Small Business Needs to Comply with New Cybersecurity Regulations

January 12, 2016

Slow Speed Ahead for Contractor Compliance

Source: Signal, The Cyber Edge, Michael Semmens, Janaury 1, 2016

New DFARS cybersecurity regulations are demanding, especially for small businesses, but solutions exist.

Complying with federal cybersecurity standards, though essential for the defense industrial base and national security at large, presents immense fiscal challenges for smaller businesses that struggle every day to meet the demanding requirements—without breaking the bank.

If not addressed soon, small business noncompliance with the standards spelled out in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, or DFARS, could have the unintended consequence of severely diminishing the sector’s role in defense contracting, exacerbating concerns about bringing the entire industrial base into compliance. It is a responsibility shared by all businesses doing work for the Defense Department—small, medium and large.

The consternation began in November 2013, when DFARS subpart 204.73 went into effect and required all Defense Department contractors to comply with a designated set of security controls outlined in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-53. The publication was issued as a direct response to the growing number cyber espionage incidents where adversaries stole sensitive government information—often from a contractor or subcontractor. The change mandated compliance when unclassified controlled technical information (UCTI) passed through or was stored in defense networks or systems. 

In spite of the mandate, not much happened when it actually went into effect.  Read More …

Need to learn more about the DFARS and NIST security controls? Contact your nearest PTAC for guidance with these issues.


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 For help with Government Contracting: contact your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Funded through Cooperative Agreements between the U.S. Department of Defense and state and local governments/institutions, PTACs provide free and low-cost assistance in virtually all areas of government contracting.