Cloud

Coming soon: A faster FedRAMP

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The General Services Administration is retooling the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program to make it faster for vendors to receive approval through GSA or the Defense Department's Joint Authorization Board. GSA also plans to rely more heavily on JAB for help with the process.

The FedRAMP office interviewed 85 stakeholders from vendors, agencies, third-party assessment organizations (3PAOs) and JAB to solicit input on enhancing FedRAMP, Director Matt Goodrich said during a March 23 presentation to the government's Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board.

GSA will detail the improvements in a daylong seminar on March 28, and topics include reducing the authorization time to six months or less, focusing on capabilities upfront without having to slog through sometimes deep and lengthy documentation, increasing the reliance on 3PAOs, and delineating clear rules of engagement for testing and documenting solutions.

In the past few months, vendors have become more vocal about the increasing wait times and uncertainty about the approval process. Goodrich said the more transparent and responsive process will remove some of the risk associated with unpredictable wait times.

He also said GSA has been testing the new process since early March, and he hopes JAB will become more involved in FedRAMP in the coming months. The board has been lending a helping hand by reviewing and providing joint provisional security authorizations for cloud solutions.

In an interview with FCW after his presentation, Goodrich said he does not consider GSA's plan for FedRAMP to be a redesign.

"The process is not broken," he said. "It has worked. We have the pieces. We put them together more efficiently."

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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