The government of the United States has in place diverse compliance requirements for its contractors. These requirements intend to protect classified material against malicious intruders while minimizing other issues in security. Among the top cybersecurity requirements, the US Government requires of its contractors is DFARS compliance.
Failure to comply with the stipulated regulations means you stand to lose your ability to have contracts with the Department of Defense. It, therefore, becomes imperative that your business familiarizes and complies with DFARS. The question is: what is DFARS?
What Does DFARS Stand For?
Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, DFARS, is legislation for compliance in cybersecurity designed to give protection to controlled unclassified information, CUI. DFARS ensures that you, as a government contractor, have in place sufficient cybersecurity practices. Such practices should prevent data breaches and hacks from malicious entities.
DFARS was the government’s response to increased cybersecurity threats emerging around 2015. As a DoD contractor, you should meet DRARS requirements, the minimum of which are:
- That you put in place sufficient security in your firm.
- That you report any cybersecurity incident with haste.
The provision of adequate cybersecurity in compliance with DRARS is somewhat complex because the two main requirements further fall into 14 groups. They are:
- System and Information Integrity
- System and Communications Protection
- Security Assessment
- Risk Assessment
- Physical Protection
- Media Protection
- Incident Response
- Identification and Authentication
- Configuration Management
- Awareness and Training
- Audit and Accountability
- Access Control
Remember that as a DoD contractor, once you fail to meet these DFARS requirements, the DoD proceeds to terminate your contract. It, therefore, becomes important to study DFARS compliance keenly together with NIST 800-171 that goes with it. Your business depends on it.
NIST 800-171; What is it?
The National Institute of Stands and Technology, NIST created a set of cybersecurity standards and named them 800-171. DFARS is consequently built around this set of standards. NIST came up with these standards as a result of studying threats to cybersecurity and analyzing their prevention.
800-171 represents the codification of the needs that your non-Federal computer system has to follow. That is as your firm transmits, processes, or stores Controlled Unclassified Information, CUI. Today, your business has to meet these standards too to contract with DoD.
Continued Cybersecurity Protection And Compliance
Online criminals continue to create enhanced methods of stealing data while executing cyberattacks. Sensitive information and intellectual property from every United States industrial sector are maliciously stolen continuously.
This creates threats to economic and national security. As such, it becomes a necessity for government contractors to maintain alertness for attacks.
Compliance with DFARS on a continuous basis helps to safeguard national and economic security. You have therefore to continuously comply with the requirements.
Outsourcing DFARS Compliance
To assist your business to attain and maintain DFARS compliance, you may outsource the inspection and auditing of compliance to a DFARS compliance services provider.
Such providers specialize in cloud computing, software, and hardware inspection of compliance levels in your firm. Liaising with one takes away the burden of dealing with regulation compliance, letting you concentrate on your core functions.
Hackers and other malicious intruders have caused considerable damage to intellectual property and internet security. The DoD has retaliated by putting in place DFARS and insisting every government contractor attain full compliance.
You have therefore to study carefully these requirements or have your contract withdrawn. It is in your best interests and that of the security of the nation.