Press Release

Coalfire Receives Accreditation as FedRAMP℠ Third Party Assessment Organization (3PAO)

June 27, 2012

IT GRC firm becomes authorized to validate Cloud Service Providers to new FedRAMP standards

Washington, D.C. – (June 26, 2012) – Today, Coalfire Systems, Inc. announced that it has achieved accreditation as a FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) Third Party Assessment Organization (3PAO).

The FedRAMP program supports the U.S. government’s objective to enable U.S. federal agencies to use managed service providers that enable cloud computing capabilities, and Coalfire is one of the first ten accredited 3PAO firms. With this certification, Coalfire is the only assessment firm authorized to conduct cloud assessments for the federal government (3PAO), Healthcare industry (HITRUST certified), and the Payment Card Industry (Qualified Security Assessor).

FedRAMP provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. As a part of the FedRAMP process, cloud service providers (CSPs) must use a FedRAMP approved third party assessor to independently validate and verify that they meet the FedRAMP requirements.

“Moving to the cloud raises numerous security concerns for any business,” said Tom McAndrew, executive vice president, professional services at Coalfire. “For government agencies, these concerns can be even more sensitive since national security can be at risk. This accreditation further validates Coalfire’s expertise in cloud security and risk assessment, and we look forward to working with CSPs on their FedRAMP initiative towards receiving an authority to operate (ATO).”

Receiving the accreditation of 3PAO means Coalfire will be able to validate the security and control implementations that CSPs must provide in order to work with and provide cloud services to federal agencies. 3PAOs are critical to the FedRAMP program, as they demonstrate the independence and competency of CSPs that host the government’s most crucial data.

In addition to demonstrating the requisite technical competency in FISMA and independence and quality management to achieve 3PAO accreditation, Coalfire has diverse leadership experience in additional vital compliance fields – in cloud and virtualization environments - such as PCI, HIPAA/HITECH and GLBA; backed with expert staff that includes former CIOs, CTOs and auditors. Coalfire staff are heavily experienced in those respective industry regulations and are located across the U.S. Coalfire has offices in seven major markets in the U.S. including the Washington, D.C. area.

FedRAMP implementation began earlier this month and will be done in phases – starting with 3PAOs assessing CSPs. Coalfire has already begun preparing agencies and cloud service providers for testing. The wave of activity is large and growing and includes assessments and penetration tests with interested CSPs this month. Inquiries for FedRAMP services can be made with Coalfire at 877-224-8077 or at

For those interested in learning more about the FedRAMP certification process, Coalfire will be conducting a free webinar on July 10, 2012 at 2:00pm EDT / 11:00am PDT. Click here to register.

About Coalfire

Coalfire is a leading, independent information technology Governance, Risk and Compliance (IT GRC) firm that provides IT audit, risk assessment and compliance management solutions. Founded in 2001, Coalfire has offices in Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and completes thousands of projects annually in retail, financial services, healthcare, government and utilities. Coalfire has developed a new generation of cloud-based IT GRC tools under the Navis™ brand that Coalfire clients use to efficiently manage IT controls and keep pace with rapidly changing regulations and best practices. Coalfire’s solutions are adapted to requirements under emerging data privacy legislation, the PCI DSS, GLBA, FFIEC, HIPAA/HITECH, NERC CIP, Sarbanes-Oxley and FISMA. For more information, visit