The next step in the U.S. Department of Defense’s IT communication journey – migration to a secure cloud – is here. Cisco is proud to announce provisional authority to operate (PATO) for Hosted Collaboration Solution for Defense (HCS-D).

UPDATE: HCS-D is now known as Webex for Defense. All references to HCS-D below have been updated to reflect that change.

Securing the cloud means securing collaboration

At Cisco, we’re uniquely positioned to help the Department of Defense (DoD) modernize collaboration and address various mandates to move to cloud, improve security and modernize. We understand that all missions matter and the need to be responsive to the demands of modern force readiness. Cisco Webex for Defense, formerly known as HCS-D, is a mission-critical system that provides the capabilities needed to support today’s military and to field 21st century digital collaboration platforms. In the modern era, every platform deployed in DoD needs to be prepared to share, connect and learn on protected resilient communication platforms.

FedRAMP+ authorized, cloud hosted and ready for market

Cisco’s Webex for Defense has officially been granted PATO by Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). It provides the DoD with a FedRAMP+ authorized, cloud hosted offering provisionally authorization to operate at Impact Level 5 (IL 5). With Webex for Defense, Cisco is bringing secure and customizable cloud collaboration to modernize and support DoD mission objectives.


Cisco Webex for Defense is immediately available and ready for market. It has been designed and built to scale rapidly, speed up deployment and operate efficiently. Our solution features automatic updating for applications and security. This frees DoD IT resources to focus on more critical missions by reducing costs related to moving, adding and provisioning users and capabilities. And it simplifies the process as personnel rotate through assignment locations.

This capability, combined with innovative technology and industry leading security from Cisco, empowers our nation’s military to enable faster, more accurate decision making, which leads to greater mission success.

Better, more secure collaboration

Our partners and recognized leaders in the industry are already recognizing that Webex for Defense will allow better, more secure collaboration:

“We know many agencies in the DoD operate in a disparate environment. That’s why the authorization of Cisco’s Webex for Defense is so important; it helps to further breakdown on-premise collaboration barriers by offering cloud-based solutions,” said Joe Lazzaro, Collaboration Manager with Force 3. “As a proud Cisco partner, we can now confidently tell our customers that the Webex for Defense solutions not only meet federal security requirements for the DoD, but they can be quickly implemented, helping the DoD better achieve their mission.”

“With Cisco’s Webex for Defense now having IL-5 authorization, we will be able to truly enable mission success by embracing innovative driven cloud technology for our Warfighters,” stated Larry Frazier of Cisco Systems, Inc. “Webex for Defense will be able to provide Commanders and Senior Leaders on demand presence with simplified services, and most importantly, the flexibility to collaborate on the move.”

Secure communication for the Department of Defense

Key features of Webex for Defense include:

  • Modern collaboration capabilities delivered securely via cloud
  • It is rapidly deployable, scalable and efficient
  • Built specifically for the Department of Defense
  • Is platform-centric
  • Interoperable with existing on-premise collaboration solutions
  • Customers will gain instant expertise with services for DoD: 24/7 NOC/SOC operations to manage and maintain Webex for Defense
  • It comes with the benefit of technical support and problem management from Cisco engineers with Webex for Defense expertise.


Cisco is committed to delivering FedRAMP solutions that help agencies achieve their missions with simple, strategic and secure digital capabilities. Cisco already offers FedRAMP authorized solutions for communications (Cisco Webex Meetings) and collaboration (Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution for Government). The addition of Cloudlock extends Cisco’s FedRAMP offerings to include security capabilities.

At Cisco, we’re committed to bringing our entire portfolio of innovative SaaS applications to government and defense by taking a holistic approach to FedRAMP and related certifications.

To the DoD and all of our government customers, we know that the mission matters. Cisco recognizes the DoD’s needs for agility in mission movements, removing complexity and deploying a proven and compliant solution with the highest level of security. We are continuing to make the investments needed so more of our world-class products are available to the Department of Defense, all of the U.S. government, regulated industries, the critical infrastructure sector and global public sector.

Learn more about Cisco HCS-D

Video: Secure Collaboration for Defense Webinar

Dive deeper: Cisco Webex for Defense

Video: Secure Collaboration for DoD

Article: Top 5 issues facing secure cloud

Special report: Building a comprehensive cloud strategy for government




Carl De Groote

Senior Director, U.S. Defense

U.S. Public Sector