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Taking Cues From FedRAMP: Cloud Security For Crisis Communication

Taking Cues From FedRAMP: Cloud Security For Crisis Communication

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a government-wide program. It aims to standardize security across all government agencies. Assessments and monitoring are built into IT operations for cloud products and services. If you’re wondering about why this is important or whether you should become FedRAMP-certified, read on.

Crisis management plans are most effective when they’re accessible and available. Many organizations forget to consider the obstacles to information during and after a disaster. In times of crisis, details like contact numbers, vendor information, and a communication plan are key to a quick recovery. Here’s why you should take cues from FedRAMP and embrace the cloud for crisis communications.

1. It Saves You Money And Time

When data security is involved, it usually means there are lots of dollars at stake. In 2014, The Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that seven agencies spent $529 million on cloud computing investments. According to the reported trends, that number will only increase.

These numbers indicate that there is a strong operational case for building up cloud infrastructure. Removing manual and redundant components from your security process will make you more efficient. Cloud-based security saves you money, resources, and time in the long run.

2. It Gives You A Competitive Edge

FedRAMP is important for government agencies, but it’s equally important beyond the government. Without a FedRAMP certification, you may as well remove yourself from the running for any federal IT contracts. FedRAMP certification is required to work with the government as a cloud service or product provider.

No matter what your line of work, the competition for federal contracts is fierce. If there’s any aspect of your business or operations that revolves around IT, computers, or data storage, being FedRAMP-certified puts you in the running for federal contracts.

3. It Provides Uniform Approach To Crisis Management

What constitutes a crisis, and what is crisis management? The more you think about it, the more you realize these aren’t simple questions. In fact, there are entire industries built around answering them. FedRAMP’s cloud-based standards provide a uniform way to approach crisis management in the following ways:

  • Through assessments and authorizations, FedRAMP sets the minimum standard that your IT systems must meet
  • Through Third Party Assessment Organizations, FedRAMP evaluates all cloud-based service providers in their ability to meet the minimum security standards
  • Through continual monitoring and testing, FedRAMP implements the framework for ongoing security and operability

4. You’ll Always Be Testing

FedRAMP builds in a framework for due diligence and constant testing. Even after authorization is granted, FedRAMP recommends a series of best practices for organizations to follow. These practices all revolve around the cloud and include:

  • Performing monthly system scans to detect breaches
  • Requiring cloud service providers to receive monthly approvals and yearly assessments
  • Validating remediation of system vulnerabilities within a short time period from their discovery (30 to 90 days)

5. It Provides The Opportunity For Inter-Organizational Collaboration

FedRAMP facilitates a collaborative process across any working organization. All involved stakeholders must align in order to be authorized. To achieve FedRAMP certification, organizations get into the habit of defining technical requirements, determining project scope, understanding data sensitivities, and laying out timelines. This is great practice for any organization, but is especially important where cloud-based processes play a role. If you overlook data sensitivities or technical vulnerabilities, you could lose valuable resources or cause a catastrophe.

6. It Prioritizes Visibility

If a natural disaster or a terrorist attack occurs, systems tend to break down. Cloud-based crisis communications programs prevent that breakdown from happening. When anyone can tap into a system from any device, personnel accountability is achieved at a higher, quicker level. Whatever you need to do - assign someone a task, make sure someone is safe, alert the community, coordinate with local agencies - you can do it faster with cloud-based communications.

Taking cues from FedRAMP will allow your organization to practice clean data hygiene. Between the pre-authorization standards and the ongoing maintenance, FedRAMP catalyzes organizations to institute safe data management. To avoid turning temporary disruptions into more permanent ones, cloud-based security programs are essential.

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