Tried and True: CIA Expands its Reliance on AWS

Ronda Peoples / March 19, 2015

It’s not breaking news that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is a believer in the cloud. Since 2014, the CIA has trusted its data – even the classified stuff – to Amazon Web Services. The decision to move in the direction of the cloud was based on the desire for “significant cost recovery, increased mission improvement and a boost of industry innovation.”

Now the CIA is taking its cloud adoption to a new level. Last month, the agency’s Chief Information Officer, Doug Wolfe, announced that the CIA will use AWS to open its own “app store” for use by the entire U.S. intelligence community. According to Wolfe, this will help the intelligence community to “stay dynamic and competitive in a changing threat environment.”

What’s more, the CIA now has plans to create an enterprise data hub within its AWS cloud and to make it available to all seventeen agencies within the U.S. intelligence community. According to Nextgov, this data hub likely will “provide standardized data sets compiled by intelligence analysts across various agencies to decision-makers among many other features found in the company’s widely used open source big data platform.”

So, why should the CIA’s expansion into the cloud matter to you? Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols summed it up in a recent article for ZDnet by advising that “if your CIO is still feeling twitchy about putting your applications and data on the cloud, just remind him or her that even security agencies are putting their IT eggs into the cloud basket.”

Blue Sentry is an advanced-tier Amazon Web Services (AWS) consulting partner specializing in application and data migrations, expert managed services and virtual desktops. Blue Sentry serves clients globally, with operations in North Carolina and South Carolina.