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Understanding the Microsoft 365 GCC High Environment as a Government Cloud Solution

What is Microsoft 365 GCC high? “GCC High” stands for Government Community Cloud High. Put simply, it’s the cloud platform developed by Microsoft for cleared personnel and organizations supporting government agencies and organizations, particularly the Department of Defense.

This specialized version of Microsoft’s collaboration suite is designed to serve as an overlay to the general Office 365 service. It offers additional security measures and compliance requirements to meet the unique needs of government entities.

Who Uses Microsoft 365 GCC High?

Government agencies at all levels, including federal, state, and local, may be required to use the Microsoft 365 GCC High environment due to specific security and compliance regulations. This includes entities such as the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Homeland Security.

This level of service may also be used by businesses and contractors serving federal organizations if they handle sensitive information requiring them to comply with specific security and compliance mandates.

How to Determine if Your Organization Needs Microsoft 365 GCC High

If you work for a government agency or organization that handles sensitive information or is bound by certain compliance requirements, then you may need to use this cloud environment environment. You can also refer to the list below, which outlines the services covered by each level of M365.

  • Commercial: This is the standard version of Office 365 available to all users, including individuals, businesses, and organizations. It includes basic security features and compliance controls.
  • Government Community Cloud (GCC): This level is designed for federal agencies that require a higher level of security and compliance, and is also available to SLG, tribes, and eligible contractors (DIB, FFRDC, UARC). It includes additional certifications as well as dedicated government data centers.
  • Government Community Cloud High (GCC High): This is the highest level of security and compliance offered by Microsoft 365, specifically designed for organizations handling the most sensitive information such as classified or top-secret data. It is available to federal groups and eligible contractors (DIB, FFRDC, UARC).
  • Department of Defense: This is a specialized version of Microsoft 365 designed specifically for (and only available to) the Department of Defense. The DoD has its own unique security and compliance requirements.

What Makes Microsoft 365 GCC High Unique?

The main difference between the GCC High environment and the commercial version is the level of security and compliance. This environment offers additional security features, such as dedicated government data centers, stringent certifications, multi-factor authentication, and controls to meet the strict regulations of government agencies.

Most importantly, these additional features make it eligible to assist government contractors in meeting specific compliance requirements. This includes data protection regulations such as International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).

Become and Remain Compliant with Brightline IT

At Brightline IT, we understand the importance of maintaining compliance in government agencies. Our team of experts can assist your organization in determining whether you require the Microsoft 365 GCC High environment and guide you through the process of upgrading your M365 package. We also offer ongoing support to ensure that your organization remains compliant over time. With Brightline IT’s expertise and support, you can focus on your mission without worrying about compliance.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business thrive in the government cloud solution environment while still utilizing the powerful features and tools offered by Microsoft 365.