recommended reading

Cloud security accreditation program takes flight

Tanee Nomai/Shutterstock.com

The federal government on Wednesday will begin accepting security certification applications from companies that provide software services and data storage through the cloud.

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, the governmentwide cloud security assessment plan known as FedRAMP, aims to protect federal data as agencies increasingly turn to Web-based storage and computing.

By creating industry-wide security standards and focusing more on risk management, as opposed to strict compliance with reporting metrics, officials expect to improve data security as well as simplify the processes agencies use to purchase cloud services, said Katie Lewin, director of the federal cloud computing program at the General Services Administration. Lewin spoke Monday on a panel at the Management of Change conference sponsored by the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council this week in Cambridge, Md.

Also on Monday, GSA issued a solicitation for cloud providers, both commercial and government, to apply for FedRAMP certification.

“The FedRAMP controls and processes create a standardized approach for agencies to leverage security assessments for cloud services. This ‘approve once, and use many’ approach will benefit [cloud service providers] by speeding the adoption of cloud services by agencies and reducing the cost and time required to conduct redundant, individual agency security assessments,” according to the solicitation, which provides instructions for applying for certification.

A key component of the program will be third-party assessors -- independent auditors with the technical expertise to evaluate applicants’ offerings. Currently nine firms have been accredited for performing that role.

J. Patrick Cronin, an executive consultant with CGI Federal, a cloud services vendor, said the risk management framework of FedRAMP accommodates evolving cyberthreats. “Our adversaries are continually changing. There are constantly cyber threats going on against systems,” thereby making it essential that service providers be able to adapt to those threats, he said.

The Office of Management and Budget is requiring all agencies to acquire cloud services through FedRAMP.

(Image via Tanee Nomai/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.