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Agency overview

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a United States federal government-wide compliance program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.[1]

In 2011, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memorandum establishing FedRAMP "to provide a cost-effective, risk-based approach for the adoption and use of cloud services to Executive departments and agencies."[2] The General Services Administration (GSA) established the FedRAMP Program Management Office (PMO) in June 2012. The FedRAMP PMO mission is to promote the adoption of secure cloud services across the federal government by providing a standardized approach to security and risk assessment.[3] Per the OMB memorandum, any cloud services that hold federal data must be FedRAMP authorized.[4] FedRAMP prescribes the security requirements and processes that cloud service providers must follow in order for the government to use their service.

There are two ways to authorize a cloud service through FedRAMP: a Joint Authorization Board (JAB) provisional authorization (P-ATO),[5] and through individual agencies.[6]

Before the introduction of FedRAMP, individual federal agencies managed their own assessment methodologies following guidance set by the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002.[7]

FedRAMP provides accreditation for cloud services for the various cloud offering models which are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service, (SaaS).

Governance and applicable laws[edit]

FedRAMP is governed by different Executive Branch entities that collaborate to develop, manage, and operate the program.[8] These entities include:

There are several laws, mandates, and policies that are foundational to FedRAMP. FISMA–the Federal Information Security Modernization Act–requires that agencies authorize the information systems that they use. FedRAMP is FISMA for the cloud. The FedRAMP Policy Memo requires federal agencies to use FedRAMP when assessing, authorizing, and continuously monitoring cloud services in order to aid agencies in the authorization process as well as save government resources and eliminate duplicative efforts.[9] FedRAMP's security baselines are derived from NIST SP 800-53 (as revised) with a set of control enhancements that pertain to the unique security requirements of cloud computing.

Third-party assessment organizations[edit]

Third-party assessment organizations (3PAOs) play a critical role in the FedRAMP security assessment process, as they are the independent assessment organizations that verify cloud providers’ security implementations and provide the overall risk posture of a cloud environment for a security authorization decision.[10] Accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), these assessment organizations must demonstrate independence and the technical competence required to test security implementations and collect representative evidence.

FedRAMP Marketplace[edit]

The FedRAMP Marketplace provides a searchable, sortable database of Cloud Service Offerings (CSOs) that have achieved a FedRAMP designation.[11] 3PAOs, accredited auditors that can perform the FedRAMP assessment, are listed within the Marketplace. The FedRAMP Marketplace is maintained by the FedRAMP Program Management Office (PMO).[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FedRAMP.gov". FedRAMP.gov. 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  2. ^ "Policy memo" (PDF). www.fedramp.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  3. ^ "FedRAMP.gov". FedRAMP.gov. 2020-03-26. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  4. ^ "Policy memo" (PDF). www.fedramp.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  5. ^ "Get Authorized: Joint Authorization Board". FedRAMP.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  6. ^ "Get Authorized: Agency Authorization". FedRAMP.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  7. ^ "DOD turns to FedRAMP and cloud brokering -- FCW". FCW. 2014-05-21. Archived from the original on 2020-10-31. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  8. ^ "Governance". FedRAMP.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  9. ^ "Policy memo" (PDF). www.fedramp.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  10. ^ "Policy memo" (PDF). www.fedramp.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  11. ^ "The Federal Risk And Management Program Dashboard". marketplace.fedramp.gov. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  12. ^ "Marketplace designations" (PDF). www.fedramp.gov. Retrieved 2020-04-05.

External links[edit]