Maintain data security as directed by DFARS with DFARS compliance checklists.
Use this checklist template for a self-assessment of DFARS compliance for an information system.Download template
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The protection of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) is of high concern to the Department of Defense of the United States (DoD). This data, which is often sensitive information that touches on privacy and security concerns, contains classified business interests, or is relevant to law enforcement investigations, is intended to be protected by the guidelines and requirements of the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). This data security standard is also known as DFARS Cyber Clause 252.204-7012.
The DFARS is based on NIST Special Publication 800-171, a set of regulations issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Under Secretary for Defense Acquisition designed to ensure that those working with the Department of Defense have methods to meet requirements to protect sensitive information. This eliminated the patchwork of policies, procedures, and labels that had previously prevailed to protect and control CUI.
DFARS compliance is mandatory for all companies that generate DoD-related revenue to protect the sensitive data that resides within their supply chain from being compromised. However, companies that aspire to generate DoD-related revenue in the future must also be DFARS-compliant.
If a contractor fails to comply with cybersecurity controls, it must provide notice of the areas of noncompliance within 30 days of contract award. Failure to comply with the DFARS can result in the suspension of the contract, financial penalties, termination of the contract, or even debarment from working with the Department of Defense.
To provide evidence that an organization is in compliance with NIST 800-171, it must conduct a self-assessment for all 110 control points and develop a System Security Plan (SSP) that describes how the security requirements are met. Also, a Plan of Actions and Mitigations (POA&M) to show when controls are in place and security gaps are closed.
Implementing these security controls is the first step to compliance and can be quite an extensive undertaking, especially for organizations with scarce or limited resources. However, it is possible for a company to hire a third party to perform the DFARS assessment. A cost-effective alternative is to use a digital solution that can perform the security assessment quickly and automate documents as they go through. DFARS compliance documents can be managed internally using checklists, which can be done digitally over the Internet, depending on the company and its knowledge of NIST language and technical capabilities.
DFARS accordingly means conducting an assessment and compiling comprehensive compliance documents that are updated live and ready for submission at any time. The U.S. Department of Defense requires full compliance with all NIST SP 800-171 controls. Accordingly, companies should not worry about spending time and effort to fully remediate controls. The Plan of Action and Remediation (POA&M) and the System Security Plan (SSP) are both important documents companies can use to demonstrate that they have implemented the controls and assessed their organization.
Compliance with NIST 800-171 ultimately gives a company the upper hand among competitors. If a supplier fails to comply with the NIST cybersecurity controls described in DFARS clause 252.204-7012, it must notify the Department of Defense within 30 days of contract award of the areas where it cannot comply.
Using a DFARS compliance checklist is an efficient and time-saving way to regularly monitor the 110 checkpoints to consistently comply with contract requirements. The following 14 control families should be covered by a DFARS compliance checklist by completing appropriate checks:
Testing compliance with DFARS standards with a checklist is essential for DoD contractors. Applying DFARS standards not only protects the organization from security breaches, but also ensures the integrity of its security measures.Conducting regular audits through a DFARS compliance self-assessment helps provide organizations with data they can use to improve their information systems.
A digital compliance software and app like Lumiform helps organizations perform this DFARS compliance assessment using checklists. The collecting, documenting, and evaluating of data and information is made easier with a DFARS compliance checklist by allowing the results to be recorded and prepared in a structured manner. Take advantage of Lumiform's compliance software to improve your information systems: