The Department of the Navy Turns to the Cloud

Facing a $2 billion budget cut over the next five years, the United States Department of the Navy (DoN) is turning to the cloud in a cost saving effort for “non-sensitive” information and applications.

Terry A Halvorsen

The Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer, Terry A. Halvorsen, recently sent out the memo, “Department of the Navy Approach to Cloud Computing,” explaining that “in order to increase efficiency without sacrificing operational effectiveness, organizations, system/application owners and program managers must expand their analyses of alternatives for hosting Department of the Navy systems and information to include Department of Defense and commercial cloud service providers.”

Forbes Magazine then covered the announcement in its story U.S. Navy Issues New Cloud Computing Policy. The fact that a major arm of the U.S. government is turning to cloud computing for its data needs is a clear indicator of just how strong a business trend adoption of the cloud has become. And the fact that Halvorsen is quoted in the Forbes article as saying the move is not only an effort to save money going forward, also so the Navy can “specifically look at IT as an enabler,” is significant as well.

CipherCloud has been touting the importance of looking to secure use of the cloud as a business enabler for some time now, and clearly some very large and important organizations are falling in line with that idea.

Of course, the Department of the Navy will also have some serious hurdles to overcome with its adoption of the cloud if it does not take the appropriate steps in dealing with the demarcation between sensitive and non-sensitive data.


As part of the memo, the Department of the Navy has said the first stage of its cloud initiative is going to be publicly releasable information, requiring segregating everything that is publicly available. As an arm of the U.S. Armed Forces, there’s no doubt that the Department of the Navy has a great deal of highly sensitive information that it needs to protect. But it’s arguable that there are going to be instances of data bleed between how you separate and segregate public versus sensitive system information. You can’t just say this data center is all public, and this one is all secured information. With the cloud, all such information sharing is blurred.

Of course, for CipherCloud, all roads lead to the importance of encrypting data sent via the cloud. As the Department of the Navy moves forward with this adoption of cloud systems, one should expect the importance of securing data to come to the fore front of their efforts.


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