Last year, Amazon Web Services won the cloud contract for the CIA to build a cloud infrastructure that would help the government agency collaborate, share information and gain access to secured applications while adhering to the US Government’s cloud first initiative. The much publicized win for Amazon Web Services was talked about in media outlets all around the country due to the fact that many analysts believed IBM would get the nod to build out the CIA’s private cloud.
Since Amazon Web Services has won the contract, different features and functionalities have been implemented into the CIA’s private cloud. At the much publicized AWS re:Invent conference currently being held in Las Vegas, Amazon invited CIA CIO Doug Wolfe to make remarks on the CIA’s private cloud being built by Amazon. Although much of Wolfe’s work is remains classified, Wolfe gave us a glimpse into the world of IT behind the CIA.
Wolfe mentioned, “Frequently, we have people come to us in terms of looking at the IT world, and say ‘Why can’t I do “x”‘ or ‘I saw “x” in Marketplace,’ but when I come on the classified side, I’m unable to bring that innovation over.” Wolfe goes on to say, “If you are an In-Q-Tel company, if you are working with venture capital or other firms, if you are a startup, if you’re running in an AWS environment, you’re going to have an environment similar to that in the intelligence community,” Wolfe said. “Our ability to access this and use this kind of innovation on the classified side is going to be a tremendous advantage for us.”
Amazon’s public marketplace contains over 2,000 applications and services and Wolfe mentioned that implementation into the CIA’s secured private cloud will take several months. Amazon notes that this new one of a kind customized private cloud interface will operate in the same fashion as other apps and services, only with an escalated level of security that obscured from the end user.