Telos, Splunk, and StackArmor streamline ATO compliance on AWS

The FASTTR initiative from the three cloud and security companies aims to help regulated defense contractors and software providers navigate through complex government security regulations including FedRAMP, CMMC, FISMA, and StateRAMP, and streamline the compliance process.

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Telos, Splunk and StackArmor have teamed up to streamline US federal government ATO (Authorization To Operate) compliance for regulated defense contractors and software providers, using AWS as a foundation. The new initiative, announced this week by the three cloud and security companies, is dubbed FASTTR, short for Faster ATO with Splunk, Telos, and ThreatAlert for Regulated Markets.

FASTTR packs together cybersecurity software from the three firms to help contractors better navigate through complex  government security regulations including FedRAMP, CMMC, FISMA, and StateRAMP.

Getting ATO approval is mandatory for businesses operating in various sectors to fulfill compliance requirements. ATO essentially is a formal declaration by a government Designated Approving Authority (DAA) that authorizes operation of a business product.

FASTTR operates on the ATO on AWS service, an AWS partner Network (APN) program that provides resources including automated configuration, templates and best practices to help technology providers and defense contractors speed up the compliance authorization process and achieve ATO.

FASTTR aims to cut ATO compliance costs

The FASTTR initiative is designed to the reduce time and cost associated with achieving ATO compliance certifications that, for example, can stall system migration to the cloud, according to Sandy Carter, the vice president of worldwide public sector partners and programs at AWS.

The initiative also aims to enable organizations to keep up with the constantly changing government security regulations.

“Think of it as a bundled solution. We've heard from a lot of customers, that they have point solutions in place, and they really need help stitching them together to create a full solution," said Lisa Conway, vice president of sales operations and alliances at Telos. “With StackArmor leading it from a consulting services perspective, with their threat accelerator, and then with Telos Xacta, as well as Splunk security analytics, we feel we're bringing the best-of-breed solution for customers seeking regulated compliance.”

Under the partnership, StackArmor’s ThreatAlert ATO Accelerator, a NIST compliant cloud security application, runs on a dedicated AWS Landing Zone with an ATO documentation package generated using Xacta, Telos' risk management and compliance automation software. An AWS landing zone is a dedicated foundational environment offering secured cloud infrastructure, best practices and guidelines.

Splunk said it is bringing its SIEM (security information and event management) capabilities to the mix in order to fulfill continuous monitoring and auditability requirements and ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive data.

“FASTTR uses Splunk because it provides a high level of versatility and customization,” said Bethann Pepoli, a group vice president at Splunk. “We provide a centralized point for aggregating and analyzing log data from multiple systems and AWS itself enabling our customers to meet their requirements for audit, logging and monitoring, and we also provide complex data analysis with added contextual metadata.”

Boundary protection confines data

The three companies teaming up to offer FASTTR refer to the initiative as an "in-boundary" deployment, with the various components of the program designed to keep data within the confines of the authorization boundary of the system being reviewed for ATO. Boundary protection controls logical connectivity into and out of networks and controls connectivity to and from devices that are connected to a network.

The three companies say they have, individually, been helping customers obtain ATO compliance and now will work together to streamline compliance processes with enhanced capabilities for threat hunting, logging, control automation, and inheritance.

Telos' contribution, according to Conway, helps automate compliance by offering the ability to inherit AWS control information and providing for OSCAL (Open Security Controls Assessment Language) integration, making it more efficient to share and exchange data. Telos also adds the ability to automatically generate required documents from pre-collected data.

Splunk, on its part, provides software for searching, monitoring and analyzing
machine-generated data. StackArmor provides cloud migration, managed services, and managed security services. Its customers are typically compliance-focused, including US government agencies as well as healthcare, education, space and defense, financial, and non-profit organizations.


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