With sensitive defense data, cyber security and data privacy becomes even more important as hackers grow more resilient and sophisticated. As a defense contractor, you must abide by the DFARS compliance checklist of cyber security requirements to obtain Department of Defense contracts and for your own peace of mind.

Any contractor that works with controlled unclassified information and/or International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is subject to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) minimum security standards, under the control of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). DFARS IT requirements set out how an organization controls its security.

DFARS Cybersecurity Requirements Explained

Several factors comprise DFARS IT requirements.

First, organizations must provide adequate security to safeguard sensitive information, whether it is residing in your system or just moving through it. You and the government do not what this data accessed by unauthorized or malicious users, so it must be controlled.
More specifically, companies must meet the requirements under the categories of access control, awareness and training, audit and accountability, configuration management, identification and authentication, incident response, maintenance, media protection, personnel security, physical protection, risk and security assessment, system and communications protection, and system and information integrity.

If there is any kind of cybersecurity incident or issue, an organization under DFARS requirements has to report it quickly, and work with the DoD to respond in full. Organizations may also be asked to show that they comply and have the necessary documentation to back that up.

It may seem like a lot to manage, especially as the DFARS compliance checklist is fairly new, but it can’t be ignored. If you fall out of compliance, your company will lose any current or future DoD contracts and possibly devastate your company.

Even for small contractors without IT resources, the DFARS compliance checklist is non-negotiable. If your organization is too busy to ensure compliance with your current staffing, outsource the compliance process through US IT Services.

Outsourcing DFARS IT Requirements

Working with a DFARS IT expert will put your mind at ease and ensure that you can continue bidding on and being chosen for DoD contracts. However, your organization is ultimately responsible and liable for compliance, not your contractor, so finding a trustworthy partner is the first step.

A DFARS expert like US IT Services will work to get you compliant with the DFARS Compliance Checklist and NIST certified, which is one of the main benefits of managed IT services. We start with a security audit of your network looking for threats and vulnerabilities, to judge how close your organization is to meeting compliance as is and identify the gaps between your existing structure and one that would be compliant.

Auditors look at areas like who security access permissions, cyber security training and policies, security controls, data storage, and response plans for data breaches.

We review the audit results and then work to remediate any issues to get our clients compliant and certified. It could be as little as a few hardware fixes and changes, or as complex as overhauling your entire system and policies to create something fully compliant. The only way to know is to perform the audit and see where things stand.

We also create the documentation you need to prove compliance with DFARS cybersecurity requirements.

DFARS compliance is an ongoing issue – any new programs, processes, staff, or data must be assessed and monitored to ensure it doesn’t jeopardize your organization’s compliance. You also need to be proactive in monitoring for potential security breaches even in your existing, remediated network as time goes on.

US IT Services will also set up a routine maintenance and monitoring plan as part of our DFARS offerings, so that you can carrying on with contracts.

For all your security needs, US IT Services is here to help. As your experienced, qualified, and trustworthy partner, we have the skills, education, and know-how to protect even the most sensitive defense data.

Learn more about our offerings or to set up a consultation about your organization’s DFARS cybersecurity requirements, by contacting us today. We understand the importance of compliance and will ensure your defense business thrives now and in the future.

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