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.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts.


  • What to Expect in the initial FedRAMP briefing with your Agency Sponsor and the PMO

    Nick Peters, Senior Manager, FedRAMP Assurance Services, Coalfire

    Most people who have spent any time researching the FedRAMP authorization process know there are two routes for a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) to become FedRAMP authorized: Agency and Joint Authorization Board (JAB). Because of the limited number of CSPs selected each quarter for the JAB authorization process (FedRAMP Connect), many CSPs follow the agency authorization path. In fact, 77% of authorized CSPs have an Agency Authorization to Operate (ATO).

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  • So Your Company has decided to do FedRAMP - What does that mean?

    Nick Peters, Senior Manager, FedRAMP Assurance Services, Coalfire

    The exponential increase in cloud adoption in recent years has led to a dramatic increase in technology companies evolving from software and application companies to Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers. The 2011 release of the Cloud First Initiative in the Federal government launched the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). To sell cloud services to the Federal government, FedRAMP requires Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to have their multi-tenant Cloud Service Offering (CSO) assessed and authorized, and then they must maintain compliance via continuous monitoring and annual assessments.

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  • Encryption of Federal Data

    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

    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

    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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