Safeguarding Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) has recently become a top priority for the Department of Defense. To establish a standardized approach, the White House issued Executive Order (EO) 13556 in November 2010, aiming to effectively manage the safeguarding and dissemination of sensitive information across government agencies.
The DFARS 252.204-7012 requirement, also referred to as the NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-171 requirement, was specifically developed to ensure that individuals and entities collaborating with the Department of Defense, including the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), have the necessary safeguards in place to protect classified defense information.
DFARS Compliance Requirements
To be DFARS compliant, organizations must conduct a self-assessment against all 110 controls outlined in NIST 800-171. They must also develop a system security plan (SSP) that describes how the security requirements are met and create plans of action and milestones (POA&M) to address controls that have not yet been implemented.
DFARS compliance ensures that government contractors effectively process, store, and transmit CUI while adhering to specific security controls. Achieving compliance can be a significant undertaking, but it is a crucial step for organizations working with the DoD.
Here are some key DFARS compliance requirements to keep in mind:
Security Assessment: Regularly assess environments that handle CUI or CDI, ideally using a continuous compliance platform.
Multifactor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA) needs to be enabled for all local and network access. Use MFA/2FA for systems that deal with CUI or CDI.
Incident Response: Develop and maintain an incident response plan that covers preparation, identification, containment, eradication, recovery, and learning from incidents. Continuously update and practice the plan as your organization evolves.
DFARS compliance is vital for organizations conducting business with the Department of Defense. By following the guidelines and implementing the necessary controls, you can ensure the security of sensitive information and maintain eligibility for DoD contracts.
Remember, achieving compliance requires ongoing effort and attention to detail. Consider leveraging third-party experts or compliance management solutions to streamline your compliance journey. Stay proactive, stay compliant, and stay ahead in the defense industry.