Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

Feds Refine Cloud Security Standards

Federal CIO Council releases controls for new agency-wide program that standardizes security requirements for cloud-computing products and services.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
The federal CIO Council has released security controls for the new agency-wide program that standardizes security requirements for cloud-computing products and services, a key move in setting standards for cloud security across the federal government.

More than 150 security controls in 16 categories have now been defined for the Federal Risk Assessment Program (FedRAMP), which provides common security requirements for cloud implementation on specific types of systems.

FedRAMP also provides ongoing risk assessments and continuous monitoring, and carries out government-wide security authorizations for vendors providing cloud services and infrastructure that will be posted on a public website.

[ Get more background on FedRAMP's goals. See Feds Aim To Speed Cloud Adoption With New Roadmap. ]

The release of these controls "is the critical first step that to successfully launching FedRAMP," as they are the basis for the program's standardized approach to the security authorization process for cloud products and services, according to a blog post on CIO.gov, the website for the CIO Council.

The FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) went through an "extensive vetting process" to approve the controls since the initial release of FedRAMP documentation last year, according to the post. Indeed, FedRAMP has been in the planning stages for about two years but only was formally unveiled by U.S. CIO Steven Van Roekel in December.

The JAB also used feedback from those in both industry and government to create the controls so they "properly address the unique elements of authorizing cloud products and services, including multi-tenancy, control of an infrastructure, and shared resource pooling," according to the post.

To receive authorization from the federal government, agencies must implement the controls within a cloud service provider environment.

The categories cover comprehensive areas of security concern for IT systems. They are: access control; awareness and training; audit and accountability; assessment and authorization; configuration management; contingency planning, identification and authentication; incident response; maintenance; media protection; physical and environmental protection; planning; personnel safety; risk assessment; system and services acquisition; system and communications protection; and system and information integrity.

Each control covers a very specific area in a category that agencies must define for cloud-computing implementations. For example, controls under Access Control include account management, access enforcement, information flow enforcement, and separation of duties. Some of the requirements under personnel safety include individual controls for personnel screening, termination, and transfer, while controls under the incident response category include specific ones for incident response training, handling, monitoring, and reporting.

The systems and communications protection category--which covers many of the standard security procedures for system, such as public key infrastructure certificates, denial of service protection and use of cryptography--has the most controls, a total of 32. The awareness and training category has only four.

FedRAMP is a multiagency effort, with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), and the General Services Administration (GSA) all playing key roles.

In fact, the new security controls are in line with NIST Special Publication 800-53, Revision 3, which provides recommended security controls for federal IT systems and organizations for low and moderate impact systems, according to the CIO.gov blog post.

InformationWeek is conducting our third annual State of Enterprise Storage survey on data management technologies and strategies. Upon completion, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive an Apple 32-GB iPod Touch. Take our Enterprise Storage Survey now. Survey ends Jan. 13.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/27/2020
Chinese Attackers' Favorite Flaws Prove Global Threats, Research Shows
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  10/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-4782
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-28
IBM WebSphere Application Server 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, and 9.0 could allow a remote attacker to traverse directories on the system. An attacker could send a specially-crafted URL request containing "dot dot" sequences (/../) to view arbitrary files on the system.
CVE-2020-15278
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-28
Red Discord Bot before version 3.4.1 has an unauthorized privilege escalation exploit in the Mod module. This exploit allows Discord users with a high privilege level within the guild to bypass hierarchy checks when the application is in a specific condition that is beyond that user's control. By ab...
CVE-2020-16257
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-28
Winston 1.5.4 devices are vulnerable to command injection via the API.
CVE-2020-4767
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-28
IBM Sterling Connect Direct for Microsoft Windows 4.7, 4.8, 6.0, and 6.1 could allow a remote attacker to cause a denial of service, caused by a buffer over-read. Bysending a specially crafted request, the attacker could cause the application to crash. IBM X-Force ID: 188906.
CVE-2020-27974
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-28
NeoPost Mail Accounting Software Pro 5.0.6 allows php/Commun/FUS_SCM_BlockStart.php?code= XSS.