FedRAMP Prepares for ‘Zero Trust’ Stance

December 4, 2022

As the world moves towards zero trust, FedRAMP Prepares for Zero Trust Stance. One of the key components of zero trust is to continuously verify multiple sources of identity and context. This includes tracking and monitoring Federal employees and the devices they use to access internal resources.


Federal agencies must ensure that the security posture of their contractors matches their own. Otherwise, hardening the federal security posture has little benefit, as unsecured third-party systems can still expose sensitive USG data. As a result, agencies must perform a gap analysis and submit a two-year zero trust implementation plan.

Zero trust requires clearly defined identity rules and multi-factor authentication. It also means that access to one environment does not automatically give access to another. Zero-trust also requires education for employees regarding security and proper password management. This will help organizations prepare for the upcoming threat landscape.

Fortunately, there are several ways to prepare. For one, agencies should integrate their IdP with an enterprise identity service. Then, they should enable multi-factor authentication across all their applications. Ideally, this should done through an enterprise identity service and not through network authentication.

Zero trust also demands secure authentication of all users, and continuous validation of access requests. Rather than trusting the network itself, Zero Trust requires organizations to assume all network activity is malicious unless proven otherwise. For many businesses, this will be a major problem.

FedRAMP created in 2011 to help the federal government adopt secure cloud technologies. Its goal is to reduce duplication of efforts and promote more secure information technologies. If your organization is unsure of its FedRAMP readiness, the FedRAMP team can help.

In-transit encryption

FedRAMP has been preparing for ‘zero trust’ stance, a trend that is becoming increasingly common in the federal sector. Zero trust is a process of continuous identity and context verification. This process includes monitoring and tracking Federal employees and considering the security posture of devices before granting access to internal resources.

As the government moves toward a zero trust stance, the requirements for cloud service providers and other players in the email ecosystem will continue to grow. In less than 2 months, agencies will require to draft zero trust plans, and then audit their solutions. If they cannot meet the standards, they will give a period to make the necessary changes, or risk losing government contracts. Agencies will then be evaluated on their efforts by the end of 2025, and will face increased pressure to comply with the zero trust stance.

Zero trust requires organizations to create and enforce micro-segmentation to reduce attack surfaces and give security teams greater control over lateral movement. This means converting sensitive data, such as passwords, into code so that unauthorized individuals cannot read it. It is also vital to ensure that users cannot access the same information on multiple systems without proper authentication.

Zero trust policies are a great solution for enterprises that want to protect users and devices. They ensure secure access to data in apps, across networks, and in the cloud. They also minimize risk at scale without compromising user experience.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

Single Sign-On (SSO) is an important security strategy to help organizations meet their cybersecurity mandates. It helps centralize authentication policies, gives organizations more control over access, and creates a clear audit log. Moreover, SSO can make users’ lives easier by removing the friction of switching between different applications.

Whether the SSO system hosted on a server or a network, it is critical to establish a general policy framework. This framework consists of what called “Global Rules,” which are policies that apply across the corporate domain. Furthermore, a classification system can establish based on the sensitive nature of data that handled. Those applications that considered high sensitivity can restricted to users authenticated through SSO on trusted devices.

Single Sign-On is a fundamental security practice that should adopted by federal agencies. This strategy designed to protect federal organizations from cyberattacks. Besides the use of SSO, it is important to implement multi-factor authentication to make data even more secure.

A good SSO provider should be able to offer Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to ensure secure user authentication. These systems ensure a secure user authentication process, and require primary and secondary credentials. Furthermore, a secure SSO strategy will identify the users who access corporate resources. It is also necessary to maintain an inventory of all the devices that access corporate resources.

Single Sign-On is an increasingly important security strategy to protect data and users from attacks. By centralizing access and using SSO, organizations can improve their user experience and save on costs. It can also help them with risk management and disaster recovery. Federal agencies can use Single Sign-On as a service or buy it as a component of their overall security strategy.

Secure network access

A provider of secure network access solutions, Appgate, has announced plans to make zero trust network access available to government customers. The company’s Secure Desktop Platform (SDP) is an enterprise-grade security solution that employs zero-trust principles to ensure that users able to access resources securely. According to Barry Field, CEO of Appgate, zero trust is a core component of the executive order signed by President Joe Biden on May 12. Biden directed each federal agency to develop a plan to implement zero trust and secure its systems.

FedRAMP-compliant cryptography solutions typically focus on DNS and HTTPS traffic encryption. They also include email encryption, although this rarely used in non-government scenarios. To meet FedRAMP’s requirements, FedRAMP-compliant encryption solutions should use modern cryptography, avoiding credentials or static keys. They also suggest avoiding passive or dynamic authentication, traffic inspection, and using multiple strategies to isolate server resources.

Zero trust architecture has hyped in recent years, but there are real-world implementations of the concept. Google’s BeyondCorp, for example, was the first real-world implementation of zero trust architecture. However, it is important to note that engineers’ workflows have changed since BeyondCorp built around 2014.

Zero trust requires a clear set of rules governing identity. In addition, zero trust must include multi-factor authentication. Additionally, zero trust requires that access to one environment does not give one lateral access to another. It also requires proper password management. In addition, the organization must ensure that employees are properly trained regarding network security and password management.

Zero trust is a key requirement for federal agencies when modernizing applications. Zero trust tenets define security in the modern world based on what users can access and how modern applications communicate. With the help of Zscaler’s Secure Network Access (SNA) platform, agencies can easily use the cloud while remaining compliant with FedRAMP’s Zero Trust stance.

Ammar Fakhruddin


Ammar brings in 18 years of experience in strategic solutions and product development in Public Sector, Oil & Gas and Healthcare organizations. He loves solving complex real world business and data problems by bringing in leading-edge solutions that are cost effective, improve customer and employee experience. At Propelex he focuses on helping businesses achieve digital excellence using Smart Data & Cybersecurity solutions.

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