What is FedRamp and why should city governments care?

It is estimated that the Federal government spends millions of dollars working to secure and modernize their IT infrastructure, and that the FedRAMP assessment can save up to 40% simply by re-applying it’s assessment framework. This savings does not account for the time, materials and resources that are required to conduct an independent assessment.

This all sounds great, but what is FedRAMP and why should city officials care?

A Standardized Approach to Cloud Security Assessment

What is FedRamp and Why Should City Governments Care

FedRAMP was designed from a collaboration of security experts from several different federal organizations: General Services Administration (GSA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD), National Security Agency (NSA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council and its working groups, as well as private industry.  The standardization was created to provide a “baseline of agreed upon standards” for cloud security and assessments. 

Matt Goodrich, the FedRAMP director at the General Services Administration (GSA) said, “FedRAMP sets the bar for how to protect federal data when it resides in cloud environment,” and that the GSA “believes that state and local governments can leverage this security standard for comparable needs at the local level.”  As we see it, city governments can realize three significant benefits from working with a FedRAMP authorized cloud service solution provider: cost savings, Standardization of Security Standards and the acceleration of cloud adoption and technology modernization.

Cost Savings

In just six years, FedRAMP has delivered significant time and cost savings for agencies who have taken advantage of the program.  The way the standardization does this is by taking advantage of the “do once, apply many times” approach of shared services.  By looking for a FedRAMP authorized provider, city government agencies can reduce the cost of compliance as the provider is required to participate in mandated continuous monitoring of their security systems.  City agencies can rest assured that a FedRAMP authorized provider has the security and reliability protocols already in place, saving both time and money by avoiding independent assessments.

Standardization of Security Standards

Deputy Associate Administrator at the GSA has “encouraged state IT leaders to look to the many available federal resources, including FedRAMP.” Even though FedRAMP was designed to protect federal government data in the cloud, city agencies can take advantage of the standards in the FedRAMP program to guide their own IT modernization efforts. Every provider that is awarded FedRAMP authorization meets NIST 800-53 security standards, ensuring that city government agency data is secure in a federally vetted system.

Acceleration of cloud adoption & technology modernization

By avoiding the tedious and often long-cycle of vetting individual cloud service providers, city government agencies can accelerate the path to cloud adoption and technology modernization by migrating away from obsolete and aging communications systems. With the rapid deployment inherent in cloud services, agencies can choose what and how to migrate in the time frame that best suits their mission.  Additionally, the agency can take advantage of certified technicians employed by the provider to manage the feature-rich services, no longer needing to recruit and retain the needed talent.

City Government Agencies can take advantage of FedRAMP Authorized Secure Cloud Communications

Communications are essential to any agency, regardless of whether they are at the federal, state or local level.   City agencies are particularly relied upon to support and serve citizens while meeting regional objectives.  UCaaS solutions, like Collab9’s Best of Breed Secure Cloud Communications solutions enables city agencies to improve their operations and communications with their citizens with technologies such as mobile voice, messaging, conferencing and presence tools.  Agency employees can meet citizens needs whether in or out of the office and better serving the needs of their community.  Contact us below to learn more about how our hosted voice and collaboration services for city government organizations can help you meet your mission objectives.

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