Case Study Mar 17, 2021

First Cloud ATO and 100% FISMA Green for FEMA

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The Challenge

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had an unreliable commercial cloud solution for the mobile field data collection applications used by reservists during recovery operations. Instead of interacting with survivors to assess post disaster needs, the field reservists were regularly impeded by an unstable application, hosted in an unreliable cloud environment. FEMA needed a more stable, secure, and highly available cloud environment.

The Solution

FEMA asked Ardent to architect an AWS GovCloud hosting platform. This new cloud platform needed to meet specific operational and cybersecurity requirements and function effectively in an austere environment. Ardent conducted an extensive and detailed assessment of FEMA’s mobile field data collection applications, designed a cloud platform to meet operational requirements, including security controls to meet a FISMA moderate accreditation, and then migrated the applications to the AWS GovCloud environment. Furthermore, Ardent worked seamlessly with the government to complete the required ATO documentation in an accurate and timely manner.

The Outcome

Ardent designed, built, and fully accredited an AWS GovCloud hosting platform in less than one year. Ardent developed and fielded a comprehensive cloud architecture for FEMA in only six months. Ardent also attained a Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) moderate ATO in only two additional months. In the following three months, Ardent transferred all the mobile field data applications to the new cloud platform. Furthermore, Ardent maintained the environment with a 100% FISMA Green scorecard since its inception in August 2019. AWS later named Ardent inaugural partner in the firm’s Public Safety & Disaster Response Competency Program, in part because of our success in moving the legacy commercial cloud environment to the AWS GovCloud. About Ardent — Virginia-based Digital Transformation, Location Intelligence, and Data Analytics firm, Ardent Management Consulting (Ardent) is a certified HUBZone Small Business, CMMI-Dev Level 3, v2.0, and ISO 9001:2015; ISO 27001:2013; ISO 20000-1:2018 with offices in Arlington, VA and Tulsa, OK. Ardent brings a significant history of innovative and “at the speed of the mission” proven best practices in geospatial analytics, cloud services and modernization, and software development. Ardent is the “All In” trusted provider to many government agencies, DHS mission components, state and local projects, and the commercial and non-profit sectors. For more information, visit www.ardentmc.com.

Tools used to achieve these outcomes:

  • AWS GovCloud
  • Esri
  • ArcGIS Enterprise
  • Survey123
  • .Net
  • Splunk
  • Nessus