FedRAMP, or the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, is used as a means of making it easier for security services to work on cloud-based networks. It has to be operated appropriately to keep all parties that use cloud-based programs running as well as possible.
The main purpose of this program is to ease governmental organizations and agencies into the cloud. The cloud is very advantageous for all entities because it makes the process of sharing data easier. The FedRAMP program will give businesses a better time with keeping its data intact and ready to use in more spaces.
Much of this comes from how the program is intensive in terms of what is used. Vendors that want to serve the government through the FedRAMP program have to meet several standards just so they can reach the status of being an official vendor for the system.
What Is It?
The FedRAMP program was designed for the use of outsourced information systems that the United States government deals with on a daily basis. The program was set up to review how well IT services are being run. It analyzes different vendors to see if they are working with the right controls for keeping cloud computing procedures up and running in the workplace.
A cloud service provider will have to meet all FedRAMP requirements in order to do business with a particular entity. In addition, the provider will have to follow all risk management strategies and procedures in accordance with the program.
The process for analyzing the risks that come with an individual cloud system can be extremely intensive. It includes reviews of individual transactions and the ways that data is being moved back and forth without outside parties trying to steal or alter data in any way.
This process can take months to handle but it should take less time for a cloud-based system to use it than a non-cloud system. A non-cloud system might have to spend at least six months just trying to get it all under control. The analysis must be used as carefully as possible when the confidentiality and security needs of different documents for governmental use are considered.
Why the Government Needs It
The government needs the FedRAMP program so it will be able to keep all its cloud computing plans up and running without any problems. Cloud computing has become important in all industries because it makes it easier for computers to run with more access to the pieces of data companies need so they can stay active.
The government needs the program to so data can be shared quickly and effectively. However, it is also needed so all risks that come with using the network can be analyzed and corrected as needed. In fact, FedRAMP’s services make it so individual government entities do not have to perform their own risk assessment procedures. The program will be responsible for taking care of it for them, thus saving all parties time in the process.
Redundant security assessments will be easily avoided when this program is used. It can save the government hundreds of thousands of dollars each on security costs associated with the network. This is particularly important for a government that is looking to keep its costs down and to avoid serious problems as it is being run.
How to Earn Vendor Status
The best cloud service operators will have to earn vendor status if they want to get in touch with the government for hosting services. However, a vendor cannot just directly ask for authorization.
A governmental agency will have to sponsor the service that a potential vendor uses. The agency must make a full analysis of how the company works and what it can do with security and cloud support in mind. The data will then go to FedRAMP to be reviewed.
The review will occur through the General Services Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security. All agencies must check on the data to see if the vendor can become authorized for offering different FedRAMP-capable services to more parties.
The ability to see if a vendor meets its requirements often includes a review of the many different control and security items that are added to the mix. As it can be seen in the next section, the process of reviewing how well a provider can handle it is extremely intensive.
Common Control and Security Items
The control and security features that come with the FedRAMP program are among the most intense systems that have to be used. In fact, there are more than 150 different controls that can be used to keep a cloud computing system up and running.
Account management controls are often used in the process. This includes checking on access enforcement to prevent unauthorized users from trying to get into a particular space at a given time. Part of this includes the separation of duties based on what should and should not be done based on who is trying to get into a site.
Remote access controls are also used in the FedRAMP program. Remote access includes not only making a cloud network accessible from more devices but also with keeping the network secure from outside forces in all of these areas. This control is often added to prevent unauthorized parties from trying to move in the way of what is in a system at a given time.
Identification and authentication procedures are also maintained through device and identifier management programs. Part of this includes the necessity of seeing how specific IP addresses are confirmed so no outside parties might get in the way of what is being used in a spot.
Incident response controls have to be observed just as well. Incident response refers to what corrective measures have to be used in the event that something wrong happens in the workplace. Part of this includes the use of incident monitoring and reporting procedures that meet particular protocols.
Personnel security is covered in the program with several reviews relating to how individuals who are given access to a network are screened before they can receive access to it. It is used to check on backgrounds to see that everyone who is getting into a particular network will be safe to deal with and should not pose any dramatic risks at any time as the system is to be used.
Finally, there are many system integrity standards that have to be met when using this program. These standards entail monitoring activities and checking on how the security systems are running while fixing any problems that might get in the way as these systems are being run. All systems have to be checked and adjusted accordingly to make it easier for everything to run without any risks of difficulties or other problems coming out of what might get into the system.
The functionality of the FedRAMP program has been made to give the government an easier time with keeping all of its agencies under the cloud system. The intensive nature of the program makes it so not just any particular entity could come in and be used as a cloud security vendor. Several special standards have to be used appropriately to keep the systems in the workplace up and running the right way.