FedRAMP Serves up a New User Experience

FedRAMP (The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) is changing. By the end of 2015, FedRAMP, aka the FISMA for the cloud, is anticipated to add high-impact cloud systems (it currently only authorizes low- and moderate-impact levels).

While only 12% of all federal systems are labeled as high impact (mostly DoD and DHS), as more agencies move to use cloud services, the need for a high-impact baseline standard is growing.

The Need for Clarity about FedRAMP Processes

The development of this baseline will take some time, but the folks at FedRAMP are already very conscious that both industry vendors and procurement officers need more clarity about what goes on behind the walls of the program management office (PMO).

This is about to change:

We've heard form industry and agencies alike that sometimes they don't know what we are doing inside the PMO so what we are planning on doing is putting out a notice on what we are focusing on over the next two years in the PMO and what are our main goals so agencies and cloud service providers can track our progress," said Matt Goodrich, the acting director of the FedRAMP program speaking to Federal News Radio late last year.

Among FedRAMP’s goals is a plan to increase agency participation and compliance with the program by educating them about what it means to sponsor or authorize a system for use under FedRAMP requirements. While cloud providers are eager to meet the demands of FedRAMP many of their agency customers don’t understand the process.

New Website, New Training, New Procurement Guidance

As part of this commitment to change the user experience of FedRAMP, the PMO recently launched a new website, training modules and procurement guidance to help federal officials and vendors get the guidance they need to incorporate security authorizations in cloud contracts. Launched this month, the new FedRAMP.gov site is easily navigable and helps visitors:

  • Understand FedRAMP and its strategic direction
  • Quickly find current templates and other key documents
  • Access educational opportunities and information on FedRAMP events

The new site also includes a new training module focused on FedRAMP processes, designed to help users understand the program and what is needed to comply with its requirements.

The PMO is also working on procurement guidance that will give agencies a template for including FedRAMP in future contract solicitations.

Visit FedRAMP.gov for more information and news updates.