If you are a government agency or one of 350,000 contractors in the U.S DoD supply chain, you might be aware of DFARS and CMMC for DoD contractors. The Department of Defense first released the first version of CMMC or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification in January 2020. The release came out after a large-scale exfiltration of defense information was made. The cybercriminals targeted the data kept on the contractor information systems. Although DoD released CMMC compliance recently, all the DIB supply chain contractors are required to take necessary measures to protect controlled unclassified information since 2017.
The five maturity levels of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification include the security requirements mentioned in NIST SP 800 171. It should be mentioned that DFARS compliance requires compliance to all the 110 security measures included in NIST 800 171. Another crucial thing is that contractors will have to go through a third-party audit to acquire compliance certification. The DoD is going to roll out the compliance requirement gradually. This means that companies will have to be CMMC compliant to be able to grab government contracts.
This leaves government contractors and businesses with the task of finding managed services providers that can help them with CMMC cybersecurity compliance.
In this blog, we have listed down a few points to keep in mind when looking for an MSP.
- What measures have the MSP taken to become CMMC compliant?
When looking for the right managed services provider, make sure you ask your prospect MSP whether they can achieve CMMC compliance for their DIB clients?
CMMC compliance requires following the path of the Controlled Unclassified Information. If a company is awarded a government contract and uses an MSP to process and host data, the MSP will also have to fulfill CMMC compliance requirements.
Another critical thing to think about is if the MSP will accept a DFARS flow-down or not. If the MSP is ready to accept the contractual obligation to protect and secure CUI same as you, it indicates that the MSP is willing to support customer requirements.
- Is the MSP experienced and capable of fulfilling compliance requirements?
When accessing the ability of your prospective MSP in fulfilling compliance requirements, ask how many clients have to undergo similar requirements. It’s best to determine whether the MSP has any experience in consulting and expertise in compliance.
- How will the MSP support your company during the audit process?
Is the MSP confident that their cybersecurity processes and practices effectively safeguard the CUI of their clients? Whoever you decide to partner with should be by your side when you are being audited for the certification.
- Are the systems used to access the client’s environment compliant with CMMC and DFARS?
When it comes to selecting a reliable managed services provider, you should ask plenty of technical questions. Ask about their cybersecurity practices and systems. Determine whether they conform to the compliance requirements included in the CMMC DFARS regulations. If the MSP used cloud-hosted data centers, do they meet the FedRAMP moderate baseline? Besides this, there are several other technical questions you should ask your MSP before making an informed decision.…
Ever since the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) has rolled out, DoD contractors are seeking help from CMMC Consulting Virginia Beach firms to understand the requirements for CMMC security compliance. The Department of Defense has made it clear that without CMMC compliance, no business can bid on government contracts. This step has been taken to minimize the cybersecurity threats faced by DoD vendors. Government contractors and subcontractors that store or process CUI are constantly under the radar of cybercriminals. Most contractors are small businesses without adequate resources to protect their data. Such contractors are at higher risk of becoming a target for cybercriminals.
Businesses that rely on government contracts for revenue are under pressure to prove that they have taken all the necessary precautions to safeguard their store’s sensitive information. The U.S government has made it mandatory for DoD contractors to mature their data security standards and practices. The recent interim DFARS rule has further put the DIB vendor in a state of panic. Sadly, the urgency to become CMMC compliant has made contractors vulnerable to fraudulent organizations. There are multiple reports that some organizations are making false claims regarding CMMC compliance requirements and misleading defense contractors.
If you are seeking help with your CMMC initiative, you should only rely on CMMC RPO or organizations that the CMMC recognizes.
Here are some of the things you should know about CMMC that will help you stay away from misleading practices.
Understand that no organization can get CMMC certification yet.
Before hiring any service provider for a compliance initiative, any organization required to fulfill CMMC compliance needs should know that only CMMC Accreditation Body or CMMC-AB can certify the defense contractors. If an organization tells you that they can assist you with your compliance needs, be wary of them and report them to the CMMC-AB.
