Office 365 Government Secret Now Available
Microsoft announced earlier this month that its Office 365 Government Secret service offering is now at the "general availability" release stage.
It's not clear if all governments can have access to Microsoft's secret productivity software-as-a-service applications, such as "Exchange, Outlook and Microsoft 365 Apps." The services are said to be just available to "approved customers." Moreover, Microsoft just listed U.S. government agencies and partners as possible clients.
"We're ready to assist the United States Federal Civilian, Department of Defense (DoD), Intelligence Community (IC), and United States government partners working within the Secret domain with our foremost software as a service (SaaS) capabilities," the announcement stated regarding the Office 365 Government Secret.
Specifically, the Office 365 Government Secret was described as meeting Impact Level 6 (IL 6) criteria. IL 6 is a data storage and processing designation for "Secret"-classified data where the workloads are kept separate from non-DoD tenancies
Microsoft is touting the security of "mission-critical workloads" with this service and suggested that the Office 365 Government Secret "can enable greater operational capabilities for our service members wherever they are." Moreover, they'll get "the latest enterprise-grade Office 365 Secret productivity, security, compliance, and collaboration applications," Microsoft promised.
Microsoft last year had projected that its Office 365 Government Secret offering would be available in mid-year 2022, but those plans slipped by about six months. The service, back then, had yet to pass U.S. government accreditation reviews.
Interested approved customers can reach out to "mission support partners and our onboarding teams" if they want to use the Office 365 Government Secret offering, Microsoft's announcement suggested. The participating partners weren't listed, though.
In addition to this new secret software-as-a-service Office 365 offering, there's an existing Azure Government Secret offering that's also available. Azure Government Secret is available to U.S. federal, state, local and tribal governments, having reached general availability back in 2021.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.