Services | Automate | ATO Automation

Authority to Operate Automation Services

ATO Automation Discovery Session
ATO Automation Services

What is ATO Automation
(ATO-A)?

An Authority to Operate, or ATO, is a formal declaration by a US Government Agency that authorizes the use of a particular application, platform, or product within the agency’s network.
While the ATO process may vary slightly between agencies, they ultimately require an exhaustive review of the application, and completion of a large set of content that accurately captures and defines the risk that using the application presents to the agency. Once the ATO submission is made, a Designated Authorizing Official (DAO) with the government agency reviews and either requests clarification on aspects of the application or certifies the application for use.
The ATO process is time consuming, and must be refreshed every few years, representing a significant workload for IT operations and security teams alike. Because many parts of the process are highly repeatable, however, the ATO process is also an excellent target for automation.
ATO Automation, or ATO-A provides a platform of capabilities that include pre-documented components, tools, and processes that can be applied to generic applications, greatly reducing the required work to submit for and achieve an ATO. ATO-A is a also a core component of digital transformation efforts.
With the adoption of compliance automation, organizations can significantly reduce total cost and the time typically required to monitor and validate ATO controls, while also increasing compliance scores. Only a fully integrated and automated solution that includes the governance, technology, process, and personnel will reduce the burden and increase innovation.

ATO Automation benefits

Reduce the pain from ATO efforts
1

Rapidly adopt new technology

Manual ATO processes make it difficult to adopt new and innovative platforms, slowing digital transformation and other important IT initiatives. ATO-A greatly reduces the time required to achieve an ATO from 8+ months to days or weeks.

2

Lower costs

Reduce the staff and contractor time previously required to analyze, document, remediate, submit, and defend ATO submissions. Instead, spend that money on more valuable tasks that provide tangible benefits to customers, citizen constituents, or warfighters.

3

Continuous compliance

ATO-A results in a platform that enables continuous compliance reporting. ATO updates can happen with the click of a button.  

Why MindPoint Group?

Make ATO a core strength, not a weakness.

  • We’ve helped multiple federal agencies accelerate their time to ATO by implementing automation. Check out this case study to learn more.
  • Our knowledge with many Risk Management Frameworks and compliance requirements across industries allows us to see where gaps exist in your current ATO process. We’re experts in NIST 800-53 and frameworks like FedRAMP that rely on these controls.  
  • Our ATO-A platform is tailored to your tooling needs and requirements, and is effective for both new and existing application environments.
ATO Automation Process
ATO Automation Benefits

16+

Weeks required to achieve ATO using manual processes

2.5

Average weeks to achieve ATO with ATO-A

84%

Reduction in ATO effort
What you get

ATO Automation features

End-to-end tooling

We can either specify the tooling to use, or work with your existing capabilities to design and implement the ATO controls and requirements using a mix of current and new software.

Agency-specific requirements

No two agencies are exactly alike. We tailor our automation to produce ATO packages that will meet your agency requirements.

Baseline automation

A key aspect of every ATO process is applying and maintaining the STIG or CIS baseline to infrastructure and applications. Our Lockdown Enterprise offering eliminates the baseline burden. If it’s deployed, it’s compliant.

Resources from our team

Learn more about our ATO Automation services
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