FedRAMP – the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program – is a U.S. government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud service providers (CSPs). An assessment for FedRAMP must be conducted by an accredited FedRAMP Third-Party Assessment Organization (3PAO), such as Coalfire. If you’re seeking to expand your cloud services into government markets, a FedRAMP Authorization to Operate (ATO) is a must-have to sell to the government.
However, obtaining a FedRAMP authorization is not achieved through your traditional "assessment". The FedRAMP authorization process – based on NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-53 Revision 4 with additional FedRAMP requirements for low, moderate, and high impact systems – is complex and time-consuming. Depending on the authorization path you take – Joint Authorization Board (JAB) or Agency – the process is largely the same.
Before the JAB or authorizing agency accepts the risk of the system and grants an ATO, CSPs must provide documentation utilizing FedRAMP templates and comprehensively detail the system, controls, and authorization boundaries (to name a few requirements).
CSPs can expect to complete the following objectives while navigating the FedRAMP process:
- Readiness Assessment – A technical capability assessment to ensure that the CSP meets the minimum requirements to achieve a FedRAMP ATO. This is required for CSPs pursuing a JAB authorization.
- Advisory Consulting – Guidance or assistance with defining or developing the system, its boundary, and documenting the environment in FedRAMP documentation templates. Organizations use this service in preparation to meet FedRAMP requirements.
- FedRAMP Assessment – The full technical assessment to ensure CSPs compliance with NIST SP 800-53 Revision 4 and FedRAMP controls.
- Continuous monitoring – Ongoing risk monitoring activities required to monitor and maintain the system after achieving a FedRAMP ATO.
Additionally, the process requires ongoing interaction with the FedRAMP PMO or Agency ISSOs that oversee work-to-milestone project plans – increasing workload and time-to-completion.
How Coalfire Helps
As the leading FedRAMP 3PAO in the industry (with our acquisition of Veris Group) we provide FedRAMP advisory and assessment services for cloud service providers (IaaS / PaaS / SaaS). You can view our FedRAMP authorized clients on the official FedRAMP.gov site.
You’ll benefit from our unparalleled FedRAMP leadership and experience advising and assessing the largest CSPs in the world.
Coalfire FedRAMP Advisory and Assessment Services
Due to the rigor of the FedRAMP experience, we have developed various services designed to match the FedRAMP process and enable CSPs to prepare for their pursuit of a FedRAMP ATO:
- FedRAMP Readiness Assessment – Coalfire will conduct the required Readiness Capabilities Assessment to determine your cloud’s readiness for the full FedRAMP assessment.
- Consulting Advisory – We will advise on system architecture and documentation of the environment and security control implementations. We can also produce a System Security Plan (SSP), Policies and Procedures, and other necessary system documentation.
- Pre-Assessment – We will perform a quick “gap” or inventory of your current cloud system documentation. Output includes a high-level roadmap of next steps and level of effort to complete.
- Assessment – Coalfire will develop the required FedRAMP documentation, including a Security Assessment Plan (SAP), Security Requirements Traceability Matrix (SRTM) to document assessment results, Security Assessment Report (SAR), and recommendation for authorization.
- Continuous Monitoring – We will help with any monthly, quarterly, or annual continuous monitoring needs to maintain your authority to operate.
Why Choose Coalfire for your FedRAMP Assessment
As one of the longest tenured 3PAOs, Coalfire has helped more systems attain an ATO than any other 3PAO in the industry.
- Coalfire is a leading FedRAMP 3PAO having completed more than 80 Assessments for cloud service providers that have received FedRAMP ATO.
- We know the process and best practices - Coalfire has assessed or advised numerous CSPs towards their FedRAMP ATO.
- Our teams are highly experienced and well versed in NIST 800-53 and DoD requirements and how they relate to commercial cloud environments.
- Coalfire has been providing assessment services since 2001.
Explore our Cyber Risk Services
Experiencing problems with or lack of resources in developing or maintaining your current environment? Our cyber risk advisors are experienced in architecting and developing secure FedRAMP cloud environments and can help you cost-effectively design and optimize your environment.