How FedRAMP Compliance Can Give You A Competitive Edge

Quality check

The federal government has taken a keen interest in cloud computing as evidenced by the security-enhancing amendments of the cloud first policy in 2010. The Management and Budget Office at the White House targets the provision of faster, affordable, and secure cloud computing services. While the users of these services use efficiency, scalability, and on-demand features as the yardstick for the best providers, the federal government has endeavored to address the insecurity and untrustworthy environment that characterize cloud computing. The FedRAMP is crucial in offering a solution to the security challenge.

FedRAMP has developed a framework that will guide the operations of all the cloud service providers. The adherence to their directives is a sure way of maintaining professionalism among the providers which will consequently translate into efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and top-notch security among the users. The key FedRAMP requirements include incident monitoring, assessing for possible dangers, reporting, vulnerability, and logging. While the requirements are complex to meet, you can always use a software that will organize the information and identify organizational gaps that you need to fill before the evaluation.

There are myriad benefits that you’ll acquire by complying with FedRAMP requirements. You should note that the compliance certification is open to both the government agencies and private institutions. While the certification process may be tedious, you should take the initiative to try it out and enjoy the following benefits:

  1. Enhancing your Sales. The government requires that you provide a FedRAMP compliance certificate before engaging in any business with them. As such, you’ve got no option but to comply especially if you’ve been aiming to expand your sales territory to include government institutions. Besides, the compliance will enable you to work with CSPs that uses FedRAMP regulations. Also, you’ll directly benefit from the compliance if you partner with such CSPs whose intention is to bid for government RFP.


  1. Improves your Risk Management Abilities. While preparing for FedRAMP certification, you’ll encounter vulnerabilities thus learning the effects they have on your system. Also, it helps you to determine whether your risk ownership is worth it. You’ll realize that the exercise will boost your risk management abilities significantly. During the entire process, you should inform your customers adequately to avoid confusion.


  1. Unified Compliance. Acquiring FedRAMP certification requirements matches the standards of other bodies including COBIT, PCI, ISO 27001, HIPAA/HITECH, and GLBA. If you follow the FedRAMP requirements exhaustively, you can have a unified compliance to prevent duplication of the tedious works. Alternatively, you may decide to avoid the compliance exercises if you do not have any interest in the government tenders since the exercise can be tiring and costly! Recently, FedRAMP has developed the “do once, use many” formula aimed at centralizing the compliance which will save you time. However, this privilege will come at significantly higher rates. To avoid the cost, any business entity can have the FedRAMP requirements manual for self-evaluation which will provide a reliable risk assessment. You should, however, note that the self-evaluation exercise does to give the certification and that you’ll need to involve the relevant bodies for a proper certification that will enable you to tender for government projects.

Delegating the Information

As earlier indicated, the FedRAMP compliance process is thorough and you’ll require to invest lots of your time in the exercise. As such, you should delegate the information to trustworthy individuals who will help you to design your security infrastructure. Before engaging the third party, you should ensure that you have all the required data ready to avoid inconveniencing your helpers. If you find this challenging, then FedRAMP has come to your rescue! You can have their checklist to help you prepare exhaustively before seeking help from other quarters. Immediately you confirm the availability of all the FedRAMP requirements using the checklist, you can proceed to invite the third parties to help with the processes below:

  1. Organize your System. The FIPS 199 template comes in handy to help in organizing your system well. Also, the process will help to evaluate whether the effect of your risk is low, moderate, or high.


  1. Selecting and Implementing Security Controls. You’ll use the NIST 800-53 to choose the baseline controls that match with the standards of your organization. As such, you should apply them to devise a plan for implementation.


  1. Make a System Security Plan. This plan should contain all the information from the two initial stages as well as an outline for the system boundaries. You should ensure high accuracy on this document because it’s the first to be reviewed during the FedRAMP assessment.

While the process of FedRAMP certification is tedious, the eventual benefits that the compliance brings to your business are worth the hassle! You should take your time to prepare all the requirements, and you’ll undoubtedly get the certification thus placing you above your competitors.

Author Bio

ken lynch reciprocityKen Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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