The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program ( FedRAMP ) is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to maintaining the security of cloud-based systems. Designed to strengthen the protection of federal data, FedRAMP compliance helps organizations gain more confidence in their security measures and avoid potential threats. Let’s explore the history behind FedRAMP, why it’s important, and how a HIPAA compliant email solution can safeguard your information from every angle.
What is FedRAMP?
FedRAMP was first introduced in 2012 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as part of the U.S. government's Cloud First Policy, which aimed to accelerate the use of cloud systems among federal agencies. Prior to FedRAMP, cloud service providers (CSPs) would typically create individual offerings for each prospective agency. By providing a standardized set of requirements, FedRAMP eliminated inconsistencies and successfully streamlined the process.
The main objectives of this initiative are to:
- Improve federal agencies' protection of information
- Speed up the adoption of secure cloud solutions through reusable authorizations
- Boost trust in the security assessments of cloud solutions
- Allow for a consistent application of current security practices
How does FedRAMP certification work?
FedRAMP certification involves an in-depth analysis of a cloud service’s security protocols and vulnerabilities. Authorization is mandatory for CSPs that manage federal data and FedRAMP-approved providers are required for most federal government agencies and other organizations that work directly with the government. To obtain certification, providers may go through the Joint Authorization Board (JAB) or another authorized agency authority. First, the provider creates a system security plan and an approved third-party organization develops an assessment strategy. Next, the provider presents an action plan with corresponding milestones. If the agency finds the described risk acceptable, an Authority to Operate letter is submitted. The provider is then required to send monthly monitoring deliverables to ensure ongoing compliance.
Why it matters
Although the primary goal of FedRAMP is to keep federal data secure, working with a FedRAMP-compliant cloud-based service offers benefits for any type of organization that manages sensitive information, including healthcare organizations. With data protection based on the strictest government standards, businesses can trust that their information is in good hands and mitigate the risk of a data breach. Since compliance is an ongoing process, FedRAMP-authorized services are scanned for vulnerabilities and errors on a regular basis. This ensures that security measures stay up-to-date and eliminates concerns of protections falling short over time.
Step up your security with Paubox
While using a FedRAMP-approved CSP is a smart way to safeguard data stored in the cloud, threat actors are steadily evolving and leveraging various entry points to carry out cyberattacks. With healthcare organizations serving as a common target, it’s crucial to consider a security plan that factors in the full lifecycle of protected health information (PHI).
Built to integrate with your current email platform, Paubox Email Suite automatically encrypts each outbound message to enable HIPAA compliant email by default. This means you don’t have to spend time choosing which emails to encrypt and your patients receive your messages directly in their inbox—no additional passwords or portals necessary.
Paubox Email Suite’s Plus and Premium plan levels also come with inbound email security tools that go the extra mile to secure your information. Our patent-pending Zero Trust Email feature calls for an additional piece of proof to confirm that an email is authentic, while patented ExecProtect works quickly to catch display name spoofing attempts.