@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Ram Sonagara, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Dean Madison

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.

@CloudExpo Stories
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
@DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, 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.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.