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FCW : October 30, 2013
Commentary | MARIA HORTON During the race to develop the rst transatlantic radio system, Nikola Tesla described a new model of instant communication --- one that involved gathering stock quotes and telegram messages, encoding them and assigning a new frequen- cy for delivering them to a hand- held device. Simply put, Tesla --- the inventor, engineer, futurist and arguably one of the greatest technology visionar- ies --- was outlining the concept of personalized information delivery via a mobile device. It seems Tesla was leading the way to customized information delivery and use. We have witnessed leaps in inno- vation since Tesla s vision. Today, we are able to use personalized systems to gather and disseminate information, which consequently brings new challenges for protect- ing that data. Our thoughts now turn to a "new normal" of security that involves implementing effec- tive and customized cybersecurity practices that also address user convenience and functionality. Security is no longer about the network boundary or even the spoke-and-wheel communication models. Mobile devices are now among the most common network endpoints, and they are causing cul- tural, social and business shifts that render current security practices obsolete. The dynamic inputs to mobile devices continue to chal- lenge agencies IT systems with security, standardization and data life cycle management issues. This security transformation presents at least two changes in secure and trusted computing that experts and practitioners must face: 1) Agencies can no longer assume that all security controls will lie within their corporate boundaries, and 2) collaboration and account- ability must be integrated into the business practices of agencies and solutions providers. To create order in what might seem to be a hectic information state, business and government are developing new security best practices. The government has taken a proactive role in develop- ing the Federal Risk and Authoriza- tion Management Program to lead the evolution of changes caused by cloud computing. FedRAMP is an initial disruption to government IT because it liberates previously tested controls to establish a "do once, use many times" approach to security. Although cloud service provid- ers might not be able to predict emerging trends, their established research and development process- es must factor in continual changes sparked by a successful mobile strategy. Many security experts, FedRAMP-approved third-party assessment organizations and agen- cies see the FedRAMP program as the foundation for a future mobile- rst strategy that is grounded in cybersecurity. The FedRAMP process has its share of challenges, but as the program matures, it will reduce the number of security silos across the government. FedRAMP s immediate contributions are its fresh thoughts on security rather than simply rely- ing on "make-work" documenta- tion. FedRAMP also looks at the practical aspects of reusing security control documentation as a way to reduce costs. Both the public and private sec- tors stand to gain a great deal from FedRAMP and its ongoing evolu- tion, but only if they work together and have an equal say in shaping the program s future. Just as Tesla conceived of the customized information delivery model, leaders today must con- sider how to tackle the security aspects of personalized technol- ogy. FedRAMP is the rst step in addressing a new world of security innovation by using public/private collaboration. As long as there are ongoing mutual bene ts to both public and private entities, it is likely the impact of security innovation will expand and grow exponentially. ■ FedRAMP and the new normal in cybersecurity As technology becomes increasingly mobile and personalized, we must take a more collaborative, streamlined approach to security Mobile devices are causing cultural, social and business shifts that render current security practices obsolete. MARIA HORTON is founder and CEO of EmeSec, a FedRAMP-accredited third- party assessment organization. 10 October 30, 2013 FCW.COM
September 30, 2013
November 15, 2013