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By Aliya Sternstein
A critical part of a fast-track strategy that allows agencies to
digitally borrow each other's cloud security guarantees will not be
available when the operation gets under way this summer, federal
officials told Nextgov.
The mantra of the new effort, called the Federal Risk and Authorization
Management Program, or FedRAMP, is "Do once; use many times," meaning a
department can go through the arguably arduous process of authorizing a
Web-based service and then many other departments can sponge off that
work to deploy the tool more quickly. The General Services
Administration, which manages the program, plans for the certifications
to be accessible through a central online clearinghouse.
But there are fears that a database containing vulnerability assessments
for the entire federal cloud could be an attractive target for hackers,
GSA officials acknowledge.
"It's largely going to be a paper-based process at the beginning because
we won't have the bandwidth up in time," GSA Associate Administrator
Dave McClure said in an interview. Independent auditors are scheduled to
start generating the FedRAMP assessments in June.
Currently, government contractors, including Microsoft, often hand
deliver assessments out of caution. McClure said officials have not
built the repository yet, but based on feedback from agencies and cloud
service providers they know access constraints will factor into the
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