StateRAMP and Personnel Security

As the old saying goes, the weakest link in any security system is the user. This isn’t an insult but rather a commentary on the impossibility of eliminating every vulnerability in a system that humans have to use daily. In terms of actually mitigating direct security threats associated with users, however, there can be no… Read More

What Is StateRAMP Fast Track?

Much hay has been made about how cloud providers can take advantage of the new StateRAMP program. Only a few years into operations, there are already questions about how governments and cloud providers can leverage the requirements to bring top-tier cybersecurity to a local level. One of these questions involves the adoption of StateRAMP standards… Read More

What Is the Threat-Based Risk Profiling Methodology in FedRAMP?

In February 2022, the FedRAMP Program Management Office updated the rules for their threat-based profiling methodology. This little-known approach to FedRAMP risk profiling and the rating security controls serves as the program’s effort to streamline authorization and program management with industry knowledge and agile development methodologies. 

FedRAMP and FIPS-Defined Impact Levels

One of the foundational pieces of information that a cloud provider needs to know when preparing for their FedRAMP Authorization is the required Impact Level. These levels aren’t generic labels applied by agencies to highlight the importance of their data–they are clearly-defined categories laid out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to… Read More

FedRAMP and Penetration Testing Requirements in 2023

Penetration tests sometimes seem like an extreme measure that ultra-secure companies take to fend off the most formidable threats. However, any company wanting to get serious about cybersecurity and compliance will sometimes run against the practice. This is similar to when working with the federal government. Here, we’ll discuss FedRAMP and penetration testing requirements.  

What Is FedRAMP Connect?

There are two clear paths through FedRAMP Authorization–the agency path and the much less-common Joint Authorization Board (JAB) path. While much more rigorous, this second course opens up several critical doors for cloud offerings that provide real and significant value to various federal agencies. However, the JAB path is exclusive and requires that cloud service… Read More

What Is the Authorization Boundary in FedRAMP?

When it comes to managing FedRAMP-compliant systems, it helps to understand the entirety of the system that will fall under this jurisdiction. Unfortunately, with the complexity of cloud systems being what they are, mapping out IT systems with the right granularity can provide a challenge. This is why FedRAMP guides determining an organization’s authorization boundary.

What Is FedRAMP JAB Provisional Authorization?

Last week, we discussed the process for Agency Authorization under FedRAMP guidelines. This route is, by far, the most common form of Authorization and one that most cloud providers will engage with. However, there are several use cases where a provider may seek more rigorous assessment to better open doors to serve with agencies across… Read More

Cloud Architecture and FedRAMP Authorization Boundaries

Cloud computing and modern service models of software or infrastructure distribution present a problem to providers and customers alike–namely, how to properly assess and certify components in a way that considers the relationship between different modules, platforms, and apps. FedRAMP requirements define how assessors and Authorization approach different cloud offering service models to mitigate the… Read More

What Is the FedRAMP Agency Authorization Process?

As cloud service providers pursue their FedRAMP authorization process, they face a significant choice stemming from their ultimate goals in the federal space. This decision is based on how they are pursuing their working relationships with federal agencies and how well the provider is prepared for the rigorous FedRAMP assessment process. When a provider enters… Read More

What Documents Are Required for FedRAMP Authorization?

The federal government leans more heavily on technology providers, including cloud computing platforms that support data storage, processing, and office application solutions. Accordingly, the question of data security is live, and the government’s response is to implement the FedRAMP authorization requirement.  Like many other government programs, FedRAMP can threaten to bury the under prepared provider… Read More

FedRAMP and CISA: What Is Binding Operational Directive 22-01

Managing cybersecurity threats is a full-time job, and most cybersecurity specialists rely on shared knowledge between experts in the field to combat these threats. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database provides a starting point for this kind of knowledge, centralizing an index of known security vulnerabilities in the wild.  The CVE program recently joined… Read More

Survival Guidance! FedRAMP and FISMA Resource for Assessing the Security Controls in Federal Information Systems and Organizations

Survival Guidance! MichaelPeters.org and LazarusAlliance.com is making our auditor’s resource for assessing the security controls in federal information systems and organizations free. This is a resource based on the NIST 800-53A framework you may freely use to conduct your organization’s FedRAMP, HIPAA or best practice based security audits. Your results are private and the output… Read More