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The Ultimate Guide to FedRAMP: Why You Need a FedRAMP Cloud

Nearly all of our everyday interactions operate online: commerce, healthcare, connecting with others. To increase efficiency in online operations, more and more industries are collecting and storing data on cloud based software, and the public sector is no different. While almost half of government organizations use cloud services, Gartner predicts significant growth to continue — with an estimated 17% increase in spending this year.

However, alongside the benefits of cloud adoption comes increased privacy and security risks, and the obligation to comply with complex standards that have been created to mitigate them. The public is acutely aware of these risks and are looking to leaders to remain accountable. In one survey, 88% of global consumers believe privacy and security standards should be enforced by regulators, and the majority expect manufacturers and retailers to champion the effort.

What does this mean for IT professionals? Compliance is critical. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), created a decade ago, standardizes the approach to security assessment, authorization and monitoring for cloud products and services used by federal agencies to protect federal data in the cloud. For government IT professionals, this certification is a requirement. For businesses operating in the private sector, a FedRAMP certification can bolster consumer confidence in security.

As more agencies adopt cloud services, including Atlassian’s Jira, Confluence or Bitbucket products — along with heightened concern around data protection and security from consumers — there is a layer of urgency to understand and comply with these standards. However, FedRAMP is one of the most complex IT certifications, complete with 14 laws and regulations and 19 standard and guidance documents. Partnering with an Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partner that is FedRAMP certified, like Contegix, can relieve the burden IT professionals carry in mastering the compliance standards, applying protocols to their Atlassian framework and upholding the certification solo.

Unpacking the FedRAMP certification

At its core, FedRAMP has three objectives: to grow government agencies' use of cloud technologies, enhance the process for securing and authorizing cloud and build strong partnerships with FedRAMP stakeholders.

Cloud service providers (CSPs) can approach authorization through the Joint Authorization Board (JAB) or an agency. No matter which, the process follows a path of preparation, authorization and continuous monitoring.

First, a CSP prepares for the process by making changes to comply with federal security requirements, preparing security deliverables for authorization and undergoing an audit performed by a FedRAMP-approved, third-party organization to assess the provider’s level of risk.

In the next phase, the JAB or agency conducts a security review and classifies the cloud service provider’s level of risk — Low Impact Level, Moderate Impact Level or High Impact Level — and determines if the provider is acceptable. If so, the provider is assigned its classification and receives an authorization to operate (ATO).

However, compliance doesn’t end here — the CSP must submit regular security monitoring reports to each government agency using the service in order to maintain compliance. This involves an annual assessment, monthly vulnerability scans, incident reporting and deviation and significant change requests.

How a cloud solutions provider can ensure compliance

Achieving the FedRAMP certification is a time-consuming feat for even the most seasoned team of IT professionals. By partnering with an experienced, FedRAMP-authorized cloud solutions provider like Contegix, government agencies can confidently use collaboration tools like Atlassian without the added responsibility of undertaking the long-winded path to authorization.

Contegix provides a multi-tenant, cloud-based environment with the option for deployment of single-tenant environments if required by specific customers and system owners. Our solutions are designed to provide end-to-end managed hosting – from software, server, and network support, to setup, configuration, upgrades, monitoring, and troubleshooting.

Because maintaining FedRAMP compliance certification requires ongoing management and support, working with Contegix keeps internal teams focused on strategic priorities.

From managed integration and security assessments to isolated private application infrastructure and customizable, cost-effective solutions — there are a variety of reasons why top government agencies partner with Contegix for FedRAMP compliance.

Learn more about our FedRAMP compliant solutions.