Google Cloud Partners with Palo Alto Networks

Named as DIU Secure Cloud Management Standard

In a previous blog, I shared some news about how we partnered with Google Cloud to successfully complete the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Secure Cloud Management (SCM) prototype evaluation. I’m thrilled to announce that on January 10, 2022, DIU officially chose Google’s SCM prototype as the security solution standard for its long-term SCM solution. That means our combined offering will now move into production at DIU.

DIU is a fast-moving U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) organization that contracts with commercial companies to solve challenging national security problems. Their unique approach reduces the time it takes to identify a problem, prototype a commercial solution and implement it into the field. In 2019, it embarked on a search for a fast, secure and controlled alternative to the DOD’s Cloud Access Point (CAP) technology for its user base. In addition to latency being a problem, the existing CAP technology has useability constraints that make it difficult for DIU to accomplish its mission. DIU wanted fast, secure, controlled access to software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) applications in any cloud vendor directly over the internet.

Following the review of 29 solution briefs, DIU down selected to prototypes from three vendors, including Google’s SCM solution. All three prototypes earned a success memo in late June of 2021. In the months that followed, DIU assessed the three solutions to determine which one would meet their particular needs. The organization concluded that Google’s SCM solution was the best fit.

The ability to meet Zero Trust requirements was also a key consideration in DIU’s evaluation, as government agencies are now under pressure to move swiftly to adopt this security approach. The shift to Zero Trust is being fueled largely by the Biden administration’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, which was issued in May 2021 and the recent, more-detailed memorandum by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Moving the U.S. Government Toward Zero Trust Cybersecurity Principles.

The Power of Partnership

With the combined strengths of Google Cloud’s Anthos and Palo Alto Networks Prisma Access providing a CAP alternative, DIU will have best-in-class, secure remote access. They will also be able to bring critical applications closer to their users, improving performance and user productivity for SaaS apps. DIU is in the process of obtaining DISA Provisional Authorization for the Anthos/Prisma Access solution. This will enable other DOD organizations to easily leverage this approach through the production Other Transaction (OT) contract.

Here’s more detail about the advanced, cloud-delivered security offering we provide:

  • Google Cloud’s Anthos platform enables management of hybrid and multicloud applications via Kubernetes. Clusters can be run in cloud environments, providing a managed Kubernetes experience with simple installations and upgrades validated by Google Cloud.
  • Palo Alto Networks Prisma Access security platform seamlessly extends centralized and stringent security controls, providing the foundation for consistent, cloud-delivered security for all users and locations, including for those requiring remote access capabilities to apps and services. With cloud native architecture, Prisma Access is designed to lower the costs and complexities of securely connecting users and devices to any service anywhere. A Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact spotlight report shows that using Prisma Access reduces the likelihood of a data breach by 45%, enabling respondents to realize up to $9.2 billion in savings.

A Single Platform Approach That Stands Apart

The reasons DIU chose Google’s SCM solution for production:

  • A single platform approach to provide Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) services.
  • A security framework that includes support for Zero Trust requirements that are essential for protecting data from the network to the cloud.
  • Ease of use and scalability.
  • Robust support for application management and performance.

How DOD Customers Can Acquire the Google SCM Solution

The Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks offering has been available for DOD organizations to purchase without recompete since receiving the DIU prototype success memo. The offering can be procured easily through the DIU SCM OT contract and through other agency procurement mechanisms. Learn more about Palo Alto Networks other security solutions, including trusted, integrated solutions, to help federal agencies address security gaps and prepare for future threats. Read Google’s press release to learn more.