For cloud service providers, achieving FedRAMP authorization is a major event worth celebrating. After navigating a sea of documentation, digging deep into your systems and hammering out the details of your security and privacy policies and procedures, you finally have what you need to do business with the federal government.
It’s time to kick back and relax, right?
FedRAMP authorization is just the first step. It marks the beginning of a CSP’s relationship with the FedRAMP Program Management Office (PMO). And like most relationships, it takes some work.
After receiving authorization, there are several things a CSP needs to do to keep its status current and maintain its authority to operate with the federal government.
Continuous Monitoring and Reporting: Initial FedRAMP authorization is not the only time a CSP will go through testing. In fact, ongoing authorization means repeated annual assessments by a third-party assessment organization (3PAO). Firms can select their own accredited third-party organization to perform assessments. However, make sure to vet potential 3PAOs before making a section as providers often have different approaches to the assessment process. Assessments will ultimately lead to an annual report that’s filed with the FedRAMP PMO, so CSPs should consider 3PAO partners that will help simplify the reporting process.
Manage development: To continuously meet FedRAMP standards, a CSP needs to take a strategic approach to development. Some systems modifications could trigger a re-assessment, so it’s imperative that organizations get organized and work FedRAMP considerations into their development planning.
Collaborate on Incident Response: A FedRAMP-compliant incident response policy and procedures provides strict guidelines for how and when to inform the FedRAMP PMO in the event of a security incident. If you experience a security incident, make sure to keep the PMO in the loop, in accordance with your established procedures. They can lend their expertise to help ensure that government data stays safe in your cloud.
Build the relationship: Establishing a positive ongoing relationship with the FedRAMP PMO means including it in major decisions regarding your systems. As with your development processes, you need to work FedRAMP approval into major planning initiatives.
The tight regulation and demanding standards of FedRAMP can seem daunting for CSPs that are hoping to establish a relationship with the federal government. But don’t get discouraged — this partner isn’t out of your league!
As a certified 3PAO, trusted thought leader in cyber security and experienced compliance consultant, Lunarline has what it takes to help you run your FedRAMP program smoothly and cost-effectively. To learn more, visit our FedRAMP services page or contact us today. Also, check out our free whitepaper, “Understanding FedRAMP and Choosing the Right 3PAO.” Click here to download the PDF.