How to Achieve FedRAMP Compliance

Cybersecurity is at the forefront of every government leader’s mind today. Ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT resources and data is critical to agency missions. As cyberattacks mount onto government networks security is becoming even more imperative.

Government networks are also becoming more complex. Legacy and outdated IT systems are still abundant, even as more agencies migrate to and run on cloud applications and services. These complex IT infrastructures are also connected to more technologies, as an array of new devices and users is added to agency networks.

That makes it incredibly difficult for IT departments to effectively integrate security processes and tools into the existing infrastructure. If they add new systems in an ad-hoc manner, they further complicate the network and usually don’t achieve the security results they need.

In a super-connected world with ubiquitous technology, agencies must have a well–defined yet agile program to address and respond to cyber risks. That usually means moving many processes and tools into the cloud, but how do agencies do that effectively?

For most agencies, the answer lies in partnership with FedRAMP-authorized providers. FedRAMP – which stands for Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program – is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.

It helps agencies adopt trusted solutions quickly, rather than taking significant amounts of time to vet security standards of individual vendors.

For example, when a FedRAMP-authorized provider offers AWS Security Automation and Orchestration, or SAO, to quickly deploy a FedRAMP-compliant environment, agencies gain efficiencies with a ‘secure-by-design’ deployment and an expedited time to Authority-to-Operate (or ATO).

AWS SAO replaces the manual configuration of systems and services with automated and auditable Security as Code.

It combines comprehensive DevOps orchestration, which automates simple to complex tasks such as secure systems configuration, patching and validations of service alignment to a stated security perimeter. Within AWS SAO, orchestration is the connected layer which streamlines security processes. It also powers security automation for organizations to easily implement modern defense-in-depth capabilities based on internal and external data sources.

With AWS SAO, organizations can rely on their provider to not only provide a trusted cloud environment, but also ensure that any security tools or technologies leveraged can also be trusted. They have already gone through the audit process and can be automatically integrated with existing network components.

And because this all happens in a FedRAMP authorized cloud environment, these programs can evolve as new needs or cyberthreats emerge. Agencies can maintain agility, even as they continue to streamline their use of security with automation and orchestration.

Nevertheless, working with the AWS SAO methodology is just one step toward security. To achieve full FedRAMP compliance, many organizations will need more – which we explain in our recent 10-minute course. Take the on-demand course by clicking here.

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