Britain’s classified data will be hosted in the American tech giant’s cloud.
GCHQ has entered into a deal with Amazon, which includes MI5 and MI6 to use the system provided by Amazon’s cloud computing arm AWS to store secret data as part of the deal, according to the Financial Times. All the agencies’ data will be held in Britain and Amazon will not have access to information stored in the system, according to reports.
The new data storage system will enable spies to share information from overseas more easily and enhance the use of speech recognition and other technologies. Industry experts suggested that the deal could be worth between £500m and £1bn over the next ten years. GCHQ said to the Financial Times that it would not discuss its business relationships with technology suppliers. AWS declined to comment.
The high-security cloud system is also set to be used by other government departments such as the Ministry of Defence during joint operations with the intelligence services. Earlier this year, GCHQ said that it intended to use AI to protect the UK from state-backed disinformation campaigns and other cyber attacks.
The spy chief even warned of attacks from one of the largest economies in the world. Attacks against government as well as enterprises have seen an alarming rise this year.
The second quarter of 2021 was a vibrant quarter for ransomware, earning its place as a high-profile cyber agenda item for the US administration following the Colonial Pipeline attack. According to a recent McAfee report, financial services were targeted the most among the reported cloud incidents, followed by healthcare, manufacturing, retail and professional services.
“The US experienced the most reported incidents in the second quarter, and Europe saw the largest increases in reported incidents in Q2 with 52 per cent,” the report said. However, concerns are likely to be raised about the privacy and sovereignty implications of such material being hosted by a non-British company, the Telegraph said.