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Photo of Shawn P. McCarthyOffline

The big buzz in Federal IT circles this week is that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been granted a provisional "Authority to Operate" to provide Impact Levels Level 3-5 of the Defense Department's Cloud Security Model. That means Amazon has received the go-ahead to provide cloud services capable of handling the DoD's most sensitive data – short of classified information.

The various cloud levels are part of DoD’s security model. Think of it as an enhanced version of the federal requirements set by the civilian cloud approval process known as the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). The CSM provides a formalized assessment and authorization process which cloud service providers (CSPs) can go through in order to earn a DoD Provisional Authorization. With that authorization in-hand, cloud service providers can show potential DoD customers that they already meet compliance with certain DoD standards. The DoD customer does not need to conduct separate and time-consuming certification for the cloud part of their new system.

Photo of Adelaide OBrienOffline

The U.S. Federal Government is using both tactics to fight the deadly Ebola virus. With over 5,000 infected and 1,000 deaths attributed to the Ebola virus, the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC)'s Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta has activated its highest level, maintaining 24/7 operations to coordinate the agency's efforts. CDC has been training workers on proper infection control and teaching them how to properly don Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). CDC is also conducting chain of transmission monitoring through contact tracing of all the people who come into close contact with sick patients.

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