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FedRAMP Compliance: Why it Matters for Workforce Management

October 04, 2018 By Diana Cleveland - Leave a comment

shutterstock_724806898Under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), the federal government determines if cloud products are secure enough for use by federal agencies. Certification is a sign of a dedicated commitment to security for non-government as well as federal government clients. The process of becoming FedRAMP compliant is lengthy but companies that pursue it deliver the most secure services to their clients.

Why FedRAMP?

FedRAMP standardizes security assessment, monitoring, and authorization of cloud products and services. It is becoming increasingly important in this digital age to secure data. Data security isn’t just for high-profile government agencies anymore, your business has to protect itself from harmful data breaches and hacks.

Data breaches can be devastating to a company no matter the size. According to the Ponemon Institute, in 2017, the average cost of a data breach reached $3.62 million. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse found that the total number of records compromised that contain personal or other sensitive data from January 1st 2017 - March 20th 2018 was an astonishing 1,946,181,599. Data breaches can affect anyone. This ever-increasing threat is exactly why FedRAMP compliant software is becoming a necessity.

FedRAMP ready systems offer significant risk management benefits while setting up a solid foundation for risk assessment and security best practices. These features can guarantee the safety and security of your business. FedRAMP compliant software can lead to security improvements and service optimization for a more reliable system.

According to the Executive Summary of the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, FedRAMP compliant software can improve asset utilization up to 70%, provide better responsiveness to urgent agency needs, and can even shift your business focus from ownership to service management.

A FedRAMP compliant solution is the best choice for any software need. Risk is significantly reduced, and companies can rest assured that all their information is secure. Companies like EPAY Systems have put in long hours to give you this peace of mind. 

FedRAMP Compliance and Certification

Becoming FedRAMP compliant is not a simple task, but a long grueling process of adaptations and improvements used to guarantee top security protocols.

However, the federal government does not directly certify cloud service providers (CSPs). Certification comes from 3PAOs (third-party assessment organizations), to help certification stay objective. These organizations evaluate systems of cloud providers to ensure consistency in data security strategies and transparency between the cloud providers and the government.

To become FedRAMP compliant, a CSP must:

  • Have been granted an Authority to Operate (ATO) by a federal agency
  • Address security control requirements aligned to NIST 800-53, a National Institute of Standards and Technology publication that recommends security controls and document security controls for federal information systems and organizations
  • Use required FedRAMP templates (documents that outline information needed to assess compliance)
  • Have been assessed by an independent auditor
  • Post the completed security assessment package in the FedRAMP secure repository

Despite all of these steps, FedRAMP compliance pays off in the end because a FedRAMP stamp of approval is the only way a company’s clients know the company truly cares about the safety and security of their data.

FedRAMP Requirements

For CSPs, requirements for FedRAMP certification are numerous and complex. The “Guide to Understanding FedRAMP” was published by the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide guidance and make it easier for applicants to understand FedRAMP requirements. It contains a FedRAMP compliance checklist, every item of which must be met before your company can participate in FedRAMP. Requirements include the ability to:

  • Process electronic discovery and litigation holds
  • Clearly describe and define system boundaries
  • Identify responsibilities of customers and what they must do to implement controls
  • Perform code analysis scans for code written in-house
  • Provide an inventory and configuration build standards for all devices
  • Have boundary protections with physical and logical isolation of assets
  • Re-mediate medium-risk issues within 90 days and high-risk issues within 30 days

The system must also:

  • Provide identification and two-factor authentication for network access to privileged accounts
  • Provide identification and two-factor authentication for network access to non-privileged accounts
  • Provide identification and two-factor authentication for local access to privileged accounts
  • Have safeguards to prevent unauthorized information from being transferred via shared resources
  • Have cryptographic safeguards to preserve integrity and confidentiality of data during transmission

FedRAMP Security Controls

Security controls are technologies and techniques used to ensure security and privacy of data that is stored in the cloud. The different controls are outlined in NIST 800-53. An overview is also provided on the GSA website in the “Guide to Understanding FedRAMP.”

Based on the controls they implement, CSPs can opt to offer different levels of security – low, moderate, or high. The security level chosen determines the types of data that can be stored or accessed on a system.

The three security baseline levels are based on Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 199, which designates these levels according to confidentiality, availability, and integrity:

  • Low security: The information is already publicly available. If something happens to the data stored and accessed on the system, it will have limited impact to the national economy and the government.
  • Moderate security: If the data you manage will have a serious impact if breached or compromised, you need a moderate security baseline level. This includes personally identifiable information.
  • High security: If a problem with your organization’s data could have a severe impact on government system and operations or could lead to economic crisis or financial ruin, you will need a high-security level baseline.

To ensure your data has adequate protection, additional controls are added to each higher level of security. For example, organizations with high security levels need higher levels of authentication to access or control their systems. This includes upgraded procedures for validating authentication information and controls on access and what can be done with the data.

FedRAMP recommendations for high-impact systems include reducing human error as much as possible. This means automating as many functions as possible. FedRAMP certified, cloud-based time and attendance solutions can take the burden off your staff, save your company money, and reduce human error.

Why Work with a FedRAMP Compliant Solution?

FedRAMP compliant companies put in hours of hard work solely to guarantee the safety of your data. They’re the safest and most secure companies in all industries, because they understand the hassle of a data breach and work hard to prevent one before it happens.

Companies like EPAY Systems are committed to delivering FedRAMP certified  workforce management software to streamline the efficiency and safety of your payroll and time tracking systems.

EPAY System FedRAMP Compliant Workforce Management Software

EPAY Systems FedRAMP ready workforce management software streamlines time tracking and payroll while providing the highest level of security available in a cloud-based time and attendance system. We offer software solutions that facilitate compliance with a range of federal regulations and industry standards, with controls on timecard changes and built-in compliance safeguards to reduce exposure to wage and hour lawsuits and penalties.

With EPAY Systems FedRAMP compliant  software all your employee’s data is safe and secure with software services such as:

  • Top-tier security
  • Comprehensive security training
  • FedRAMP third-party authorization
  • Ongoing security monitoring

EPAY’s cloud-based time and attendance software can also provide you with distinct business advantages and streamline the efficiency of your workforce, as well as:

Risk Management Benefits
  • EPAY delivers a solid foundation for risk assessment and consistent use of seurity best practices, therefore, increasing the overall safety of your HR and company data. 
Unified Compliance with Federal Regulations and Industry Standards
  • With EPAY’s FedRAMP compliant software your software will be tied in with a number of other federal regulations and industry standards such as Homeland Security Acquisition Regulations (HSAR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Control Objective for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT), and much more.   

Schedule a demo today to see more benefits of EPAY’s FedRAMP ready solution that can optimize your workforce – its not just safe, but also cost effective saving up to 5% on labor costs, without cutting labor hours.

Filed Under: Workforce Management