Achieving FedRAMP High Authorization: Transforming Government Without Compromise

It’s not news that enterprise organizations are moving fast to modernize their IT operations so they can improve agility and sharpen their competitive edge. However, the need for speed and innovation aren’t limited to the private sector. Federal agencies and state and local governments are also seeking to update their infrastructures to reduce risk, automate processes, optimize their data, and improve security and compliance.

Like their private sector counterparts, federal agency CISOs are increasingly embracing a hybrid on-premises cloud infrastructure to achieve their transformation. Government organizations are deploying IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS cloud services to empower their workforce with collaboration tools, improve decision-making with real-time insightful AI and analytics, and achieve new levels of efficiency.

 VMware SD-WAN provides an ideal foundation for agencies seeking to extend their operations to the cloud. However, hybrid cloud environments also introduce distinct security and compliance challenges. How can government agencies tap the potential of cloud while keeping pace with today’s evolving threat landscape?  

Unlocking cloud innovation without compromise

By adopting FedRAMP standards, government agencies can ensure that federal data in the cloud is consistently protected, creating a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and monitoring of cloud services. FedRAMP High represents the most advanced level of federal civilian security compliance, incorporating and building on National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-53 and other baseline standards, such as Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Publication 140-2, to protect sensitive, unclassified information residing in cloud compute environments.

VMware SD-WAN supports the IT modernization journey for government agencies through combined network and security transformation. It meets the security standards and requirements for continuous monitoring, access control, auditing, security assessment and authorization, contingency planning, secure SDLC, and incident response.

Ensuring security and consistency for cloud services

To address demanding FedRAMP requirements, SD-WAN scales security across all of its cloud service offerings by building an underlying common services platform. Designed to ensure security and consistency across cloud services, it streamlines security control implementations, regardless of the type of service offering. The centralized common services platform supports capabilities like identity and access management for VMware administrators, secrets management, vulnerability scanning, security and event monitoring, logging, and more. Its strong on-premises or cloud-based security enables organizations to accelerate their transition to VMware SASE where and when it’s needed, as part of their digital transformation journey.

With VMware SD-WAN, cloud providers can focus on developing more innovative service offerings, while knowing that the backend security implementations will be handled in a centralized format via this common services platform.

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The solution lets government organizations leverage all the efficiencies of cloud, while making sure that all their sensitive information is secure. It provides a simple cloud onramp with unified policy for cloud services (IaaS integrations), enhanced application experience with SaaS optimization, and cloud-agnostic secure branch connectivity. They can also take advantage of a gateway-based architecture that’s globally hosted, to provide a quick on-ramp to the cloud from any location.

SD-WAN lets IT organizations move beyond their legacy VPN architectures that lack the security required for today’s cloud environments and are difficult to scale. Designed for today’s increasingly sophisticated cyber-threats, the VMware SD-WAN solution delivers a zero-trust network approach with multi-level authentication to provide a hybrid work infrastructure for employees, regardless of their location.

The VMware SD-WAN solution also provides powerful automation capabilities that enable IT to accelerate workflow processes, deliver services faster, and free up staff. Zero touch deployment makes it easy for IT to deploy new locations and add new users.

From an ongoing support perspective, the solution provides single pane of glass visibility, together with integrated AIOps, to provide proactive, self-healing, and remediation for the different elements that connect through their LAN across the network. For example, security and trust are critical for IoT use cases, and a breach could undercut the integrity of data and open the door to vulnerabilities across an agency’s network. Additionally, VMware SD-WAN Orchestrator delivers centralized management, business-level visibility, and application usage monitoring across multiple transports, service providers, and remote sites.

VMware SD-WAN is also tremendously agile, enabling IT teams to quickly identify potential issues with IoT sensors or devices, and rapidly troubleshoot issues, before they can impact network performance or security.

Securing the full government ecosystem

As the threat landscape evolves, VMware is continuing to build on and enhance its SD-WAN and cloud security solution to power a comprehensive SASE journey. Plans are underway to continue to harden these solutions and support even more demanding security requirements, such as U.S. Department of Defense Impact Level 5. As innovation continues, VMware is applying features and best practices from its government cloud offering to its commercial solutions, making them even more secure.

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