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The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a US government-wide mandated program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. This approach uses a “do once, use many times” framework that is intended to save cost, time, and staff required to conduct redundant agency security assessments. There are no “new” controls for FedRAMP. The FedRAMP security controls are based on NIST SP 800-53 R3 controls for low and moderate impact systems and contain controls and enhancements above the NIST baseline for low and moderate impact systems that address the unique elements of cloud computing. For additional information, refer to the FedRAMP FAQ website located at: http:///portal/category/102439 .
The use of SaaS-based applications is becoming a preferred approach for rapidly delivering new capabilities for organizations. The demand is coming from the business users, and as such, IT organizations must accept and plan for continued expansion in the number and use of SaaS. Accordingly, IT organizations need to develop a comprehensive approach for addressing the security challenges that come with relying on third-party computing and applications, even though the user and data may never traverse the organization's own network or data centers.