AWS Public Sector Blog

Protect critical services with new Continuity of Government IT on AWS solution guide

Citizens expect governments to continue to operate despite floods or heat waves endangering data centers, malicious actions taken against IT infrastructure, or power grid failures. During these events, governments need to protect and maintain core digital assets and records such as population and property registers, education records, and revenue and benefits systems at all times—for operational and integrity reasons.

To support governments in meeting these needs, today Amazon Web Services (AWS) is announcing Continuity of Government IT on AWS (CGIT), a comprehensive cloud-based solution guide that enables governments to protect their digital assets and services during disruptions of any kind. Governments can use CGIT to retain the integrity of critical datasets, back up applications, and transfer services to run in the cloud, reducing the risk of compromise and enabling continuity of government.

“CGIT gives public sector bodies the ability to leverage globally distributed IT infrastructure to underpin their continuity plans. They are no longer constrained by localised backup solutions or expensive and vulnerable third-party on-premises facilities,” said Liam Maxwell, director of government transformation for AWS. “This means they can focus on the operational aspects of maintaining key government services using the range of continuity options AWS provides. By leveraging these best practices, governments can be more prepared now than before.”

Governments must be able to mitigate risks stemming from both local and global sources, including climate hazards, energy crises, infrastructure gaps, and geopolitical instability. They must also protect against inadvertent data loss, data breaches, and targeted or opportunistic attacks against government IT systems. CGIT helps governments mitigate these risks through a series of engagements that help governments map their continuity goals to an appropriate technology path, followed by assisted delivery of the expected outcomes through AWS Professional Services, ready-made solutions, or the help of more than 100,000 AWS Partners from more than 150 countries.

Introducing CGIT

Continuity begins with situational awareness. With CGIT, AWS Professional Services or select AWS Partners help government IT leaders assess their current continuity and reliability posture and map potential challenges and opportunities that can be addressed using the AWS Cloud.

Because continuity can have a different meaning for services with different criticality, complexity, or context, CGIT classifies the approach for continuity of specific services into three levels:

The three levels of continuity in the CGIT solution on AWS, explained in the following section.

Figure 1. The three levels of continuity classification in the CGIT solution: Cloud backup, Pre-planned migration, and Active cloud standby.

  • Level 1: Cloud backup. At this level, the AWS Cloud is used to securely store critical datasets in one or more AWS Regions of our government customers’ choice. Level 1 CGIT engagements help determine the best strategy for building a secure landing zone, implementing control and governance mechanisms securing data, and establishing an architecture for continuous backup.
  • Level 2: Pre-planned migration. At Level 2, CGIT helps prepare government services to be migrated to or recovered in the cloud at a moment’s notice. As resources are often limited in a crisis, CGIT activities focus on preparing plans and procedures for service migration and recovery at the start of an AWS engagement, with a preference for fully automated and frequently verified actions.
  • Level 3: Active cloud standby. Essential services for emergency response, public safety, or national security can be designed in a way that allows for the smooth shift of operations between on-premises and the cloud. CGIT engagements help governments find the best path forward using AWS, which is built to meet the security requirements for militaries, global banks, and other highly sensitive organizations.

CGIT helps governments that require reliable technology to continue operating in the face of challenging situations. AWS has been architected to be the most flexible, resilient, and secure cloud computing environment available. AWS’s global infrastructure allows government customers to pick the best location for their data and services while retaining full control of their data in the cloud. This is evident in the government continuity capabilities AWS is providing for Ukraine during the war with Russia. CGIT is developed in collaboration with partners like the Government of the Republic of Estonia to provide actionable and practical advice, rooted in years of experience in digital government transformation.

Continuity of Government IT on AWS is available to governments globally. The CGIT team will work directly with you and AWS Partner Network members of your choice to establish the best path forward towards your continuity goals. To learn more about or get started with the Continuity of Government IT on AWS solution guide, contact us.

Learn more about how governments around the world use AWS to deliver on their missions at the AWS for Governments hub.

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