While many people are still trying to figure out what “cloud computing” really means, various businesses specializing in cloud services are going after the U.S. government’s business. Companies like Box and Amazon Web Services are looking to pick up federal government business by providing extra security and specialized “cloud areas”.
According to TechCrunch the federal government is a $70 billion market. One of the biggest cloud storage companies, Box, is going after that market this year. It currently provides cloud services to “77% of the Fortune 500”. In pursuit of that goal, the company is beefing up its security in order to lure federal government storage contracts its way. The company already provides services to several state and local governments.
Amazon Web Services has created AWS GovCloud (US). It is physically and logically accessible only by United States persons. That was one of the basic requirements laid down by the federal government for companies seeking to provide the government cloud services. AWS GovCloud is considered an AWS region. It provides high security that meets very stringent HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations.
According to Information Week Lockheed Martin, IBM, HP Enterprise Services, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, MicroTech and Criterion Systems form a group of contractors that will be building the Army Private Cloud (APC2). The contract is worth $250 million. By working with Department of Defense contractors on the security and creation of the APC2, HP and IBM should be in a good position to solicit further contracts with the federal government.
But even as companies go after federal government business, questions about security are rampant. Individuals would be crazy not to worry about possible security issues when all of their private information held in government computers is being shifted online. After all we’ve all seen what happened with private information kept by Sony. But SC Magazine points out that the only breaches that have happened with companies that specialize in cloud computing has occurred as a result of the user’s failure. In other words, cloud computing companies have excellent security.
Current research described in TG Daily suggests that quantum computing could make cloud computing virtually bullet proof. Which is great to know since government like business is moving to the cloud.