5 Keys to Selecting the Best DFARS Compliant Cybersecurity Firm
Federal contractors who deal with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have to comply with the rigid cybersecurity demands of the Defense Acquisition Federal Regulation Supplement (DFARS). These regulations, found at 48 CFR Chapter 2, amended and updated the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), which apply to government contractors.
Contracting with the federal government triggers a litany of compliance protocols. The DFARS requirements, however, are a different beast. They are extremely technical, wide-reaching, and incredibly important. Hiring a DFARS compliant cybersecurity firm for your business is the best way to meet these high government demands. The cybersecurity consulting team at Corporate Investigation Consulting can help you cover your bases, protect your business, and continue to uphold your legal cybersecurity obligations.
Here are five key reasons to choose them for your company’s cybersecurity needs.
1. Experience is Crucial
DFARS compliance is nuanced, thorough, and very difficult for someone who does not have a background in cybersecurity. Just the requirements alone are difficult to understand, and seeing how they can be met is even more challenging.
The team at Corporate Investigation Consulting has extensive experience both in cybersecurity issues and in compliance requirements. Many of them have backgrounds in the same government agencies that monitor and track cyberattacks, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or the Department of Justice (DOJ). Others conducted cybersecurity audits of federal contractors before joining the firm to help those same contractors comply with the government’s complex network of regulations.
When your company can be held liable for the shortcomings of your DFARS compliance team, you need to make sure that team is dependable and experienced. The lawyers and investigators at Corporate Investigation Consulting check off both of those boxes.
2. Your Cybersecurity Team Must Be Available
Cybersecurity is a profession that requires constant vigilance and then, with no warning, an all-hands-on-deck approach at the first signs of a cyberattack. In this hour of need, there are numerous things that have to be done to protect your company’s data from the hack:
- Free up service for DOS attacks
- Ensure the cybersecurity defense systems are firm
- Plug any weak points
- Monitor the attack
- Determine whether there was a breach and, if there was one, the extent of it
In addition to all of these requirements for your company, DFARS regulations also demand that you provide the DoD with extensive information about the attack within 72 hours of its discovery. While this requirement is meant to keep the agency apprised and give it the ability to help in your company’s defense, it can also be a distraction to your cybersecurity team. Worse, it can be accidentally overlooked in the turmoil of the cyberattack, leading to significant consequences from the DoD for violating DFARS requirements.
The cybersecurity and DFARS compliance team at Corporate Investigation Consulting are well-aware of the demands of fighting off hackers on one front and complying with DFARS on the other.
3. Proactive and Up-to-Date
One of the trickiest parts about DFARS compliance is the ever-changing requirements that the regulations impose. In this case, it is not the government’s fault. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-changing fields in the world, and the minimum defense requirements imposed by DFARS has to keep abreast of all of these changes.
For DFARS compliance, though, this presents a challenge for in-house personnel: Reaching compliance is not something your company can do and then forget about. Compliance is a constant process of monitoring the requirements for updates, seeing what has changed, and altering your strategies and defenses to meet those new demands and return to compliance.
Staying up to date with DFARS, then, is not an easy task. Contracting it out to cybersecurity professionals whose job it is to stay on top of these developments is a much safer way to ensure that your company is not just in compliance, but that it is in current compliance.
4. Thorough and All-Encompassing
DFARS regulations are notoriously thorough. They incorporate technical defense requirements from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which are published in NIST Special Publication 800-171 (NIST SP 800-171). The current version was released in February 2020 and has over 100 pages of guidance that gets divided into 14 “families” of security protocols. These categories cover:
- Access control
- Awareness and training
- Audit and accountability
- Configuration management
- Identification and authentication
- Incident response
- Media protection
- Personnel security
- Physical protection
- Risk assessment
- Security assessment
- System and communications protection
- System and information integrity
Each group has numerous individual and specific requirements, some of which may be irrelevant to your particular company, while others may be integral.
A minimum requirement for a DFARS compliant cybersecurity firm will be to cover all of these bases for your company. For the professionals at Corporate Investigation Consulting, covering this laundry list of requirements is just the starting point.
5. Personalized Attention
Finally, cybersecurity and DFARS compliance is not a uniform task: Your specific needs will determine what is actually required from your cybersecurity team. A company that already has extensive cyberdefenses in place is going to require a very different DFARS compliance strategy than a firm that has none.
The professionals at Corporate Investigation Consulting know this, and strive to understand and then meet their clients’ specific needs by conducting a gap analysis first to determine where the gaps are between your current cybersecurity performance and what DFARS requires. Only after determining where the shortcomings are can an effective remediation plan be crafted to meet your needs while consuming as little of your company’s time and resources as possible.
Contact Corporate Investigation Consulting for Your DFARS Compliance and Cybersecurity Needs
Securing a government contract with the DoD is a huge step for every company. But with the benefits come new obligations. DFARS compliance is one of the most important. Call the Corporate Investigation Consulting team at (866) 352-9324 or contact them online.
Dr. Nick Oberheiden, founder of Oberheiden P.C., focuses his litigation practice on white-collar criminal defense, government investigations, SEC & FCPA enforcement, and commercial litigation.