After assessing your business goals, rallying your team, and getting authorization, you’ve decided to pursue FedRAMP certification – congratulations! While this is a crucial accreditation for success in the public sector, the federal government’s cloud security standardization program can feel daunting. On top of a laundry list of specific security requirements, it includes detailed SSP and Policies & Procedures documentation that can easily take 3-4 months to assemble from scratch. This step requires a thoughtful strategy, and it can be helpful to visualize it as a more accessible task – like planning a family vacation!
Having a plan can save you both valuable time AND money. There are likely several moving parts that you’ll need to account for, and your appetite for open-endedness will depend on your level of familiarity with the process, as well as your expectations. If you’re hiking through the Grand Canyon with no prior outdoorsman experience, you’ll likely need to look at tour groups. If you grew up going to the Grand Canyon every year and are looking to continue the tradition with your own family, you might just need to open a map and refresh your memory. The same thinking can be applied to your FedRAMP documentation process – your familiarity with the process will dictate your next steps.
Just like you wouldn’t typically start your trip by driving to the airport and jumping on whichever flight just so happens to be leaving next, a FedRAMP accreditation requires at least some preparation – the strategy you choose all depends on your planning style.
Below you’ll find three vacation-planning strategies that correspond to similar FedRAMP documentation preparation approaches.
FedRAMP Documentation Templates – buying a guidebook
Firstly, let’s begin with those who are just looking for a place to start. You’re the type of person who might buy a guidebook or check out a few travel blogs before your vacation, but you keep your planning pretty bare bones. A map and a handful of suggestions is more than enough information for you to kick off the process. You have the time, patience, and budget to handle issues on a case-by-case basis, and you‘re comfortable “winging it” to a certain extent.
If that sounds like you, check out MPG’s standard FedRAMP templates. These templates are written by FedRAMP experts and provide guidelines for your SSP documentation. They are complete with the latest PMO updates and include assistance with template-specific questions. Think of them as bite-sized documents that can get you 3/4ths of the way to the finish line.
Premium FedRAMP Templates – booking a group tour
Next, let’s talk about those looking for something slightly more hands-on. If you’re visiting an area or planning an activity that is totally new to you, you’ll consider joining a group tour. Rather than risk getting lost, running late, or missing out on important information, you’ll put your trust in an expert who can guide you through the highlights. It might not be customized, per se, but it provides just enough structure to take some planning stress off your plate.
This strategy aligns more with MPG’s FedRAMP templates with support. You will be provided all of the standard FedRAMP templates, and be provided support to get tool selection advice, control implementation technical assistance, and more direction from MPG’s FedRAMP experts. Our FedRAMP expert advisors can provide direction for your organization, taking some of the guesswork out of the process and requirements.
FedRAMP Advisory Services – booking a private tour
Lastly, let’s say you prefer something a little more personalized. You’d likely book a private local guide; someone with insider knowledge who can show you the area’s hidden gems that are perfectly aligned to your interests. Every aspect of planning is taken care of. All you want to do is show up, have a wonderful time, and go home happy.
If you’re the private tour type, we suggest our FedRAMP advisory services. This is end-to-end consulting from MindPoint Group’s FedRAMP experts, allowing you to pick the advisory pathway that best fits your specific needs. MindPoint Group takes the time to understand your cloud service’s needs and requirements and provides all of the testing and resources necessary to ensure the success of your ATO submission.
Once you complete your chosen pathway, you’re on your way to a 3PAO assessment, the last step in your FedRAMP approval. Now each of these paths does require your participation, insights and work by our team to put into place and capture all the requirements for FedRAMP. Allowing MPG to help guide your path to FedRAMP will speed up your process, and help you avoid pitfalls that only a 3PAO with MPG’s experience can help with.