When doing business with the US government, regulations apply to ensure the security of the data transferred and stored. DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulatory Supplement) is one such set of laws that government contractors must follow. And while it may sound intimidating, understanding DFARS compliance is not as complex as it may initially appear.
DFARS has the power to restrict who can handle data and hold contractors accountable to security protocols. The US government doesn’t take cybersecurity lightly and DFARS compliance is a critical component of any contractor’s strategy.
Who Needs to Be DFARS Compliant
Any organization that contracts with the Department of Defense is subject to the requirements set forth by DFARS. This includes both contractors as well as subcontractors who work with them. Any company or organization that develops or produces products for the DoD must also be compliant.
A Need to Know Basis of DFARS Requirements
DFARS provides a set of standards that contractors and subcontractors must follow. These include requirements such as:
• Making sure that adequate security measures are in place
• Enforcing employee training
• Mandating incident reporting
• Ensuring efficient and secure data handling
How is DFARS Related to NIST 800-171—The Compliance Family
Like peanut butter and jelly, NIST 800-171 and DFARS go together. NIST 800-171 provides security requirements that organizations must follow to be compliant with DFARS. This means that organizations must adhere to both DFARs and NIST 800-171 to be compliant.
Some simple steps to take to ensure this:
• Encrypting data
• Limiting access to networks, systems, and information
• Using MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
How are these Related to CMMC
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is an additional certification standard developed by the Department of Defense that helps organizations protect their Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). It acts as a framework for contractors to develop and maintain a secure system environment that meets the requirements of DFARs and NIST 800-171.
Basically, these three acronyms are like family, with DFARs being the parent and NIST 800-171, and CMMC as its children.
The Consequence of Not Being Compliant
Penalties aren’t fun and they aren’t something you want to deal with when it comes to contracting with the US government.
Non-compliance can carry serious consequences such as:
• Contract termination
• Denial of payment
• Legal action
Getting DFARS compliant is a must for anyone wanting to do business with the DoD. It’s important to understand the requirements and have a strategy in place to ensure compliance with all laws.
Stay Compliant with Full Send Networks
Full Send Networks is a leading provider of secure managed IT services. We specialize in helping companies who work with the US government become compliant with DFARS and CMMC standards.
We can help you develop an effective security plan, manage your networks to ensure optimal performance, and implement the latest security protocols
We offer a suite of services to meet your compliance needs. Contact us today for more information and to get started on your path to DFARS compliance.