Microsoft today announced that it is teaming up with Thales, a European cybersecurity firm, to build a secure cloud system for armed forces. Once deployed, the system will allow armed forces to securely store sensitive data, whether at the Ministry of Defence's headquarters or in the field.
Microsoft's Azure Stack platform will be delivered as an integrated system and will form the foundation on which Thales will integrate its connectivity and end-to-end cybersecurity and encryption solutions. This will handle the most sensitive data, allowing it to be hosted on the Ministry of Defence's headquarters, or deployed in the field.
The integrated cloud system has to hold up while in remote locations where connection loss could present a problem, requiring a different setup than would normally be used in commercial applications. According to Microsoft, each system will be able to work offline if necessary, and with some level of autonomy. The companies are also looking at ways to ruggedize the hardware and make it portable for deployments in the field.
"This preferred partnership reflects the shared spirit and passion for breakthrough technologies between our two groups and our teams," says Philippe Keryer, Thales' Executive Vice-President of Strategy, Research and Technology. "We are glad to reinforce our strong relationship with Microsoft through this new venture. Together, we will shape this new technological construct perfectly suited to support the evolving security needs of modern armed forces as they accelerate their digital transformation."
This is the latest expansion in of Microsoft's cloud tech, which has been a major driver of growth for the company in recent years and is becoming an increasingly important part of its business. With its most recent earnings report, Microsoft brought in $26.8 billion in revenue, a significant portion of which was due to its growing commercial and consumer cloud services.
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