Public sector security person looking at computer
ComplianceTax & AccountingFinanceMarch 23, 2022

Leveraging FedRAMP to protect against cybersecurity threats

When it comes to technology, the public sector often finds itself in a tough place. On one hand, government agencies want software and other tools that can help them perform at their best. Yet on the other hand, even if they have the budget to add new technology, doing so can carry new IT risks. And given the highly sensitive data that the public sector often deals with, protecting against cybersecurity threats is crucial.

The good news is that when it comes to adding cloud services, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) can help federal government agencies add cloud computing technologies with confidence. Plus, they can often add new tools without having to put as many resources into conducting security reviews, as being authorized on the FedRAMP Marketplace means that a cloud service offering (CSO) has already met certain security requirements.

As we’ll take a closer look at in this article, public sector organizations that can leverage FedRAMP may be able to streamline the addition of cloud services. And when conducting IT audits or cybersecurity audits, these agencies may be able to then fill gaps and meet compliance requirements by turning to the FedRAMP Marketplace.

What is FedRAMP?

FedRAMP is a federal government program that provides a standardized security framework for reviewing cloud services. Once a cloud service provider gets authorization from an agency for a cloud service offering, any federal agency can then reuse the acquired security information to accelerate cloud adoption.

FedRAMP started in 2011 and is part of the General Services Administration. The program provides benefits like enabling “the federal government to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing by creating transparent standards and processes for security authorizations and allowing agencies to leverage security authorizations on a government-wide scale,” notes the FedRAMP Program Management Office.

What does FedRAMP have to do with cybersecurity threats?

FedRAMP can help agencies manage cybersecurity threats in the sense that they can leverage a standardized approach to reviewing the security of cloud services. FedRAMP also uses a shared security responsibility model, where both cloud providers and agencies are responsible for certain cloud security controls.

If a cloud system meets the requirements to be authorized on the FedRAMP Marketplace, that can give agencies confidence in the security capabilities of that technology.

Plus, agencies can save time reviewing security requirements, whether that’s when shopping for new software or assessing current providers as part of an IT audit or cybersecurity audit. That’s because once a CSO receives FedRAMP authorization, other agencies can then reuse the security package for that offering, rather than having to put together their own documents.

Doing so could even improve risk management in the sense that it frees up time to focus on other risk factors found during a cybersecurity internal audit.

Using the FedRAMP Marketplace following internal audits

When a government agency conducts IT internal audits, it might find that it’s lacking in certain areas of technology, ranging from hosting security to quantitative risk management capabilities. But you don’t want to just fill those gaps with whatever cloud solution you can find. Instead, agencies can leverage the FedRAMP Marketplace to find cloud products that they can often easily implement and trust.

For example, agencies can access TeamMate+ through the FedRAMP Marketplace. Now fully authorized, public sector audit teams will be able to procure this leading audit management and workflow platform easily and securely, knowing that it meets FedRAMP requirements.

From there, using TeamMate+ can help public sector organizations conduct more dynamic and automated IT audits. That could then lead to further opportunities to add secure cloud solutions that help reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats through more continuous monitoring.

See how TeamMate+ can help your agency improve risk management and your overall audit capabilities.

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