The data deluge has arrived. We see the world creating so much data—44 zettabytes by 2020, according to some estimates—that storage performance and innovation is accelerating beyond the reach of traditional spinning disk storage devices. Federal agencies are no exception – storing an average of 2.63 petabytes at any one time. That’s 167 times the information in all the books in the Library of Congress, according to Informatica. While the big data revolution is driving commercial organizations to adopt larger capacity, faster, and more cost-effective flash storage solutions, the number one consideration in government remains security. Specific security requirements are critical to the future of next generation storage in government. Flash storage technology and cloud architectures, both on-premises and hosted services, are quickly rendering legacy storage technologies obsolete. And while eliminating legacy infrastructure cost is a top priority for government, that goal cannot be accomplished without a solid foundation of security.

This begs the question: How do we even begin to keep all of this data safe and secure?

A great place to start is with secure data storage.

At Pure, security has been in our DNA from the start. Our approach to building security into our flash array storage technology from the outset was recognized early on when In-Q-Tel—the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm—joined us in a strategic investment partnership. And now we’ve taken our approach to security to a new level, achieving certification by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP)—the U.S. component of the 25-nation Common Criteria consortium.

The NIAP certification process is a comprehensive national program for developing protection profiles, evaluation methodologies, and policies that ensures achievable, repeatable, and verifiable security requirements.  The Committee on National Security Systems (CNSSP), established by Presidential directive and led by the Defense Department chief information officer, has mandated that NIAP-certified systems be procured for architectures and systems that process classified information.

Traditional spinning disk arrays require government agencies to add in security and encryption management systems. For large agencies, this is a costly and time-consuming management headache – think dollars and cents. With our solid-state storage, encryption is running from the time power is switched on. And best of all, because Pure Storage FlashArrays provide in- line FIPS 140-2 certified AES 256 encryption, no performance penalty occurs from the encryption.

With our NIAP/Common Criteria certification, combined with validation under the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS 140-2) for data encryption, you can innovate and create new capabilities, with the assurance that you’re doing so with the highest degree of protection.

So while our flash storage arrays are engineered for simplicity, performance and cloud-scale economics, it’s important to remember that they’ve always been engineered for security as well.

Flash Forward—The Future of the Federal Data Center, March 2016

Recently, we sponsored a survey that asked 150 Federal IT managers a simple question – if you had an additional dollar, how would you spend it? Not surprisingly, security led the field.