The CMMC certification process states that the defense contractor will have to go through a thorough assessment by a C3PAO- the Certified Third-party Assessment organization is accredited by the CMMC Accreditation Body. C3PAOs have certified assessors who are trained for CMMC standards and adhere to the industry code of conduct. Once the C3PAO has assessed the defense contractor’s IT environment, they pass the report to the CMMC-AB for review. Once the accreditation body has reviewed the assessment, they issue the certification.
However, it’s important to note that currently, there are no CMMC certified assessors. Although CMMC-AB has certified over 100 provisional assessors, they can’t conduct CMMC assessments until they have received the CMMC Level 3 certification.
You can get help with your CMMC compliance needs.
Although defense contractors can’t get CMMC certified as of now, they can get assistance to prepare for the certification. CMMC accreditation body recommends contractors to get started with their preparation. The sooner they start, the better it would be for their business. The accreditation body designates registered provider organizations that can work as CMMC consultant and help defense contractors with their compliance needs. It’s advisable by the CMMC-AB that defense contractors should seek help from such registered provider organizations. …
Businesses need to create a robust cybersecurity program now more than ever because of the rising number of daily cyberattacks. Following the criteria outlined in the NIST CSF is one of the simplest methods to do this. However, with many cybersecurity regulations and standards like CMMC and DFARS becoming mandatory for businesses, it’s easier to get overwhelmed. Luckily, DFARS consultant and consulting firms are helping businesses become cyber complaint.
NIST CSF: What is it?
NIST CSF is a set of guidelines and best practices created to aid enterprises across all sectors in understanding and to manage their cybersecurity risks.
The five primary functions of identify, defend, detect, react, and recoup make up the NIST CSF recommendations. Each function has a specific set of essential tasks and results that companies should try to accomplish.
Businesses and NIST CSF – How are they connected?
There are several justifications for why companies have to use NIST CSF. For starters, it is regarded as the “gold standard” for developing a cybersecurity program. As a result, you can be sure that your cybersecurity program will safeguard your data effectively once it is implemented. To keep up with the most recent cybersecurity risks, NIST CSF is also continually changing, so you can be sure that your program will be capable of adjusting as new threats surface.
The methodology can also aid your company’s better management and reaction to cybersecurity events. You may lessen the severity of any assault and resume operations as soon as feasible by having succinct and unambiguous disaster recovery strategies in place.
Last, NIST CSF may be useful for adhering to various rules and regulations. When describing its cybersecurity standards, regulatory organizations frequently use the NIST CSF, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for SOX compliance, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for HIPAA compliance. By putting the framework into practice, your company may show that it is taking the required precautions to secure its data and comply with these legal requirements, which may help you avoid penalties in the case of a cyberattack.
How can vCISO benefit your organization?
While the NIST CSF is a wonderful place to start when enhancing your organization’s overall cybersecurity strategy, it can be challenging to apply if you don’t have dedicated security staff. Support for vCISO enters the picture here.
A security expert known as a vCISO, or virtual Chief Information Security Officer, offers direction and assistance to companies who lack the funds to engage a full-time CISO. They can assist you in achieving all of the NIST CSF and DFARS compliance criteria, and every other cybersecurity regulation, best practice, and objective your company aspires to.
When you collaborate with a virtual CISO, they will first evaluate the cybersecurity stance of your company. They will create a unique security program that complies with your company objectives and the NIST CSF criteria. This program will be customized to your particular industry and business requirements and will transform and grow over time as your business changes and expands.
With you, your vCISO will develop metrics that will allow you to assess the effectiveness of your security program. You may monitor your development and identify your areas for improvement using these indicators. Additionally, your virtual CISO will offer periodic updates on your cybersecurity health along with suggestions for further development.
The best method to make sure that your company’s cybersecurity plan is thorough and successful, in the end, is to hire a virtual CISO. Partnering with a skilled security specialist will provide you the peace of mind that your program will adhere to the NIST cybersecurity framework’s guidelines and protect your company from online dangers.…