Empowering government agencies through the Cloud: The significance of the AWS Government Competency certification

June 11, 2024
Author: Sara Myers
Blog | Cloud | Collaboration | Managed Services

Government agencies face substantial challenges to digital transformation and modernization. Reliance on legacy technology, budgetary constraints, rigid approval processes, and ever-increasing security concerns all prevent government agencies from achieving the same operational efficiency enjoyed by organizations in the private sector.

Recently, CBTS achieved Government Competency certification from AWS. What does this certification mean, and how does it benefit our government clients? 

What is AWS Government Competency?

AWS Government Competency certification is for organizations with “demonstrated experience in delivering quality solutions to help agencies meet mandates, reduce costs, drive efficiencies, and increase innovation across civilian agencies, national defense and intelligence communities, and state and local governments.”

Achieving the AWS Government Competency is not merely a badge of honor; it signifies consistent dedication to excellence and an established history of success. AWS identifies and promotes partners with deep technical expertise and a track record of customer success. The program highlights partners skilled in developing software or offering services across various industries, use cases, and workloads.

Earning this accreditation was a significant challenge. AWS conducted a thorough audit to confirm CBTS compliance with the strict criteria for technical skill, customer success, and adherence to industry best practices.

The benefits of working with an AWS-certified partner

In addition to Government Competency, CBTS engineers hold over 85 AWS certifications. The benefits for government agencies working with an AWS partner include:

  • Streamlined IT operations – Simplify IT environments by migrating to a flexible and secure cloud environment designed for government agencies.
  • Enhanced security – Meet security mandates while structuring data to meet the rigors of all security clearance levels—Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret.
  • Scalability – Seamlessly scale up or down cloud services as needed, with no downtime or upgrades necessary.
  • Cost-efficiency – Lower hardware costs and shift from the CapEx model to the OpEx model, only paying for cloud services when and if you need them monthly, which helps your agency better steward taxpayer dollars.
  • Shift away from legacy technology – Legacy infrastructure becomes increasingly costly to maintain as it ages and poses security risks. Cloud computing shifts the burden of staying up to date from agencies to the cloud provider (AWS).
  • Innovation – AWS offers a robust set of cloud tools and technologies that are constantly updated. By working with an AWS implementation partner, government agencies can securely take advantage of the latest AI/ML tools and quantum computing workloads.
  • Backup and recovery – The limitless cloud storage offers an ideal backup and disaster recovery solution. Collaborating with CBTS allows for creating a dependable backup system without the need for extra hardware, which increases operational expenses. Managed backup ensures government agencies can minimize downtime, deliver emergency services effectively, and maintain essential first-responder operations during crises.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework

CBTS is part of the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program and possesses extensive knowledge in creating secure, efficient, high-performing, and robust cloud applications and infrastructures for its government clients.

The Well-Architected Framework is a design structure that assists cloud engineers in building secure, scalable, and responsive environments. The Framework consists of six pillars:

  1. Operational excellence – Run, monitor, and continuously improve processes.
  2. Security – Protect data, systems, and other digital assets by assessing and mitigating security risks.
  3. Reliability – Minimize disruptions and ensure systems are easily recoverable.
  4. Performance efficiency – Maintain the environment’s performance over time and adapt as needed to new technologies.
  5. Cost optimization – Deliver computing services at a reasonable price and advise the client on maximizing cost-efficiency by bundling services or eliminating unnecessary elements.
  6. Sustainability – Meet environmental standards and maintain energy efficiency across the environment.
Read more: Tips for a secure cloud migration using AWS managed services

The urgency of cloud security for government agencies

In the U.S., Executive Order Executive Order (EO) 14028, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity”, mandated that all government agencies adopt the NIST Zero Trust security framework. This mandate recognizes the growing cyber-threat landscape, especially in the geo-political arena. The issue has shifted from whether an agency will experience a hack to when it will happen and the extent of the damage that will occur. The zero-trust framework works to strengthen security fabrics and minimize exposure in the instance of a successful breach.

Compliance is also a key concern. The AWS Cloud has extensive controls, comprehensive auditing capabilities, and a wide range of security certifications. These controls uphold standards of compliance, including FedRAMP, the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), among others. Additionally, it facilitates cloud services across various classification tiers, including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret.

Despite the rigorous security built-in to the AWS Cloud for government clients, the responsibility for securing data ultimately falls to the customer. That is why CBTS writes security standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 and the SOC framework into our contracts as an added layer of assurance.

CBTS also deploys a wide range of cloud security protocols for government clients, including:

  • Access management: Implement policies to regulate user access and manage identity verification efficiently.
  • Encryption: Secure your data by encrypting it before uploading to the Cloud, ensuring that encryption keys are retained within your local data center. CBTS employs cutting-edge techniques to safeguard data both in transit and at rest.
  • Secure network: Enhance your network and infrastructure’s security by implementing a single WAN connection or a site-to-site VPN connection.
  • Physical security measures: Our data centers are fortified with comprehensive security measures, including surrounding fences, surveillance cameras, security personnel, key card access points, and round-the-clock emergency communication systems.
  • Continuous monitoring: Our team of cybersecurity experts and advanced AI-powered software continuously scrutinize servers, networks, and applications for any signs of malicious activity.

Why choose CBTS as an AWS implementation partner?

CBTS is a trusted IT partner for state and local government agencies in the U.S. and Canada. With over 85 AWS certifications, our engineering team leverages cutting-edge technology to enable IT teams to focus on their core competencies. CBTS has over 30 years of experience designing, building, implementing, and managing data centers across North America.

CBTS has a long-standing partnership with AWS, providing end-to-end solutions for clients in collaboration, cloud transformation, security, and application modernization. CBTS offers comprehensive AWS strategies and 24x7x365 support, billing, and consulting services. Contact us to learn more about our customized AWS Cloud management strategies for government offices and agencies.

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