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Agencies and programs within the U.S. government are prime targets for cyberattack. The federal government maintains data that is essential to the function of our nation, the security of our people, and the stability of our healthcare and financial markets. Any unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of this data could cause significant harm and disruption. 

To mitigate this risk, Congress has enacted various pieces of legislation that provide for critical information security and continuity. The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and its subsequent updates form part of these minimum controls, which govern all federal:

  • Information and data
  • Networks, computers, and information systems
  • Paper, electronic, and audio records
  • Sensitive and personally identifiable information

FISMA mandates the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data by developing and implementing an internal program of controls – but who is ultimately subject to FISMA oversight?

Do I need to comply with FISMA?

It makes sense that FISMA regulations apply to all agencies of the U.S. federal government, but they extend beyond these agencies, too. Since the law’s passing in 2002, FISMA has expanded compliance to include all organizations that possess, manage, or have access to federal information on behalf of an agency. Now, any private sector firm or organization with a contractual relationship with the government falls under FISMA regulations. This includes:

  • State and municipal governments
  • Government contractors
  • Industry or commercial partners
  • Information technology and software providers

For instance, a clearinghouse that processes federal student loans would be subject to FISMA oversight, as would a cloud services hosting provider like GovDataHosting. If an organization – even in the private sector – supports a federal program, provides services, or receives grant money, it is bound to the requirements of FISMA. The goal is to reduce the potential risk of unauthorized data use, disclosure, or loss, no matter where along the chain it might originate.

If you’re subject to FISMA, make sure your data is protected.

GovDataHosting’s fully-managed service bundles are comprised of FedRAMP High-certified cloud infrastructure, managed security compliance, technical support, and disaster recovery support – enabling an accelerated FISMA assessment and authorization path for government agencies and their supporting contractors. Speak with a FISMA compliance specialist to learn more today.

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