Azure Gets US Government Certification


New certification allows cloud hosting for government agencies.

Microsoft has announced that the Azure cloud platform has received the US government's Provision Authorities to Operate (P-ATO) certification from FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Management Program), a US government program that approves technologies for use with other government agencies. The P-ATO rating will make Azure cloud services available to government programs that require FedRAMP security compliance.

Several other organizations have achieved some level of FedRAMP security certification. Amazon's Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering was approved in May of this year, however, according to Microsoft, Azure is the first cloud platform "with infrastructure services and platform services" to receive the P-ATO.

Susie Adams, chief technology officer for Microsoft Federal, states "This is the highest level of FedRAMP ATO available, and it is a great honor for Microsoft to receive this certification. In addition, the pragmatic and holistic approach we took in achieving the provisional ATO for Windows Azure and its underlining data centers will help pave the way for FedRAMP P-ATOs for even more Microsoft cloud services.

June 2014 is a deadline for cloud providers to gain FedRAMP certification in order to host government data.


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