cloud-based security

Why use TIC with FedRAMP-approved apps?

If agencies are accessing cloud environments approved by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, they shouldn’t have to use a trusted internet connection as well,  according to International Trade Administration CIO Joe Paiva.

Speaking at the recent ATARC Federal Cloud & Data Center Summit, Paiva said that connecting to cloud services like Office 365 or Salesforce is no different than agencies connecting to data centers or a teleworker accessing the office network.  “The definition of what’s ‘my network’ has changed,” he said.

When users in the office connect to the agency's Amazon cloud they are using transport layer security, he said. Their data is "never passing through the untamed wild.” The applications that have been FedRAMP approved and have full authority to operate "run in my environment, they’re not external,” he added.

All of the traffic to the public internet will still go through the TIC, he said.

The Office of Management and Budget has mandated the use of TIC since 2007 to reduce the number of connections to the outside internet. When asked if this setup was ignoring the mandate, Paiva said it was not.

“I just interpret it the way I think it makes sense to be interpreted,” he said.

Acting Federal CIO Margie Graves recently said that the federal TIC policy is in the process of being modified to address latency issues caused by TIC architecture in hybrid environments.

Paiva, however, said his concerns with TIC aren’t with latency, but rather with cost.

TIC offers little if any added value in these instances, he said. If there is, it is “at best, some miniscule, marginal, unnoticable portion,” he said.

And that limited value comes at a big cost, he added:  “If you don’t know this, TIC is egregiously expensive.”

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

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