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The Urgency of Action: RMF and ATO Readiness Through Automation

April 18, 2023

The Urgency of Action: RMF and ATO Readiness Through Automation

There are two paths to gaining your RMF accreditation and achieving ATO—the traditional way where you throw money and manpower at it for weeks on end, and the ConfigOS automated compliance way where you dramatically reduce your risks, effort and costs.

Technology and bad actors are growing increasingly more sophisticated, so more and more agencies are automating what they can to simplify the RMF process; achieve NIST and STIG compliance; gain ATO and continuous ATO (cATO) status; and move faster, more efficiently and more securely than ever before.

Automate a critical part of your RMF effort with ConfigOS.

To achieve RMF accreditation, you need to meet NIST SP 800-53 requirements, which are based on working through STIG checklists. Doing that manually is tedious, mind-numbing work. To make it happen, you’ll need a team of specialists that are in exceedingly high demand and you’ll need to pay them richly. And because the work is so cumbersome and dreary, you’ll also spend a lot of time worrying about morale and attrition.

With automation solutions like SteelCloud’s ConfigOS, you can circumvent cyber workforce shortages, increase your system hardening velocity, bring new technology online quicker, reduce costs, improve morale, and eliminate human error. ConfigOS can be operated and monitored by a lower-level specialist, allowing you to put your big guns on all those projects you never seem to get around to doing.  It can also STIG your system—scanning and remediation—in about an hour. No kidding. The whole thing. In about an hour.

Automate all seven steps of the RMF through a unified, joint solution.

SteelCloud has partnered with the Telos Corporation to deliver a unified, joint solution for RMF automation. Using SteelCloud’s ConfigOS and Telos’ Xacta, you’ll have an integrated solution that addresses all seven steps of your RMF process, taking weeks off your RMF and ATO timeline.

SteelCloud’s ConfigOS automates the Categorize/Identify, Select and Implement components of RMF for technical assets. ConfigOS reviews an asset, determines which STIGs are applicable, scans against the STIG requirements, identifies compliance indicators and automates remediation of findings.

Meanwhile, Xacta incorporates and utilizes that information during the Assess and Authorize steps of the RMF and to initiate the Monitor step once ATO is achieved. Xacta’s workflow automation facilitates the entire NIST RMF workflow – managing the validation, analysis, documentation and accreditation processes from start to finish.

Automate your eMASS process and avoid being buried in data.

The Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service—eMASS—acts as a repository uniting technical/machine data generated from endpoint scans with the human/non-technical data documented by security/IA personnel. Traditionally, this “uniting” process is accomplished by completing a STIG Viewer Checklist for each policy for each endpoint, quickly generating a cumbersome number of hand-created checklist files. With these overwhelming manual processes, keeping eMASS current is a challenge, creating security issues that could hobble your organization.

Automation can reduce 95% of the manual effort required to unite machine and human data, helping you maintain situational awareness of your vulnerabilities, manage your risks, comply with mandates and ease the burden carried by your people:

  • Reduce errors in merging non-technical data with machine-generated technical data
  • Simplify the production and input of compliance data into eMASS
  • Reduce the effort to produce, name, and store fully populated STIG Viewer Checklist in bulk (by the 1,000s)
  • Provide complete CKL data to SIEM data feeds so that complete compliance data is easily accessible through integrated enterprise dashboards

Automate to stay ready for any and every cyber challenge.

RMF poses an essential, time-consuming mandate. But nobody says it must be hard. Between cyber workforce shortages, RMF mandates, and ATO, the day when human effort can no longer accomplish everything on its own is near. In order to stay ready for challenges, breaches, bad actors, malware and other threats, automation is imperative. See the demo and get ready for a whole new way to comply!

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