Microsoft finally gets authorization to handle ‘confidential’ Pentagon data

Amazon insists the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI contract should not be given to Microsoft, according tomedia reports, in part because they have more certifications for government jobs. The company says it has unique experience and is qualified to provide the key technologies the U.S. military needs. Microsoft, on the other hand, has said only that it will eventually get the necessary certifications, and today Biz Journal reports that the company has received key certifications that only Amazon can match so far.

Microsoft finally gets authorization to handle 'confidential' Pentagon data

On December 16, local time, U.S. Defense Information Systems Officials confirmed that Microsoft’s Azure cloud service had been granted temporary authorization to run some key products under level 6 (IL6), the security requirements required for the cloud to handle the “confidential” level of encrypted material.

The IL6 is just below the highest “top secret” level of encrypted material and is the minimum security authorization level required to execute the Pentagon JEDI contract.

The certification will allow Microsoft to conduct pilot projects and develop and test “policies, processes, and procedures” to provide “infrastructure as a service” before the Pentagon considers granting longer authorizations.

The current temporary authorization for Microsoft Azure Confidential Certification expires within 3 months.

But even so, and Microsoft has begun hiring workers for the JEDI program, Amazon is still trying to overturn and ask the court to block the contract. The Ministry of Defence has now agreed not to commence any work on the JEDI contract until 11 February, except for initial preparations.

Amazon is still the only commercial cloud company to receive top-secret certification, while Microsoft needs to obtain permanent “confidential” certification within six months and “top secret” certification within nine months.

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