Building an Unclassified Cloud-based IT Infrastructure to Support a Critical Mission

The Context

A Federal civilian agency with a mission to secure the nation required an IT infrastructure unique to its mission and scope. Historically, the organization had been too small to merit its own standalone IT infrastructure and relied on its parent agency’s enterprise architecture.

The Challenge

The agency needed a partner to determine which IT and data architecture would best meet its needs, then build and maintain it. Cognosante worked closely with our customer to evaluate and recommend a future-state architecture for their specialized needs, including scoping and determining the financial viability of launching and maintaining it. Our team evaluated several cloud-based service providers in addition to the on-premises solution envisioned by the agency and facilitated the selection process. We also implemented the security and governance protocols needed for the customer to grant the new environment’s Authority to Operate (ATO).

Our Innovative Solution

The team leveraged Cognosante’s Cloud Foundations Framework  to provide the following services: Cloud Software Engineering, Cyber Security Support, Cloud System Administration, and Cloud Technical Services, including Program Management.  Solving the agency’s challenge, we:

  • Transformed the environment from on-premises to the cloud using Amazon Web Services as the Cloud Service Provider (CSP)
  • Implemented the capability for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) and leveraged emerging cloud managed services
  • Established the agency’s DevSecOps process and implemented cloud Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD) pipelines supporting its cloud modernization effort
  • Performed software assurance and required FISMA compliance activities, including security control assessment, continuous diagnostics, continuous monitoring, and mitigation
  • Supported expansion of customer mission and changes within the parent agency’s IT environment by performing proactive operational cost controls based on Amazon Web Services pay-as-you-go pricing model

Our Tangible Results

Cognosante implemented over 500 security controls across 18 control families. We also obtained the environment’s ATO sign off with FISMA Moderate-Moderate-Moderate, which was granted for three years instead of the usual one year.

Our customer now has the tools, applications, and services needed to best anticipate, adapt, and respond to emerging threats. Specifically:

  • The Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD) pipelines provide the secure infrastructure and technical environments needed to deploy modern technologies on demand, with fewer technical limitations and greater protection from emerging cyber threats,
  • The organization and its parent agency have migrated a significant number of applications—over 30—from on-premises or other contractor hosted facilities to the public cloud platform to meet changes in their missions and the overarching IT environment, and
  • The added value of the pay-as-you go pricing model is achieving operational efficiencies and cost savings.

Learn more about how we design, develop, and deliver innovative and secure Cloud solutions to government that are robust, functional, scalable, and secure – so agencies can focus on their missions.



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