As recently announced on the Official Microsoft Blog, Windows Azure was recently granted the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO), an important milestone for Microsoft and the cloud in general. Windows Azure is the first Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) public cloud platform to receive a JAB P-ATO.
The JAB consists of representatives from the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the US General Services Administration (GSA), all of whom work together in order to evaluate and vet out the services provided by cloud vendors. The Federal government recognized, while moving to the cloud, that each agency is required by law to individually authorize and approve of mandated security controls – the JAB was created to streamline that process.
With Windows Azure securing a P-ATO from the JAB, any government agency that requires IaaS or PaaS knows that Windows Azure has successfully met any of their specific security needs. This not only promotes faster cloud adoption, but helps government agencies streamline their evaluation and adoption policies.