AT&T targets government with cloud-based cybersecurity offering

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AT&T said the product is already generating "a lot" of interest from federal and commercial customers alike. (Traitov / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

AT&T secured the U.S. government’s stamp of approval for a new cloud-based cybersecurity offering, with one executive noting this certification could help accelerate cloud deployments among public sector customers.

Brandon Pearce, AT&T’s AVP of cybersecurity solutions, told Fierce its Threat Detection and Response for Government product was subjected to a 325-point inspection to ensure it met security criteria laid out as part of the U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). He noted FedRAMP certification will allow agencies across the government to use its product without having to independently verify it meets security standards, eliminating a key workload associated with moving operations to the cloud.

Pearce highlighted cybersecurity as a critical capability and priority for government customers, pointing out public sector entities are a key target for ransomware schemes. According to data released by ransomware tracker Coveware in April, the public sector was the third most common target of attacks in Q1 2021 behind professional services (particularly law firms) and healthcare organizations.

Built on AT&T’s Unified Security Management (USM) platform, the new offering comprises threat detection, incident response and compliance management capabilities to help government customers secure assets that run or are stored in the cloud. Pearce said it works by applying intelligence gathered by AT&T itself and from an open threat exchange platform to spot and mitigate vulnerabilities.

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The offering is hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) GovCloud, which Pearce noted is itself designed around federal cybersecurity standards, but it can also be applied to Microsoft's and Google’s government cloud environments. Pearce said further integrations with other FedRAMP-approved applications and products, including things like Office 365, are in the works.

Pearce added the product is already generating “a lot” of interest “not only with our federal agencies, where you might think the interest would be, but also with commercial corporations who deal with the government.”

The launch is AT&T’s latest move in the public sector. In March, it landed a $231 million network modernization and cybersecurity contract with the U.S. Treasury Department, and earlier this month scored a $175 million contract to upgrade the Department of Transportation’s voice and IP infrastructure.

This story has been amended to clarify that this is not AT&T's first FedRAMP-certified product.