Clause 252.204-7012 of the DFARS explains everything contractors need to know about protecting covered defense information (CDI) and disclosing cyber incidents. The Department of Defense (DoD) created DFARS 7012 to instruct contractors and suppliers on how to protect CDI that they keep, transfer, or process.
In addition to the security safeguards outlined in NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-171, this paragraph requires companies to adopt technological controls for securing sensitive data and monitoring cyber incidents. However, several firms have failed to satisfy the DoD’s requirements since the provision was announced in 2016.
Contractors and subcontractors may find complying with DFARS 7012 to be a daunting endeavor on their own. Whether you’re gaining or retaining a federal contract, collaborating with a managed services provider providing IT services for government contractors that specializes in DFARS compliance is your best chance. Here are some of the advantages of employing an MSP as a regulatory ally for your company.
1. An MSP eliminates your company of compliance responsibilities
An MSP spares your business of regulatory constraints in addition to offering preemptive IT scanning, 24-hour tech support, and improved cybersecurity. They can develop an IT plan for adherence evaluations and audits, saving you money on fines and the loss of a federal contract in the instance of DoD vendors.
Furthermore, you’ll have accessibility to a broad spectrum of IT skills that may assist you in the long run as compliance regulations change.
2. A MSP uses data storage protocols that are compliant with the DFARS.
Some conventional cloud service providers (CSPs) may utilize data storage systems that may not comply with the NIST 800-171 standards. This might be a concern since enterprises that employ cloud services to hold federal data must guarantee that CSPs adhere to DoD-mandated security standards.
An MSP that provides DFARS adherence services leverages FedRAMP-compliant data storage infrastructure. This federal program assures that any government information you handle is regularly maintained in secure storage systems.
3. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) Can Assist You With Cyber Incident Reporting
Vendors must inform the Department of Defense via official reporting procedures whenever a cyber incident occurs, according to DFARS 252.204-7012. The Department of Defense will then demand access to a company’s CDI-related cloud systems. Certain complications may develop while completing a cyber incident report with the Department of Defense, and an MSP’s experience will be beneficial.
In the event of a cyber incident, your company must include any malicious software detected, as well as logs and photos of impacted systems containing covered defensive information, in your report. Your IT partner can assist you in preparing a detailed report that has all of the relevant information and ensuring that the document is filed on time.
4. An MSP can help your IT team grow their skill set.
Partnering with an MSP allows your IT solutions and services company team to concentrate on non-compliance chores or mission-critical initiatives that keep your company functioning. At the same time, they may benefit from the MSP’s additional compliance-related expertise, expertise, and assets. Furthermore, DFARS adherence professionals can supplement your IT team’s expertise of how to maintain files and defense materials safe and secure, allowing you to effectively execute security policies in the face of growing and developing threats.
5. Contracting an MSP Is Less Expensive Than Putting Together an In-House IT Team
In a perfect world, you’d be able to create an in-house IT staff that could undertake all of the necessary security tests to assure DFARS certification. A few examples are backup and catastrophe recovery preparation, deep web surveillance, and external vulnerability scanners. However, in addition to expensive pay and other expenditures involved with keeping great personnel, establishing an in-house IT team entails additional fees, all in the name of maintaining compliance.
While putting up a compliance team is conceivable, the fees are usually exorbitant. Outsourcing a critical component of your IT approach, such as your DFARS adherence approach, provides additional structure and consistency to your innovation budget. It’s impossible to place a value on peace and quiet, but you’ll have it when you engage with compliance experts that can manage every aspect of your DFARS adherence strategy.