What is AWS GovCloud?

AWS GovCloud (US0 is a remote AWS regions that allows U.S government agencies and customers to move confidential data and workloads in the cloud.  It allows all stakeholders to adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements.

Entities can store and run workloads that fall under the Control Unclassified Information (CUI) data and publicly available data in AWS GovCloud (US) Region.  The platform offers the following features:

  • Restricted administrative access to U.S citizens only.
  • Provides FIPS 140-2 endpoints.

What is the AWS GovCloud console?

The AWS Management Consoleis an easy-to-use graphical interface that manages your computer, storage, and other cloud resources. Most AWS products can be used with the console, and the console supports the majority of functionality for each service.

AWS GovCloud login

Should you be a Web Service (WS) Reseller, you will need to contact AWS directly via their website to request an AWS GovCloud (US) account.  If you have received your AWS account directly from AWS, you need to follow the following steps to gain access to AWS GovCloud (US):

  1. Sign-up for  AWS Account
  2. Log in to your AWS account using the root credentials.  Use the AWS Management console to find the “Account” page.
  3. Click “Sign up for AWS GovCloud (US)”
  4. Submit your request for access by following the prompts. AWS GovCloud will send a confirmation email.
  5. After the request is approved, a link with instruction to set the Administrator password will be sent.
  6. Adhere to compliance requirements

AWS GovCloudFedRAMP

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a government program that assesses the security, authorizes and monitors the cloud products and services.

FedRAMP is compulsory for all federal agencies and cloud services.  FedRAMP is vital as it increases:

  • Trust and consistency in the cloud solutions security
  • Transparency among government agencies in the US and cloud providers
  • Automated and continuous monitoring 
  • Use of secure cloud solutions due to assessments and authorizations

AWS is fully FedRAMP compliant as it adheres to the policy requirements. The requirements forFedRAMP compliance are the following:

  • The CSP (cloud service provider) is allowed an ATO (Authority to Operate) by a Federal Agency.
  • The CSP aligns with the NIST 800-53 security control requirements.
  • It is mandatory for all system securities to use the FedRAMP templates
  • An independent auditor must assess the CSP
  • A comprehensive security assessment is posted on the FedRAMP secure repository.

Cost of AWS GovCloud (US)

Customers have a choice as to how they want to buy the services.  The costs are based on how many services customers use and how they choose to pay for it.

The same pricing models available on the AWS cloud are also available on AWS GovCloud (US) Region.  There is also a Fixed Price Reserved available for Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, and AWS Data Transfer services.  The added price option allows customers to make a one-time payment for each service they use.

Acquiring AWS GovCloud (US) Region is vital should you want to conduct or interact with US government agencies.