FedRAMP rolls out high security baseline

Cloud service providers now have a new high-level security model to offer federal agencies.

Matthew Goodrich

FedRAMP program director Matt Goodrich.

Cloud service providers have a new high-level security model they can offer to federal agencies.

The General Services Administration, which operates the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program for cloud vendor, rolled out its long-awaited high security baseline on June 22.

Before this development, federal agencies could migrate only low- and moderate-impact workloads to CSPs. The release of the high baseline will allow federal agencies to more widely use cloud services for their most critical data immediately, said FedRAMP Director Matt Goodrich.

"We already have three vendors ready," he said. "Agencies are already using the service."

Those three vendors who piloted the new high baseline are among the largest cloud service providers: Microsoft Azure, CSRA and Amazon Web Services.  Each now has Provisional Authority to Operate from the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board.

The high baseline will allow CSPs to handle and store data (such as personally identifiable information or health records) that if compromised could severely hurt organizational operations, assets or people in the federal agency that hired the provider. Under the baseline, CSPs must secure data centers to levels mandated for unclassified data in cloud environments under the Federal Information Processing Standard, or FIPS.

GSA has been polishing the latest draft for months, and in January Goodrich said the JAB review would be completed by February or March.

The release date kept slipping, however . FCW has learned that some of the delay is attributable to a lengthy Department of Homeland Security review. Multiple sources confirmed to FCW that the document had been under DHS review for the last month as final touches were made to one control feature in particular.

Approval from DHS is needed because it is one of the three agencies (along with GSA and the Defense Department) whose CIOs make up the JAB. DHS, which has other, broader responsibilities for federal network protection, has shown itself to be a stickler for detail

The next $40 billion

The high baseline could open up cloud procurement across the entire federal government.

"With low and moderate [security standards], we addressed about half, or $40 billion" of the $80 billion federal IT market, Goodrich said.  Those baselines couldn't address the security needs of the other $40 billion of federal agency IT spend, however.  With the new high baseline, he said, there is "now almost a totality of spend.

More than a year in the making, "FedRAMP high" has been subject to extensive public comment from stakeholders. FedRAMP's Program Management Office issued a second draft of the high baseline earlier this year that looked at controls, after getting input from the commercial and federal interests.

The lengthy timeline for developing the baseline, Goodrich told FCW, was to ensure it would be effective for the critical services it is aimed at protecting.

"With the moderate baseline, you can have shared services outside the boundary" and other less stringent requirements, Goodrich said. "With the high baseline, you can't be outside the boundary."

GSA worked with CSPs, third party assessment organizations and the other two JAB agencies to refine the security baseline, according to Goodrich. That collaboration, he said, will help efforts to speed cloud approvals through the FedRAMP accelerated program.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.