Friday, January 27, 2023

US Defense Innovation Unit Selects Google Cloud for Application Security

WASHINGTON — The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is working with Google Cloud to monitor and secure its cloud-based applications.

DIU is implementing Google Cloud’s Secure Cloud Management (SCM) product organization-wide for “fast, secure, and controlled” access to software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, according to Google last month.

The product is available for acquisition by other DoD agencies through Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreements, as they adopt their zero-trust plans.

Google and two other vendors engaged in a year-long prototype before the contract was awarded. The Google Cloud SCM was evaluated by a third-party assessment organization based on criteria outlined by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

The offering supports the call for the federal government to improve national cybersecurity in a May 2021 executive order and recent memorandum by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, according to Google.

Google Cloud SCM is a container-based product built on Google Cloud’s Secure Application Access Anywhere offering. The open, standards-based product is designed to serve as a scalable and responsive alternative to the DoD’s current network boundary points. SCM also leverages Google Cloud’s Anthos to enable management of hybrid cloud and multicloud applications via Kubernetes.

The offering was developed in partnership with Palo Alto Networks and embraces zero-trust principles. 

Palo Alto Networks VM Series and CN Series bring machine learning (ML)-powered next-generation firewall capabilities inline for microservices-based applications. Palo Alto’s Prisma Access provides endpoint inspection, authentication, and remote access for applications protected by the Google Cloud SCM solution.

“In today’s new cybersecurity paradigm, it’s critical that government agencies see the benefits of adopting a zero-trust security strategy and have the option of selecting more modern, cloud-native solutions that meet their unique needs,” said Lynn Martin, VP of North America public sector, Google Cloud. 

“We are honored to partner with DIU as the organization undergoes the next phase in its zero-trust journey, as we believe other DoD agencies can benefit and learn from this security approach.”

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