FedRAMP stands for Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. The goal of FedRAMP compliance is to standardize security controls revolving around cloud services and it applies to those federal agencies who have adopted cloud services (mandatory) as well as their cloud service providers.
FedRAMP compliance allows cloud service providers the ability to contract with multiple government agencies without having to meet different standards for each agency, as was the case before. FedRAMP is now the lone security framework used for all government agencies.
Cloud computing services or software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications who intend on working with US government agencies must demonstrate that their systems are FedRAMP compliant.
There are two ways to achieve FedRAMP authorization. The first is by being sponsored by an existing government agency, and working with that agency to achieve compliance. The second is by submitting a request to the FedRAMP Job Authorization Board (JAB), which is the governing body for FedRAMP. Each route has its own challenges. On one hand finding a government agency to sponsor you go the agency route can be difficult and time consuming. On the other hand, attempting the JAB route is highly competitive and rigorous with the JAB only selecting approximately 12 companies per year to run through the FedRAMP authorization process.
In order to achieve FedRAMP certification, cloud service providers or SaaS applications must meet the following standards:
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