U.S. spy agencies to adopt cloud computing

January 31, 2012

United States spy agencies, which manage some of the most confidential data in the world, will adopt cloud computing during the next few years to consolidate information systems and share data securely.

According to Bloomberg News, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently said the nation's spy agencies will begin to transition data to the cloud throughout the next five years. Clapper, speaking to an audience in Washington at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said cloud computing has the potential to reduce IT costs and help agencies integrate computer and information systems.

Cloud security has been a top concern for enterprises, but the U.S. government and most technology experts continue to support cloud computing and say it provides organizations with a safe, secure environment. Clapper told the source adopting the cloud will enable spy agencies to share information while maintaining top-level data security.

"Over the next five years, I think we’ll make some serious and notable changes," Clapper said, adding that the intelligence community desires a solution for tagging and labeling classified documents.

The report said recent data breaches involving confidential data and the government's devotion to reducing federal agency IT budgets has made transitioning IT functions to the cloud a top priority for several organizations.

The Federal CIO Council recently unveiled more than 150 security controls for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), a government-wide program launched in December to standardize the cloud adoption process for federal agencies. The council expects FedRAMP to increase security in the cloud, make cloud implementation an easier task and decrease costs related to security assessments.

In early January, the U.S. Army awarded nearly $250 million in cloud computing contracts to private technology providers.

-McAfee Cloud Security