintains an IL6 DoD PA. This means that this classified CSO operates within the following parameters:

  • Manages data at the customer-determined availability, high confidentiality, and high integrity categorization
  • Has a direct connection to the DoD SIPRNet
  • Operated only by approved U.S. citizens
  • Is accessible to three approved regions spanning over 500 miles
  • Operates only on secure, closed, and direct connections to classified networks

Azure Government Secret was the first CSO honored with an IL6 DoD PA, granting Microsoft 365 a sharper edge over other CSPs. Microsoft has devoted more time to maintaining the stringent IL6 security requirements.

The Migration to Microsoft 365 for Government Secret Cloud Capacity

If your business is vying to become a DoD customer, you must meet DoD security measures. The first step is to migrate your legacy systems to Microsoft 365. If you are considering manual migration, consider the following limitations:

  • Scalability: If you have hundreds of team members, the onboarding process from beginning to end can become stressful and prone to error.
  • Performance: Normal enterprise operations will not be optimal if in-house staff is monitoring the onboarding process and managing project expectations.
  • Project Governance: Manual auditing may lack accuracy causing inconsistencies and longer times for task completion.
  • Cost: The in-house manpower used to manage manual migration decreases your enterprise’s bottom line due to increased overhead costs and decreased production.

At Cloudficient, we have the resources and technology for an efficient and hassle-free migration. We tailor our plan to your enterprise and deliver on-premise onboarding with end-to-end task completion. Our migration technology orchestrates and automates the entire workflow to ensure that your performance is not compromised.

For solutions that are custom-built for you, contact one of our migration specialists today. We can help you create a secure infrastructure to help you gain access to the Microsft 365 Government Secret cloud.

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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