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Why FedRAMP is Important for Government Agencies

Why FedRAMP is Important for Government Agencies

Today, one of the most pressing threats facing governments is a breach in cybersecurity.

Our world is one in which hackers are sophisticated. Detecting breaches is complex. Data is vulnerable, and cyber attacks are evolving at lightning speed. Discussions about cybersecurity permeate the news, board rooms, and government committees alike.

To combat this threat, the federal government developed the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). FedRAMP is the government’s answer to security assessment and ongoing security monitoring for cloud-based services. It was developed by experts from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency and several other qualified agencies. The counsel of many different government departments means that FedRAMP is constantly being updated with a diverse array of expertise and input.

BlackBerry AtHoc for federal government agencies protects approximately 70% of the American federal government using on-premises and cloud software. That’s why it was important for us to become FedRAMP certified. BlackBerry AtHoc was FedRAMP certified in early 2017, after passing a rigorous risk management review.

There are many reasons why FedRAMP is critical for government branches and agencies. Here is a summary of those reasons.

FedRAMP Certification Is Required. If you’re using a cloud-based technology, it must comply with FedRAMP standards before it can be used by the government. It’s mandatory. These approvals ensure the protection of valuable investments that the government makes in technology and information, which amounts to billions of dollars per year.

FedRAMP Can Reduce Costs. According to the FedRAMP program, they use a “do once, use many times” framework that saves 30 to 40% of government costs. Independent assessments conducted within an agency tend to be redundant and time-consuming. The FedRAMP certification saves money, including man hours and resource costs that would otherwise be diverted on redundant security testing and analyses.

FedRAMP Certification Proves Credibility. The FedRAMP certification process is rigorous. Evaluation includes a three-step procedure. First, a security assessment is conducted, in which an agency is required to meet a standardized set of standards and controls. These standards are assessed by a variety of subject matter experts and third-party evaluators. Then, once these requirements are satisfied, the FedRAMP program will grant a security authorization. Lastly, after authorization, an ongoing assessment and authorization plan is implemented so that your organization does not fall out of compliance. By obtaining the certification, you’re proving that your agency successfully surpassed a cybersecurity stress test, and that you’re prepared to evolve and maintain security standards.

FedRAMP Allows Agencies to Eliminate Antiquated Hardware. IT approvals in government bureaus can take time. Often, there are legacy systems that are still being accommodated instead of phased out once they become outdated. Part of the assessment process for FedRAMP involves the elimination of redundant or outdated hardware. By the time the assessment is through, agencies should expect to phase out capital expenditures on non-critical infrastructure. These expenditures can move to more necessary budgets, or go toward cost reduction. In-house IT teams can also expect to see a reduction in the burdens they face troubleshooting extraneous clunky hardware.

FedRAMP Can Improve Visibility into Security. By using a uniform risk-management analysis across your entire cloud-based infrastructure, FedRAMP creates a clear picture of your security. Vulnerabilities will be exposed and analyzed, and the process will create transparency with Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). Agencies should expect an increase in trust and consistency when it comes to IT architecture. FedRAMP can serve as a second pair of eyes that validates your cloud-based offerings.

FedRAMP Improves Communications Systems. By providing governments with a faster adoption of cloud-based services, FedRAMP increases communication capabilities across the board. Governments can use FedRAMP to get security information to the right people at the right time. In times of crisis or security risk, every minute is crucial. FedRAMP provides a level of assurance in your communication systems.

The FedRAMP program is helping to build the IT infrastructure of the future. In today’s world of increasingly complex IT challenges, it’s important for governments to plan ahead. Adequate security today could be inadequate when faced with tomorrow’s risks and threats. That’s why FedRAMP compliance will remain vital for forward-thinking governments. The program provides the flexibility and adaptability to evaluate security threats on an ongoing basis.

Contact us today to learn more about BlackBerry AtHoc, the only FedRAMP-authorized crisis communication platform.
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