For years, businesses and organizations of all kinds — including government agencies — have relied on AvePoint solutions to migrate, manage, and protect their Microsoft 365 data. Many federal agencies fast-tracked Microsoft 365 deployments in recent months due to the widespread necessity of remote work.
Public-sector teams now have even more peace of mind: The AvePoint Online Services cloud platform has been granted an authority to operate (ATO) by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).
AvePoint Online Services is a suite of Software as a Service solutions that enable government agencies to be compliant with their digital collaboration. This includes Microsoft 365 backup, records management, permissions management, Microsoft Teams/SharePoint workspace management, and more.
Read on to learn about the FedRAMP announcement and what it means for users. While you’re at it, register for our webinar to learn more about our authorization and how federal agencies have leveraged our solutions to secure their collaboration environment in Microsoft 365 and SharePoint.
1. The FedRAMP approval process is rigorous
At its core, FedRAMP aims to streamline the process of ensuring a cloud solution is robust, resilient, and safe enough for sensitive government data. Approval involves a stringent technical review by the FedRAMP Program Management Office and an assessment by an accredited independent third-party organization.
The newly-announced ATO signifies that AvePoint Online Services security and its SaaS solutions are approved for use across all federal agencies at the “Moderate Impact” level. This strong designation accounts for 80% of authorized cloud service providers; it’s most appropriate for offerings where a loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability would result in serious adverse effects on an agency’s operations, assets, or individuals, according to FedRAMP.
For some, the approval is mandatory: The Office of Management and Budget now requires all executive federal agencies to use FedRAMP to validate the security of cloud services.
2. A major U.S. agency backed the AvePoint authorization
One of the ways to earn a FedRAMP ATO is to receive sponsorship from a federal agency. In the case of AvePoint Online Services, that backing came from a major source: the U.S. Department of Energy.
Using AvePoint solutions, the DOE will be able to modernize and further automate its approach to records management in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams in compliance with the M-12-18 NARA mandate — a strategy that’s safer, simpler, and more effective.
Now, DOE employees can create new SharePoint sites that automatically populate with the record types relevant to that workspace. And because DOE record retention periods exceed the average lifecycle of our SharePoint and Microsoft Teams workspaces, staffers can easily export records for archival when those workspaces need to be retired.
3. AvePoint has strong roots in public-sector service
Those discovering AvePoint following the FedRAMP announcement are in good company: More than 400 public sector organizations — including 163 federal agencies — already leverage AvePoint solutions to migrate, manage, and protect their Microsoft 365 and SharePoint data.
For us, the job is no sweat: we handle more than 50 petabytes of data in the AvePoint cloud.
With more data being created in more places, the resulting sprawl can exceed the capabilities of public sector departments that rely on traditional and manual compliance processes. Implementing automated solutions for digital collaboration can help agencies achieve cost-efficient compliance and eliminate the hassles (and risks) of a DIY approach.
4. AvePoint solutions enable quick, compliant workflows
The AvePoint cloud is offered across three different security levels, with our AOS for US Government option — the most stringent — earning FedRAMP approval. But those safeguards can also benefit highly-regulated fields such as financial services.
As organizations transition to Microsoft Teams and other cloud collaboration systems, they must look at questions of usability and adoption that also meet compliance standards.
Among the ways AvePoint solutions can help are:
- Enabling secure cross-agency and external partner collaboration via Microsoft 365
- Keeping sensitive data contained in the right workspaces (and out of others)
- Ensuring that the information lifecycle and records management processes can keep up with fast-paced collaboration
- Delegating Microsoft 365 administration to different departments and allowing tailored governance and management where permitted
- Delivering Microsoft 365 backups compliant with federal and state mandates and regulations
5. FedRAMP approval is critical to digital transformation
Awarding a FedRAMP impact level (Low, Moderate or High) is based on how a cloud solution can support three core objectives:
- Confidentiality of information access and disclosure
- Integrity against modification or destruction
- Availability for timely, reliable access
Having the right safeguards and modern workplace solutions is what public sector organizations need to take their important work to the next level. That value is evidenced by our continued work with the Department of Energy, which demonstrates how federal agencies can modernize their records management program alongside their overall digital transformation efforts.