The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government, Restaurants, and Utilities.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts. We look forward to your comments, so please join the conversation.


  • FedRAMP and Its Applicability to ISVs Hosted on FedRAMP-Authorized IaaS

    September 27, 2019, Karen Laughton, Managing Principal, FedRAMP & Assurance Services, Coalfire

    Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) often ask Coalfire about the FedRAMP compliance framework and how it applies to them. They hear that all software procured by the U.S. federal government must be FedRAMP authorized, and they come to the experts to help them navigate the process. The good news is that the FedRAMP program is not directly applicable to most ISVs. An ISV cannot get their native product listed in the FedRAMP marketplace because it is a “software,” not a “service,” and the FedRAMP program was designed for Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers that provide multi-tenant cloud solutions to the U.S. federal government. 

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  • Encryption of Federal Data

    February 19, 2019, Keith Kidd, Director, FedRAMP Assessment, Coalfire

    One of the biggest challenges our customers face when pursuing Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) compliance is the federal mandate that Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 validated cryptographic modules must be consistently applied where cryptography is required. Where is cryptography required you ask?

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  • Common Questions and Answers Salesforce ISVs Need to Know for FedRAMP

    July 09, 2018, David Clevenger, Senior Director FedRAMP Assessment Services, Coalfire

    Many Salesforce Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are interested in pursuing FedRAMP to serve federal customers, but have many questions about the process. The four questions below are the most common questions that Coalfire receives from these ISV partners; we have provided some basic responses to help provide a better understanding of the Salesforce FedRAMP process.

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  • Continuous Monitoring in the Cloud

    June 01, 2018, Michael Pitcher, Vice President, Technical Cyber Services, Coalfire Federal

    I recently spoke at the Cloud Security Alliance’s Federal Summit on the topic “Continuous Monitoring / Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Concepts in the Cloud.” As government has moved and will continue to move to the cloud, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure continuous monitoring goals are met in this environment. Specifically, cloud assets can be highly dynamic, lacking persistence, and thus traditional methods for continuous monitoring that work for on-premise solutions don’t always translate to the cloud.

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  • Managing Your Vulnerabilities, FedRAMP Style

    March 12, 2018, Dana Scaffido, Senior Consultant, Cyber Engineering, Coalfire

    As a member of Coalfire’s Cyber Engineering team, I frequently get questions about vulnerability Deviation Requests (DRs) from Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) seeking Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorizations. In this post, I’ll try to answer questions we frequently encounter about Deviation Requests and provide some useful resource links.

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