By Curt Kolcun, Vice President, U.S. Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation on January 13, 2017

Filed under Microsoft in Government

Aerial view of the Pentagon

Microsoft’s commitment to providing government customers the most complete, trusted and secure cloud results in a significant step forward today: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) granted accreditation for Azure and Office 365 to handle controlled unclassified information (CUI). By gaining the DOD’s Level 5 Provisional Authority (PA) for the DOD regions of Microsoft Azure Government and Office 365 U.S. Government Defense, Microsoft:

  • Becomes the first and only commercial cloud provider to offer an exclusive DOD cloud that is L5-approved for our infrastructure, platform and productivity services.
  • Announces general availability of the DOD regions of Microsoft Azure Government and Office 365 U.S. Government Defense with L5 authorization. Microsoft has established new, exclusive regions for the DOD comprised of multiple data centers

Over the past several years, we have gained an industry leading number of accreditations and certifications to comply with the most stringent government security standards; for example, Microsoft’s cloud compliance with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP — including FedRAMP High, FedRAMP, Moderate and FedRAMP Accelerated) is unprecedented. Adding DOD L5 authorization further demonstrates our leadership, and enables customers to:

  • Build applications that maintain CUI data requiring a higher level of protection than L4, as deemed necessary by the information owner, public law or other government regulations.
  • Support unclassified National Security Systems (NSSs) systems.
  • Obtain superior protection for government-only infrastructure through geographically dispersed and hardened Microsoft U.S. datacenters operated by screened personnel.
  • Leverage Office 365, the most complete, intelligent and secure productivity service for digital work, empowering seamless collaboration across teams and organizations.
  • Gain unprecedented data-access controls, advanced threat protection and unified IT management.
  • Shift resources to mission-critical and differentiated IT projects, via cost savings and efficiencies resulting from migrating commodity services to the cloud.

To date, we have received widespread interest in our new Level 5 capabilities from across the U.S. Department of Defense, including all branches of the military, unified combatant commands and defense agencies. Additionally, four DOD entities, such as the Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Air Force, are have already committed to use Office 365 U.S. Government Defense.

Microsoft partners also share enthusiasm for achieving L5 accreditation and are excited to work with customers to transform their operations by implementing cloud and productivity solutions. “Azure DOD has given us the ability to deploy our SaaS offering, DefenseReady Cloud, to the US Department of Defense in a scalable, secure, and cost-effective environment. The mission-critical nature of DefenseReady Cloud requires high availability, compliance with DOD’s SRG Impact Level 5 requirements, and scalability to support our customers’ changing demand, with a flexible pricing structure that allow us to offer capability to large enterprises as well as local commands. With Azure DOD, we are now able to onboard a customer in weeks, not months, allowing for a time-to-value that is unparalleled when compared with on-premises or other government-sponsored options”, said Dave Milton, CTO, Permuta.

To learn more about Microsoft’s L5 accreditation and commitment to delivering the most complete, trusted, and secure government cloud, please visit: