Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara, Raju Myadam, Kevin Jackson, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Cloud Security, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

How FedRAMP Compliance Can Give You a Competitive Edge | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

With cloud adoption comes the challenge of ensuring a secure and trustworthy environment. That’s where FedRAMP comes in.

When describing cloud computing, terms like highly scalable, efficient, and on-demand probably come to mind. Unfortunately, those same descriptors aren't commonly associated with operations in the federal government.

In 2011, the White House's Office of Management and Budget set out to change that with the Cloud First policy. Through cloud computing, the OMB aimed to help federal agencies consolidate and provide new services cheaper and faster.

But with cloud adoption comes the heightened challenge of ensuring a secure and trustworthy environment. That's where FedRAMP comes in.

FedRAMP defines the requirements for cloud service providers' security controls, including vulnerability scanning, incident monitoring, logging, and reporting. CSPs in use at federal agencies or in acquisition must meet the cloud computing requirements defined by FedRAMP.

Whether or not your company currently works with government agencies, there are several benefits to preparing for FedRAMP:

  • Sales potential: FedRAMP compliance allows you to compete for government business, but it will also give you a competitive advantage over CSPs that haven't gone through such a lengthy assessment. Even if you don't end up doing business with a government agency, customers will be more confident going with a CSP that's prepared for FedRAMP. This is especially true if your customer is also a CSP interested in bidding in a government RFP for cloud services.
  • Risk management: Preparing for FedRAMP will expose vulnerabilities in your system and help you better understand them. Risk management can also draw a line in the sand to define where your risk ownership starts and stops. It's important to communicate this to your customers to eliminate confusion.
  • Unified compliance: FedRAMP requirements can map back to many industry standards, including ISO 27001, PCI, HIPAA/HITECH, COBIT, and GLBA. Done correctly, preparing for FedRAMP can help CSPs establish a unified compliance approach to the litany of compliance requirements their customers have. Unified compliance limits the duplication of assurance efforts across regulations and between a CSP and its clients.

If you have no plans to pursue government contracts, don't blindly spend money on certification just to check a compliance box. FedRAMP aims to centralize compliance checking in a "do once, use many" process, but the costs can be quite high. In any case, simply evaluating your organization against FedRAMP's standards will provide an invaluable risk assessment.

However, CSPs that could potentially be a part of the government ecosystem - either directly or indirectly through their customers - should prepare themselves for FedRAMP. They need to weigh the costs and benefits of determining where their organizations align with the federal government's Cloud First policy.

Delegate the Details
FedRAMP compliance is a highly detailed process, and the planning itself is exhaustive. You'll need to seek outside help to create your system security plan and work with a third-party assessment organization.

Before you bring in outsiders, however, there are a few preparations you need to make internally. The FedRAMP PMO has created extensive checklists to help you do as much as possible on your own.

Once you've gone through the checklists, find a partner to help you do the following:

  1. Categorize your system. Based on the FIPS 199 template, categorize your system to determine whether your risk impact is low, moderate, or high.
  2. Select and/or implement security controls. Using NIST 800-53, select the baseline controls that apply to your organization. Implement those or create a plan for implementation.
  3. Create a system security plan. This plan documents all the details regarding the first two steps and defines the boundaries of your system. This template is one of the first things reviewed during a FedRAMP assessment.

Getting your FedRAMP certification is a lengthy process, and it's not the right option for every company. By taking the necessary steps and preparing yourself in advance, you'll be one step closer to enjoying the competitive advantage it affords.

More Stories By Brad Thies

Brad Thies is principal at Barr Assurance & Advisory Inc., a risk consulting and compliance firm that provides business performance, information technology, and assurance services to clients across a variety of industries. He specializes in helping clients assess, design, and implement processes and controls to meet customer, regulatory, and compliance requirements. Brad is a certified public accountant and a certified information system auditor with more than 10 years of experience in the industry.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.