Data is the most valuable asset a company has. Your clients demand the best possible security, and your business depends on it.
What if you had a way to safeguard your company and your client’s information? Wouldn’t you like to prove your standard of information security to prospective clients?
Now you can.
One of the biggest challenges facing companies is guaranteeing information security for data, programs, and networks. Though you might practice thorough cybersecurity, it’s difficult to express your commitment without a regulatory body. That’s where FedRAMP can help your company stand out as a leader in security.
The FedRAMP certification process can help your clients rest easy knowing their data is safe. This article will cover what FedRAMP is and why it matters for businesses to take the time to get certified. Read on to learn more.
What Is the FedRAMP Certification?
FedRAMP is a general term for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. The program was founded by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in 2011. The goal was to help government agencies secure cloud services.
This standard makes it easier for federal agencies to consume services and achieve agency goals through standardizing security assessments. It protects valuable information and keeps unclassified data safe. Implementing cloud security standards can help you attract contracts with the federal government.
In addition, making the transition to becoming ann FedRAMP-accredited organization is critical to achieving success in the public sector. Due to increasing competition, certification is the best way to stand out in all markets. Becoming FedRAMP certified is something your company will not want to miss out on in 2021.
Who Needs FedRAMP Certification?
If you want to work with the government, FedRAMP is a requirement. However, we’ve identified the top 4 reasons you should follow FedRAMP regulations, even if you don’t serve the government sector.
While not required, it’s wise to be prepared. You want to have a handle on security and a security breach plan. It’s best to do so before you’re pressured to decide if a cyber attack occurs.
If the unthinkable happens, it’ll be critical for any organization to get back online and resume operations as quickly as possible. Technology is not invulnerable, and you must treat cybersecurity more seriously than ever before. Attacks are becoming more frequent, and cybercrime is increasing in profitability and prevalence.
Even if your current cybersecurity is good, there are many benefits to holding the FedRAMP certification.
Sell Your Services to the Government
With ann FedRAMP certification, you will be able to sell your services to the federal government. Federal agencies must use FedRAMP-authorized cloud services to conduct business.
If you choose not to pursue compliance, your firm stands to lose out on a significant amount of money. Government contracts are often highly lucrative for businesses.
It would be a shame if your business had to pass up on a large government contract due to a lack of certification. You never know what opportunities the future could bring. Obtaining certification means your business is ready to take on anything.
Establish Trust in the Security of Your Services
When your product complies with the most stringent cloud security requirements, your consumers can put their trust in you.
Currently, it is possible to market beyond government agencies without a FedRAMP authorization. However, it may become more difficult over time. As companies adopt stricter requirements, more Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) will get certified.
The FedRAMP authorization is also sought after by many non-government organizations. A CSP is considered trustworthy if it is secure enough to conduct business with government organizations. As a result, these companies will stand a better chance in a competitive marketplace to gain new clients.
Re-Use the FedRAMP Certification
Only one evaluation is required to get Authority to Operate (ATO) from various federal authorities.
Upon completing your evaluation, it is uploaded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Max repository. Other federal agencies can analyze the assessment and award an ATO based on their findings.
This means you only need to go through the authorization process once. Then your FedRAMP certification can be re-used infinitely for any client that wishes to see it.
Gain a Competitive Advantage in Other Federal and Defense-Related Projects
The Department of Defense and other federal entities have extra standards for Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). The Department of Defense (DoD) published the DoD Cloud Security Requirements Guide in 2012. The goal was to help military personnel secure their cloud computing environments. Some of the requirements can be met by CSPs by leveraging their FedRAMP authorization status.
FedRAMP Moderate authorizations allow CSPs to receive an Impact Level 2 authorization from the Department of Defense. FedRAMP High Permission enables the CSP to get Level 4 authorization from the Department of Homeland Security.
Keep in mind that these Impact Level ATOs are only issued to CSPs who are in the process of contracting with the federal government. They may also be given to those who have existing government contracts.
Another excellent example is the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. The Department of Defense needs compliance with this program to maintain any existing contracts.
FedRAMP or CMMC?
Should you get CMMC or FedRAMP certified? While there’s no concrete answer, our guide will help you navigate which certification makes sense for your company.
What Is CMMC? CMMC, or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, is known as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model. It is a publication produced by the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
CMMC is meant to protect controlled federal contract information throughout the Defense Industrial Base. It applies mainly to contractors who work for the Department of Defense.
CMMC Maturity Levels
The CMMC is divided into five levels of maturity. Each maturity level focuses on a specific aspect and requires adopting several practices (171 in total). Specifically, the methods are dispersed throughout 17 domains of cybersecurity. Every domain satisfies many capabilities or objectives.
How Is FedRAMP Certification Different?
Just like CMMC, FedRAMP begins with evaluating the types of information that Cloud Service Providers keep, handle, and send. As mentioned, CMMC analyzes its maturity level. FedRAMP categorizes them into three impact categories.
When compromised data contains only personally identifiable information, the impact is low. A breach of confidentiality, integrity, or availability would have only a minor negative effect on the agency.
The loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability would have significant negative consequences. This includes operational damage, financial loss, or non-physical individual harm. Overall, it would have a moderate impact on the organization.
The severe impact is considered the risk of catastrophic negative effects on organizational operations, assets, or individuals. It occurs when the CSP frequently transmits, processes, and stores sensitive unclassified data. There’s a risk of catastrophic adverse effects on organizational operations, assets, or individuals.
According to FedRAMP, 80 percent of CSPs are classified as having a Moderate Impact.
Which Certifications to Seek
Officials from the Department of Defense and the CMMC Accreditation Body have said FedRAMP compliance will likely count toward CMMC Level 3 certification. But, this has not been formalized yet.
As of February 11, 2021, the key point is that FedRAMP allows for action plans and milestones. CMMC does not allow for such plans of action and milestones.
This means that businesses can be audited or certified as FedRAMP compliant if they have the plan to address any discovered issues. CMMC can only be answered with a yes or a no.
That means FedRAMP is a more flexible type of certification to seek. If you intend on pursuing a certification soon, FedRAMP could be your best option.
But, it’s important to improve your cybersecurity. Therefore, all companies should get as many certifications as possible to stand out in the market.
How to Seek FedRAMP Authorization
There are two methods of getting FedRAMP authorization. First, you can seek approval through the Joint Authorization Board (JAB) or an agency.
The Joint Authorization Board (JAB) is the primary governing body for FedRAMP. It is made up of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and the General Services Administration.
Every year, the JAB chooses 12 cloud products to work with as a JAB Authority to Operate. In addition, the JAB is in charge of continual monitoring of all JAB Authorized cloud solutions.
The second option is to become authorized through an agency. Companies who cooperate with an agency for an Authority to Operate will work with them throughout the whole process.
Both paths to FedRAMP certification include many steps. These steps will consist of an evaluation, a readiness assessment, and a pre-authorization. Then you will be re-assessed for security before proceeding.
Contact a Trusted Cloud Service Security Provider for Cybersecurity Help
Cloud service security is serious. Unfortunately, it’s only becoming more complicated as we progress into the digital age. Hackers are getting smarter every day, and you need a rock-solid strategy in place to protect your data against cyberattacks.
Getting your FedRAMP certification is step 1 in the process. Want to learn how we can help protect your business from sophisticated attacks? We have the experience it takes to secure any organization.
Do you want to get started on the right path to securing your business? Contact us today, and leave the headache of building a cybersecurity program to us!
Interested in bringing cloud security to the public sector? FedRAMP Certification can get you there. Get a leg up on the competition with federal compliance.