Microsoft Azure Government DC is a group created for anyone in the IT world modernizing government with a goal of bringing real-world lessons to innovators in Government. AIS has supported and presented during these events when there were just 5 members. Now, the group in nearing 4,000 members. In March, we presented on Authority to Operate (ATO) and Compliance in Azure Gov. Check out the recording and overview below.

Here’s What You Missed

AIS Cloud Security and Compliance Solutions Architect, Bryan McGill presented at the latest AzureGov Meetup to demonstrate our repeatable ATO processes and secure and compliant cloud solutions in Azure and AzureGov for faster time to value.

Watch the Full Session:

ATO Session Recap

Bryan begins the session explaining ATO and the six steps of the Risk Management Framework (RMF) process:

  • Categorize Information System
  • Select Security Controls
  • Implement Security Solution
  • Assess Security Controls
  • Authorize System
  • Monitor Security Controls

Challenges when Adopting ATO

As the session continues, Bryan talks about the most significant advantages of a cloud solution: shared responsibility with Azure and Cloud Service Providers (CSP). The more you leverage Microsoft tooling and your Cloud Service Provider relationship, the more outcomes you can expect. This includes:

  • Microsoft Azure Inheritance (between 20% and 50% of all security controls could be inherited).
  • Documentation Templates to spend less time building required documentation, that are pre-mapped to control implementation statements.
  • Pre-crafted security control responses mapped to documentation.
  •  Azure Services like Sentinel, Security Center, Log Analytics, Monitoring, and Azure Active Directory.
  • Tools like Blueprints and Policies can be written, with Infrastructure as Code, before an environment is set up to ensure compliant, repeatable, and secure cloud solutions.

Our Approach

To round out the presentation, Bryan presents the AIS approach to ATOaaS. ATOaaS provides standardized ATO documentation and Blueprints to government customers. At AIS, we help you take a step back and look at the requirements needed and what services can be used with Azure or other tools to meet needs, offering templates and support for documentation.

Our ATO services deliver efficiency gains without sacrificing security and compliance, increasing your speed of deployment so you can start using cloud-native features and services. AIS can help you drive outcomes to include mission effectiveness, better security, agility and flexibility, operational efficiencies, and faster time to value.

Our ATOaaS Approach contains three engagements:

  • Kickstart Workshop – Targeted workshops focused on obtaining an audit compliance in Azure.
  •  Consulting Services – Azure Compliance Advisory, Security Gap Analysis, and recommendations for Audit Readiness.
  •  ATOaaS: Consult and Implement – Fully managed Control Implementation, Testing and Compliance Documentation.

Struggling with the ATO process? Reach out to AIS to figure out which Engagement Option is best for your team to get cloud accreditation and begin migrating your workloads to a secure, compliant cloud environment

AIS: Your ATO & Cloud Transformation

We help government organizations create cohesive multi-cloud strategies, bringing the expertise you require for successful cloud adoption, modernization, data intelligence, and beyond. As the first company to achieve Authority to Operate (ATO) in IL5 and IL6, as well as the first to establish cloud environments at Impact Level (IL) 5 and IL6, know you’re in good hands. We’ve been working with Azure for 12+ years and will have you well on your way to realizing the best that the cloud can offer.

Join us for future virtual meetings the Microsoft Azure Government User Community: https://www.meetup.com/dcazuregov/

In this episode of the Azure Government video series, Steve Michelotti sits down with AIS’ very own Vishwas Lele to discuss migrating and modernizing with Kubernetes on Azure Government. You’ll learn about the traditional approaches for migrating workloads to the cloud, including:

1. Rehost
2. Refactor
3. Reimagine

You will also learn how Kubernetes provides an opportunity to fundamentally rethink these traditional approaches to cloud migration by leveraging Kubernetes in order to get the “best of all worlds” in the migration journey. If you’re looking to migrate your existing legacy workloads to the cloud, while minimizing code changes and taking advantage of innovative cloud-native technologies, this is the video you should watch!

WORK WITH THE BRIGHTEST LEADERS IN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

In support of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, you’re invited to join us for a very special edition of the Microsoft Azure Government Meetup!

On October 24th, the Women Leading Government Cybersecurity Meetup will feature an exciting panel of experienced government cybersecurity professionals. ALL are welcome to attend this FREE event for networking, refreshments and fascinating insights and discussions on:

  • Today’s cybersecurity landscape in government and top priorities
  • Best practices in cybersecurity along with challenges and lessons learned
  • Future of cybersecurity in government and the cyber workforce

The evening will wrap up with a security demo along with Q&A.

This Meetup is presented in partnership with the Women in Technology D.C. Chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners, a community of local professionals that believe in making it easier for women to imagine, begin and develop a career in IT. We’re very excited about this one, so check out the full agenda, speaker bios and RSVP here!

If you’re not in the D.C. metro area, you can join us via livestream on Oct. 24 starting at 6:35 p.m. at aka.ms/azuregovmeetuplive. And be sure to join our conversation on Twitter using #AzureGovMeetup.

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The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) called on all government agencies to accelerate their IT modernization efforts with a continued focus on security. So…now what?

At this month’s #AzureGov meetup, our panel of speakers discussed exactly how agencies can navigate the world of automated ATOs, revamped TIC compliance and beyond.  And at the same time, fully realize the benefits of the cloud and achieve greater agility while strengthening their security posture.

Last night’s speakers included:

Mark Cohn, CTO, Unisys Federal
Greg Elin, CEO, GovReady & Former Chief Data Officer, Federal Communications Commission
• Nate Johnson, Cloud Security & Compliance Director, Microsoft
• Scott Thompson, Cloud Solution Strategist, Microsoft

For a replay of the full Meetup, click here. For past Meetups, visit the Azure Government Meetup YouTube channel here.

