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Federal Agencies Security and Compliance Considerations in Cloud Environments 

Introduction

Federal agencies, as custodians of sensitive and critical data, operate within a distinct paradigm where the stakes are exceptionally high. The interplay of security and compliance in cloud environments is a multidimensional challenge requiring harmoniously orchestrating technology, policy, and culture. Federal agencies must stay attuned to the latest developments as the threat landscape evolves and regulatory frameworks undergo revisions.

Security is a key factor in planning, migrating, operating, and maintaining crucial IT systems when Federal government departments and agencies decide to utilize cloud computing. Agencies must consider the objectives, anticipated cloud ecosystem, mission and business operations, processes, data sensitivity, and processing power.

The three service models—Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS)—have different security requirements and responsibilities, so agencies using cloud services must understand the effects of each on security. The level of protection offered in the cloud environment must be at least as good as the security provided by an agency’s traditional IT environment as it migrates its apps and data to cloud computing solutions.

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