AWS Security Blog

AWS extends its MTCS Level 3 certification scope to cover United States Regions

We’re excited to announce the completion of the Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) Level 3 triennial certification in September 2020. The scope was expanded to cover the United States Amazon Web Services (AWS) Regions, excluding AWS GovCloud (US) Regions, in addition to Singapore and Seoul. AWS was the first cloud service provider (CSP) to attain the MTCS Level 3 certification in Singapore since 2014, and the services in scope have increased to 130—an approximately 27% increase since the last recertification audit in September 2019, and three times the number of services in scope since the last triennial audit in 2017. This provides customers with more services to choose from in the regions.

MTCS was the world’s first cloud security standard to specify a management system for cloud security that covers multiple tiers, and it can be applied by CSPs to meet differing cloud user needs for data sensitivity and business criticality. The certified CSPs will be able to better specify the levels of security that they can offer to their users. CSPs can achieve this through third-party certification and a self-disclosure requirement for CSPs that covers service-oriented information normally captured in service level agreements. The different levels of security help local businesses to pick the right CSP, and use of MTCS is mandated by the Singapore government as a requirement for public sector agencies and regulated organizations.

MTCS has three levels of security, Level 1 being the base and Level 3 the most stringent:

  • Level 1 was designed for non–business critical data and systems with basic security controls, to counter certain risks and threats targeting low-impact information systems (for example, a website that hosts public information).
  • Level 2 addresses the needs of organizations that run their business-critical data and systems in public or third-party cloud systems (for example, confidential business data and email).
  • Level 3 was designed for regulated organizations with specific and more stringent security requirements. Industry-specific regulations can be applied in addition to the baseline controls, in order to supplement and address security risks and threats in high-impact information systems (for example, highly confidential business data, financial records, and medical records).

Benefits of MTCS certification

Singapore customers in regulated industries with the strictest security requirements can securely host applications and systems with highly sensitive information, ranging from confidential business data to financial and medical records with level 3 compliance.

Financial Services Industry (FSI) customers in Korea are able to accelerate cloud adoption without the need to validate 109 out of 141 controls as required in the relevant regulations (the Financial Security Institute’s Guideline on Use of Cloud Computing Services in the Financial Industry, and the Regulation on Supervision on Electronic Financial Transactions (RSEFT)).

With increasing cloud adoption across different industries, MTCS certification has the potential to provide assurance to customers globally now that the scope is extended beyond Singapore and Korea to the United States AWS Regions. This extension also provides an alternative for Singapore government agencies to leverage the AWS services that haven’t yet launched locally, and provides resiliency and recovery use cases as well.

You can now download the latest MTCS certificates and the MTCS Self-Disclosure Form in AWS Artifact.

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Clara Lim

Clara is the Audit Program Manager for the Asia Pacific Region, leading multiple security certification programs. Clara is passionate about leveraging her decade-long experience to deliver compliance programs that provide assurance and build trust with customers.