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FCW : August 15, 2013
Trending Third-party assessment organizations (3PAOs) play a key role in the pro- cess by which cloud service providers achieve compliance under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, the government s standard- ized approach to cloud security assess- ments. Those organizations indepen- dently verify that providers meet FedRAMP s strict requirements. Now accreditation for prospective 3PAOs will shift from a government review board to the American Asso- ciation for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The General Services Adminis- tration, which oversees FedRAMP, announced the change July 23. In a press statement, GSA of cials said the privatization of the 3PAO review process would add rigor and a more in-depth analysis of appli- cants information security standards when the 3PAO application process is reopened later this year. "The selection of A2LA to handle the 3PAO reviews is a significant milestone as we grow FedRAMP in partnership with industry and govern- ment cloud stakeholders," said Dave McClure, associate administrator of GSA s Of ce of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. The FedRAMP program manage- ment of ce retains the nal say on accreditation approval for 3PAOs, using the reviews conducted by A2LA. According to a press release, the gov- ernment also "retains the right to re- institute a government review board without any interruption in accredita- tion to 3PAOs." FedRAMP has accredited 22 3PAOs so far, half of which are small businesses, and eight cloud offerings. --- Frank Konkel FedRAMP assessors face tighter scrutiny 8 August 15, 2013 FCW.COM Civilians can now get a glimpse of what the term "critical infrastructure protection" meant during the Cold War as Los Alamos National Labora- tory throws open the thick steel doors of one of its most secret Cold War-era nuclear research and storage tunnels to public tours. The tunnel, situated in a remote can- yon on the lab s 23,680 acres in north- ern New Mexico, is set more than 200 feet back into the escarpment s stone wall, according to building historian Ellen McGehee. Los Alamos of cials said the Tunnel Vault was once one of the most secret and secure loca- tions in the U.S. and was the original storage area for the post-World War II nuclear stockpile. Located in the research facility s Technical Area 41, the Tunnel Vault was built in 1948 and 1949 and is set behind a formidable security perimeter that includes a guard tower equipped with gun ports and bulletproof glass. Beyond that, a series of gates and doors leads to a 230-foot-long concrete tunnel that goes straight into the can- yon wall to the vault s rooms. At the end of the tunnel is a large alcove with a single bank-vault door. Through that door is a vault built inside a vault with ve storage areas, all protected with identical bank-vault doors. Although the laboratory was home to the Manhattan Project that pro- duced the two nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, the post-war tunnel was used only to store nuclear material and conduct research. Its depth and surrounding rock served as an effec- tive radiation shield. The facility had been used as late as 2012 for a variety of purposes, a Los Alamos spokesman said. It had been a classi ed museum since 2004, storing historical objects and mate- rial from the lab. Nuclear research and development activities, however, ended in 2000, after the 48,000-acre Cerro Grande wild re destroyed some of the lab s structures. The re burned vegetation above the canyon, creating a ash ood danger from storm run- off, the spokesman said. That ooding danger hastened the vault s retirement. Tours of the vault were part of the lab s 70th anniversary "Signature Week" celebrations during the week of July 22. --- Mark Rockwell YOUTUBE.COM/LOSALAMOSNATIONALLAB A piece of Cold War history opens to the public For the first time, members of the public can tour the nuclear research and storage facility built into the wall of a remote canyon at Los Alamos National Lab. of NASA's IT budget is spent on cloud computing, according to the agency's inspector general <1%
July 30, 2013
August 30, 2013