While cloud computing is a necessity for many organizations, it poses a significant challenge to data safety. Traditionally, parameters such as efficiency and scalability have been solely used to describe the benefits that cloud computing would have on an organization. However, the federal government has developed a crucial parameter to enhance data security in the wake of the rising cybercrime cases.
In 2010, the Management and Budget Office of the White House made some amendments to the Cloud First Policy with the intention of providing faster cloud computing services at a reasonable cost. They developed FedRAMP to address the problem untrustworthiness and insecurity revolving around cloud computing.
FedRAMP has formulated directives that the cloud service providers should abide by to ensure security during all operations. These requirements include logging, vulnerability, monitoring, scanning, and reporting. You can use various software to ease the compliance process. The following are the benefits you’ll accrue by complying with FedRAMP directives:
- Sales Potential. If you want to boost your sales, then you have to ensure that you conquer more sales territories. You’ll achieve this by adhering to the FedRAMP directives which will give you the opportunity to apply for government tenders. This gives you an edge over the CSPs that failed to follow the hectic assessment procedure. If you do not intend to do business with the government, your business will still prosper when you work with CSPs that operates under FedRAMP. Also, the adherence will give you an advantage when you partner with a CSP that has an interest in bidding for government RFP.
- Better Risk Management. The process of getting the FedRAMP certification is vigorous and you’re likely to expose your firm to vulnerabilities in the process. This will help you to discover how such occurrences affect your system thus giving you tips on how to manage them in the future. Also, the risk management will help you to assess the worth of the risk ownership. You should always remember to inform your clients about the process to avoid unnecessary confusion.
- The possibility of Unified Compliance. The FedRAMP regulations are highly detailed and fulfilling them will mean that you’ve fulfilled other industry standards including COBIT, PCI, ISO 27001, GLBA, and HIPAA/HITECH. This gives you the chance to have a unified compliance which will prevent the duplication of the tedious certification processes between the CSP, its customers, and regulations. You need to realize that the process of unified compliance can be relatively expensive and thus, you may want to skip it if you’re not interested in government tenders. The primary aim of FedRAMP is to centralize compliance through the unique formula known as “do once, use many”. Although the cost of doing it is high, it will open up your business for more opportunities. If you want to avoid the high-cost implication yet maintain the required standards, you can evaluate your firm against the FedRAMP’s requirements. While this will ensure compliance, you’ll not be awarded certification which will make it difficult for you to trade with the government. As such, if you need to enjoy this privilege (government tenders), then you have no option but to comply with FedRAMP specifications.
Delegating the Information
Complying with FedRAMP is a detailed and exhaustive process that can be energy and resources draining. You will need to ask for help on designing your security infrastructure. Also, an assessment company will come in handy to guarantee success with the process.
Before you look for a helper, you’ll need to ensure that you’re being adequately prepared to provide all the requirements for FedRAMP compliance certification. FedRAMP has a checklist that will be of great help in ensuring that you fulfill every single requirement before the assessment. Once you complete checking the requirements, you can invite a third party to help you with the following processes:
- Organization of your System. Follow the FIPS 199 template to determine whether the impact of your risk is high, low, or moderate.
- Selection and Implementation of Security Controls. The third party will use the NIST 800-53 to choose the ideal baseline controls to align your firm with the required standards as well as make an implementation plan.
- Drafting a System Security Plan. You should have a security system that features all the details on the first two stages as well as establish system boundaries. FedRAMP will review this document first which makes it highly crucial in ensuring that your firm complies with their requirements.
Getting a FedRAMP compliance certification is tiring and not every company will be comfortable with such processes.
Author: Ken Lynch
Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com