Guest Author: Scott Brown, Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Collaboration Sales at Cisco
In May, Cisco was proud to host our first-ever summit for the U.S. Federal government to share lessons and a path forward for digital transformation across federal agencies. Hundreds of Federal leaders joined us for FedFWD: A Roadmap to Digital Transformation. In this second blog in our series recapping the event, we’ll discuss some of the incredible insights on Enterprise as a Service (EaaS) that came out of those conversations.
The public sector has begun to fully embrace the cloud, a hallmark in the journey towards Federal digital transformation. The efficiencies and flexibility inherent in the cloud have enabled Federal agencies to focus on their core missions and take advantage of new technologies as they scale to enterprise. However, as agencies keep establishing new processes for working and collaborating internally and externally, it is vital to deliver new capabilities to keep pace with evolution.
FedRAMP and the Federal Cloud
FedRAMP has revolutionized the use of cloud technologies in the Federal government, having designed the adoption of authorized cloud services across Federal agencies. FedRAMP Authorization not only provides risk management, but it reduces the lift agencies face when working to secure data and information. FedRAMP also ensures that agencies have the secure cloud products that uphold the integrity and security of Federal data. This has made information more accessible to agency mission stakeholders, streamlining the decision making process and helping to resolve data accessibility problems.
As part of the Cisco-hosted FedFWD: A Roadmap to Digital Transformation summit in May, I had the chance to join top Federal IT leaders – including Brian Conrad, Acting FedRAMP Director at GSA, and Casey Hurt, Technical Director and Co-Founder of the Cloud Computing Program Office at DISA, to discuss how cloud implementation has furthered Federal agency mission success and where there is room to grow. (Our full discussion “Enterprise as a Service: Succeeding in a Multi-Cloud World” is here.)
Enterprise as a Service and government
“Federal agencies have embraced the cloud,” said Brian Conrad, Acting FedRAMP Director at GSA. “We’re seeing cloud service providers bringing innovative technology to market, and agencies are adapting their enterprise to move towards the cloud to take advantage of those technologies. It’s really enabling the agencies to focus on their core missions.”
When it comes to security, the cloud certainly isn’t immune to cyber threats. Cloud providers often have safeguards available to their customers, but it’s up to the customer to enable and configure those safeguards. This shared responsibility has led agencies to utilize the visibility cloud can provide, and look holistically at the application, network, endpoint, and the user information rather than just the perimeter.
Cloud being a shared security model leads it to be something of a team sport. A key example of this in government relates to multi-factor authentication – one factor may be the provider’s responsibility in issuing the privacy credentials, but it’s the responsibility of the Federal agency to ensure that their system will accept the credential. FedRAMP Authorization lends itself to this shared responsibility, shouldering the lift to ensure that those cloud services are protecting federal information.
Succeeding in a multi-cloud world can’t be done alone – it takes providers and customers sharing responsibility to secure their enterprise. Cisco is proud to be a partner in this rapidly evolving journey.
My colleague, Will Ash, will be closing out this series with an in-depth discussion of cybersecurity policy in today’s Federal agencies, as well as the advancement of zero trust solutions. Until then, check out:
- Part 1: Leveraging Data to Transform the Future (Mike Younkers, Author)
- Part 3: Coming soon