Amazon Web Services authorized to contract with more Defense Department agencies

Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud services company, has received a security authorization that would allow it to work with all agencies within the Department of Defense, the company announced Wednesday.

The new authorization — under the department’s cloud security standards — would let AWS work with more DOD agencies to host certain projects such as public-facing Web sites or open data sets that don’t require DOD’s internal data centers. Amazon is currently working with the department to secure higher-level clearance to take on more sensitive work.

AWS already contracts with DOD agencies such as the Navy and the Air Force, but the new authorization clears the service for all DOD agencies, according to the company. AWS has been authorized to operate under FedRAMP — a government-wide general security standard — since May of 2013, but the DOD’s cloud security standards are more stringent, according to Amazon.

Teresa Carlson, AWS’s vice president for the public sector, said the new certification could mean more than just new DOD business.

“We do have commercial customers that also request our FedRAMP package,” she said in an interview. “It’s the bar they want to meet . . .they don’t want to produce a new [model], but take advantage of something that’s working.”

(Disclosure: Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)

Mohana Ravindranath covers IT and small business for the Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. She joined the Washington Post after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and has interned for Business Insider and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a native of Pittsburgh.
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