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2 min read

Accelerating Defense: How CyberAssess Can Revolutionize the ATO Process to Outpace Adversaries

The phrase "time is of the essence" has never been more critical than now with our geopolitical adversaries, particularly China, not only gaining ground but doing so with alarming speed and efficiency. As we stand in the arena of digital warfare, our Authorization to Operate (ATO) process, taking a staggering 18-24 months, unwittingly becomes an advantage for our opponents. By automating and simplifying the ATO process, CyberAssess not only accelerates technology deployment but also enhances the cybersecurity posture of the Air Force, ensuring that new technologies are secure, resilient, and ready for the challenges of tomorrow.

The Drag of Tradition: How Outdated ATO Weakens Us

The conventional ATO process is a behemoth that entangles national security efforts in bureaucratic red tape, severely hampering our operational agility. While our adversaries leap through technological advancements, we are tangled in a laborious, antiquated process detrimental to our cyber posture.

Amidst this backdrop of urgency, CyberAssess emerges as the harbinger of change. It's not merely a proposed solution; it's an operational game-changer already reshaping our approach to cybersecurity. Picture a cloud-based tool as intuitive as your go-to tax software, equipped with user-friendly workflows and expert navigation — that's CyberAssess.

Enabling Innovation, Accelerating Deployment

The first usage and deployment of our ATO automation tool was utilizing CSAR/RMF Pro, which is the first module of CyberAssss. CSAR/RMF Pro automates the Prepare step of the RMF Framework and maps mandatory forms such as ITCSC, PIA, and PCIL. By using this module to map mandatory forms plus the guidance from our RMF Advisors, our client achieved an ATO in just six months. 

This is not just a reduction in time; it's a reinvention of the process, granting us a decisive edge in the relentless cyber race against entities like China.

The initial MVP (CSAR/RMF Pro) is being battle-hardened. The Air Education and Training Command (AETC) 2nd Air Force is successfully employing CSAR/RMF Pro to deploy up to 40 training applications, underscoring its practicality and efficiency.

The Call to Action: Strengthening Our Digital Front

To fully harness the potential of CyberAssess, the government must take decisive steps:

  • Designation of Responsibility: CyberAssess should be the linchpin of our cyber defense strategy, with mandated adoption across the board.
  • Secure Development Funding: to further expand the capabilities of the current toolset, like ensuring integration into other Programs of Records, eMASS, ITIPS, etc
  • Annual Operating Funds: To keep pace with the velocity of digital threats, we must ensure that CyberAssess receives the funding required for continuous innovation and readiness.

Empower Innovation, Cast Your Vote for CyberAsses

CyberAssess isn't just another option on the table; it's the spearhead of our national security in the digital age. Falling behind is not an inconvenience—it's a national security risk. Embracing CyberAssess is not just about adopting a tool; it's about proactively securing our nation's future against the ever-looming threats.

Out of 138 submissions from across the U.S. Space Force and U.S. Air Force, the Spark Tank team presented the top 15 ideas identified through pairwise voting and subject matter expert evaluations from this year’s pool of submissions. DAF senior leaders convened to review and discuss the merits of each idea, reaching consensus to identify Spark Tank 2024’s six finalists and CyberAssess is one of the finalists. By facilitating a quicker path to secure ATOs, CyberAssess is the linchpin for not just advancing cybersecurity and operational efficiency, but for enabling the rapid deployment of all the transformative technologies featured in the Spark Tank challenge.

Click here to vote through March 21.

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