For Amazon Web Services’ national security team, security is the top priority ⏤ and the defense and intelligence communities require the best in technology to stay ahead of adversaries.
That’s according to Ash Thankey, senior manager of advanced programs and military intelligence for AWS’ national security team.
Thankey oversees AWS’ relationship with the key IC customers. He recently joined WashingtonExec’s Intelligence Council, so we caught up with him to discuss top NatSec trends and AWS’ place in the national security market.
What trends are you seeing in NatSec and the intelligence community?
The IC is really blazing a trail in cloud, and serving as an example to not just other government agencies. The IC is proving to other segments that it is possible to innovate and move fast while staying secure.
Organizations of all shapes and sizes are taking advantage of the benefits of the commercial cloud, and at AWS, we are constantly impressed by the innovative ways in which we see our customers utilize the many benefits cloud has to offer.
There are plenty of trends we see across different verticals and customer segments, with customers migrating more and more workloads and taking advantage of innovation and new technologies, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and IoT.
As for our defense and IC customers, we can expect to see this group continue to move up the stack. When AWS started its public sector business, potential public sector customers were primarily attracted to cloud for two reasons: to save money and promote efficiencies by hosting websites on the cloud and using cloud storage.
Just a few years later, agencies are now looking at leveraging the cloud for machine learning and artificial intelligence insights that can drive innovation, high-performance computing and emerging capabilities like quantum ⏤ especially when it comes to critical missions.
What makes AWS unique in the natsec market?
At AWS, our philosophy, and one that we are unwavering on, is we feel strongly that the defense, intelligence and national security communities deserve access to the best technology in the world.
National security depends on our nation’s ability to stay a step ahead of adversaries. A big component of that is modernizing aging infrastructure and adopting the latest security technologies, which are available in the cloud.
Security is our top priority. AWS customers benefit from data centers and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations. We support more classification levels, laws, regulations and security frameworks than any other cloud provider.
In fact, AWS was the first commercial cloud service provider accredited to support government workloads across the full range of U.S. government data classifications, including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret and Top Secret.
AWS is committed to helping our customers and partners in the defense, intelligence and national security communities deliver their most critical missions. As we continue to innovate with our customers, they gain tools to achieve their missions with greater speed, agility and security.
By removing the undifferentiated heavy lifting of the underlying IT infrastructure, U.S. defense, intelligence and national security communities are able to focus on keeping the U.S. secure.
What makes you excited to join the WashingtonExec Intelligence Council?
I’m excited to have this opportunity to serve on the WashingtonExec Intelligence Council and represent AWS. My participation allows me to further connect with our partners and customers in the intelligence community, and provides an opportunity to share AWS insights as well as my experience supporting the national security mission.