Despite the FedRAMP Program Manager of Operations’ (PMO) continuous efforts to make certification faster and more streamlined, compliance efforts are no walk in the park for cloud service providers. The needs of an organization differ depending on existing architecture and resources. Costs vary based on the kinds of work that need to be done and the efficiency of services supporting the compliance effort.
Then there is the complexity of the technical requirements and the assessment by an approved third-party assessment organization (3PAO).
Hiring a 3PAO can make a big difference in the overall program cost and the time required to implement. But figuring out how to select a 3PAO can be a major point of confusion, with a multitude of options available from cybersecurity and risk management vendors.
Let’s take a quick look at some must-have qualities in a FedRAMP 3PAO partner.
Real FedRAMP Experience
Not only are FedRAMP requirements complicated, but they change frequently. Although many vendors offer a 3PAO assessment service, not all of them have real expertise and experience with the program. Make sure the partner you select has a track record with the program and experience implementing complex cybersecurity programs for federal agencies and cloud providers.
Cloud architecture is complex, and not all 3PAOs have the same level of expertise in interpreting and assessing it. The level of assessment detail required by the FedRAMP PMO is demanding, and there is no one-size-fits-all substitute for knowledgeable assessors.
Experience With Underlying IaaS Platform
If you are a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, your assessor needs to be sufficiently familiar with the underlying infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform. Every IaaS handles SaaS differently, impacting control selection and assessment procedures. Your 3PAO needs to understand these techniques to be able to execute.
Connection With the Community
The FedRAMP PMO continuously modifies its approach to assessments and offers new guidance as necessary. But it can be difficult to interpret that guidance without a long history of context. That’s because the PMO often defines security concepts in a way that’s unique to them and relative to other agencies. Experienced 3PAOs must communicate among themselves to understand the drivers behind these rules to ensure that the PMO’s emerging requirements are addressed.
Lunarline is unique among FedRAMP 3PAOs for our long history of experience with the program, our background in cloud services and federal programs, and the expertise we bring to the table. For information on how we can help you in your FedRAMP journey, contact us today.