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2 min read

CSAR Prepare Simplifies Path to Authorization to Operate (ATO) Approval

The Department of Defense has a mission to field systems at the “speed of innovation,” but there has historically been a gap in helping developers and small businesses get their solutions and applications into the hands of the warfighter.

With Cybersecurity Assurance Readiness (CSAR) Prepare, that mission is realized by providing technology enabled support toward obtaining an Authorization To Operate (ATO). Traditionally, navigating the process already required a fair understanding of the requirements and procedures, forcing potential vendors to learn these while simultaneously scrambling to meet deadlines. The adoption of CSAR Prepare removes this barrier and other bottlenecks that cause delays, benefitting both developers and ultimately, our nation.

Ingalls understands the unique challenges surrounding the DoD ATO process, which is why the Government Programs Team developed CSAR with the long-term mission to help small businesses that don’t know how to start the Assessment & Authorization (A&A) process get on the right track.


What Is CSAR Prepare?

Cybersecurity Assurance Readiness (CSAR) Prepare simplifies the path to ATO approval through automation and advising, supporting the Prepare and Categorize System steps of the Risk Management Framework (RMF).

The key benefits of CSAR Prepare include:

  • Mapping of AF mandatory forms
  • 40 hours of RMF advisory services
  • Cyber plan templates
  • Exclusive access to RMF and ATO Knowledge Base

CSAR Prepare eliminates the unknowns and repetitive tasks that delay and disrupt timely delivery of valuable technology to our military. Developers are enabled to make smart, prompt decisions, allowing applications to be adaptive in keeping pace with RMF requirements around cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities.


How Does CSAR Prepare Improve the ATO Process?

Mapping of AF Mandatory Forms

CSAR Prepare eliminates redundancy with automation and distinct, easy-to-manage form completion. Answer once, and all sections of the corresponding mandatory ATO forms (such as the ITCSC, PIA, and PCIL) are filled out with ease. Additionally, each answer provides immediate feedback on the impact to the package submission timeline and the risk of package return. This overall scalable approach reduces the time to create and complete forms with accuracy, leading to a higher acceptance rate. 

Intuitive Dashboard

One easy-to-read dashboard provides clarity and focus, allowing users to track the status of applications. This design readily supports the understanding of package progress and provides a visually concise view into the current projected timeline submission and critical information.


With the included RMF Advisory Services, users will be working with a personal expert who will go over pain points as well as provide focused review during critical periods. These Support Experts are there from the beginning to assess needs, customize process solutions, and help clear milestone “checkpoints”.

Cyber Plans

CSAR Prepare gives users access to customizable templates to streamline the RMF Plan development process, positioning users for a successful entrance into the RMF lifecycle.



Ingalls took the most frustrating and difficult part of the RMF process and automated it. In CSAR, AF mandatory forms such as the ITCSC, PIA, and PCIL are mapped so that you answer once, and it maps to many. ​​The repeatable and sustainable A&A services in CSAR are much more scalable and responsive than traditional methods. The CSAR Prepare process can cut up to 20% of time creating complete and accurate forms, which leads to higher acceptance rate into the Authorizing Official workflow.

CSAR Prepare employs an automation driven modular approach while keeping a human-in-the-loop to actively review applications for accuracy and provide feedback, guiding the user forward to a “mature cyber environment” and on path towards an authorization decision. The entire experience offers refined processes to reduce chance of errors, confusion, and fatigue. 

This technology forward solution along with human level attention and adaptability guide developers towards a more expedient ATO process.


Where Do I Learn More?

CSAR Prepare or RMF Advisory Services can be applied to programs already underway and those who have yet to begin the ATO process. No matter what stage you are in, our team is ready to provide the expertise and peace of mind you need to focus on securing and readying your offering for achieving an authorization decision.  

Check out our press release here and join our interest list for updates about the CSAR Prepare early access program! Click here to request a CSAR demo.