The next Meetup is set for Wednesday, September 26. RSVP today to claim your spot and join us for great networking and presentations. We hope to see you there!

One of the biggest roadblocks to government digital transformation is the lack of effective IT governance. Unresolved concerns including privacy, security and organizational silos that limit data sharing and analysis continue to pose hurdles for agencies.

Last night’s Azure Government Meetup in Washington, D.C. featured a stellar lineup of industry-leading experts who shared insights and strategies on achieving effective IT governance in areas including identity, portfolio and records management.

If you missed it, you can catch the replay hereRead More…

Last night’s #AzureGovMeetup challenged government agencies to view the cloud as more than just a technology and software choice, but also as a business strategy to create greater impact for employees and citizens. With its agility, speed and low cost, the cloud is the key to helping agencies test and innovate new solutions faster than ever before.

First up, we heard from Kevin Jackson, a globally-recognized cloud computing expert and founder/author of the award-winning blog, Cloud Musings. Kevin shared his experience and expertise in cloud innovation and the keys to developing a successful cloud business strategy.

Brett & Jim presenting Moving a high-profile application to production Vishwas Lele

Next up was a very special cloud innovation showcase featuring the latest cloud solutions currently advancing agency missions, including:

• AIS’ own Brett Goldsmith and Jim Mullennix presented on a high-profile application they recently helped move to production in Azure Gov.
Carlton Reeves, Forward Deployed Solutions Leader, C3 IoT shared insights on how to innovate in the cloud using Azure.

Keep an eye on the official Azure Government Meetup YouTube channel, where videos of the full presentations will be posted shortly. In the meantime, why not RSVP for the July Meetup and follow the AIS Team on Twitter?

AzureGov May MeetupIt was another packed house last night at our May #AzureGovMeetup in Washington, D.C.! Our topic was “Harnessing Cloud: Accelerate Your Mission Apps.” While I.T. modernization is top of mind for government agencies, many struggle to realize the full value of  the modernization  they can achieve bu moving the majority of their enterprise apps to the cloud and creating new citizen services.

And now, with the latest orders from the White House, there’s an even greater sense of urgency to overcome barriers and accelerate ways to boost cloud adoption and overhaul government IT systems to drive agility, cost savings, innovation and mission delivery. Last night’s experts (including AIS CTO and Microsoft MVP Vishwas Lele) covered a lot of ground, including:

  • A PaaS-first approach to mission apps
  • Achieving TIC compliance
  • Opportunities from recent government IT modernization and cloud initiatives

Check out the photos and some short video clips below from @aisteam, or (if you’ve got some time!) you can watch the ENTIRE meetup at the livestream archive here or on the #AzureGovMeetup YouTube page. Don’t miss out on next month’s June Meetup either — RSVP today to claim your spot.

Read More…

Artificial Intelligence and cognitive technologies are already transforming the way government agencies work. From predicting fraudulent transactions and detecting criminal suspects via vision APIs, to speech recognition and language translation, cognitive capabilities are a way to “augment/assist” government workers and complement their skills.

I had the opportunity to record a video on Azure Custom Speech Service with Steve Michelotti from the AzureGov team. Steve and I talked about how Azure Custom Speech Service can overcome most common challenges in speech recognition, including speaking style, technical vocabulary, and background noise.

Please take a listen and let us know your thoughts. We strongly believe that the innovative capabilities like Azure Custom Speech Service are a real differentiator when it comes to selecting a cloud provider.

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brainIf you’ve spent any time here at the AIS Blog, you already know how passionate we are about AI and Machine Learning. (We co-wrote the Playbook on it!) Many believe AI will also advance government; changing the speed, reliability, and ability for agencies to make more informed decisions and better deliver on their missions. The key to unlock the power of AI are the massive amounts of data that flood many agencies…but are often underutilized or even locked up due to lack of resources, knowledge of tools, and compliance.

Fortunately, cloud-based analytics capabilities allow this data to be turned into knowledge that can empower agencies to take advantage of AI capabilities that can help agencies make more informed decisions, drive efficiency and become more citizen friendly. Last night’s #AzureGovMeetup brought in a great lineup of industry experts to cover best practices and challenges for government with AI and analytics, top solutions and hands-on demos, and to contrast how the government is using AI today with their vision for the future.

ICYMI: Watch the full archived livestream here!

This month’s Meetup was standing room only, so be sure to RSVP for the May Meetup ASAP! These free events are open to the public and offer great opportunities for both learning and networking. We hope to see you there!

Follow the @AISTeam on Twitter and join the conversation about the #AzureGovMeetup.

Last night’s AzureGov Meetup was an exceptionally fantastic one! The team challenged the Azure Government DC user community to create and share 12-minute demos to showcase cool tech that can help accelerate your cloud implementation.

We received a terrific response to the challenge and it resulted in a rock-star lineup of speakers, demos and an inside scoop on what’s moving the needle in government technology today. The presenters included:

  • Patrick Curran, Director, Federal Group, Planet Technologies
  • Mark Joscelyne, Head of Technical Operations, Public Sector, Frame
  • Deepak Mallya, Chief Cloud Architect, Cloudwave, Inc.
  • John Osborne, Principal OpenShift Solutions Architect, Red Hat
  • Steve Michelotti, Lead Dev Evangelist, Microsoft Azure Government

You can watch ALL the demos here at the archived livestream. (It’s available for a limited time, so check it out today!) Read More…