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Modernizing FedRAMP through Automation for Efficiency: Reflections on OMB’s Recent Draft Memorandum

Modernizing FedRAMP through Automation for Efficiency: Reflections on OMB’s Recent Draft Memorandum

Blog Article Published: 02/05/2024

Originally published by RegScale.

In the dynamic world of technology and cybersecurity, government agencies must stay ahead of the curve. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has taken a significant step in this direction with their latest memorandum titled: “Modernizing the Federal Risk Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP),” released Friday, October 27th. Their memo underscores the importance of automation and efficiency in the FedRAMP program, emphasizing the need for rapid authorization processes to meet the demands of modern cloud services.

The memo outlines the collaboration between the FedRAMP Program Management Office (PMO), OMB, NIST, CISA, and private sector providers of risk and compliance tools to streamline and improve the method for submitting security assessment artifacts and continuous monitoring information using machine-readable, standardized data that fosters interoperability.

Automation is Key to Efficiency

Automation is the linchpin of this initiative, according to the memorandum. It’s the only way to accelerate the velocity and efficiency of the FedRAMP program, which typically operates on an 18-36-month timeline, placing immense stress on federal and commercial security and compliance teams.

Continuous Controls Monitoring for CSPs

Section 6 of the memo focuses on Continuous Monitoring. It highlights the need for FedRAMP’s continuous monitoring processes to incentivize security through agility, allowing Federal agencies to use the most current and innovative cloud products and services. It also encourages input from Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and the development of processes that enable CSPs to maintain an agile deployment lifecycle without requiring advance government approval.

Leverage CCM Pipeline

In light of these developments, Federal agencies and CSPs should leverage the Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM) pipeline to automate their road to obtain the most coveted certification: FedRAMP. What are CCM pipelines, you ask? CCM Pipelines are automation engines that speed up data input or ingestion and output continuously updated artifacts, validating that controls are helping you stay secure, manage threats and risks, and prove compliance.

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