With data breaches in the news every day, most organizations have shored up their cybersecurity efforts. In spite of that, many have overlooked a key element: physical security.
It seems like every day, we hear stories about cyber attacks, ransomware demands, and data breaches. The Ponemon Institute reported that the average cost of a U.S. data breach in 2020 was $8.64 million.
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With more internet-connected devices in the hands of more people, and a larger chunk of the workforce doing their 9-to-5 from home, cybercriminals have targets and opportunities like never before. The state of Connecticut is responding to this tidal wave of cyberthreats with proposed legislation aimed at encouraging companies to increase their cybersecurity. In a nutshell, the proposed bill provides incentives for businesses to reach compliance with nationally recognized standards of cybersecurity. In case of a breach, a compliant company would be shielded from legal liability stemming from a cyber attack. The bill was unanimously approved in the state House on May 20 and now moves to the state Senate.
I’ve been having many conversations with manufacturers about their need to get aligned with an interim rule put out by the Department of Defense (DoD) recently. The basic deliverables of that rule are to submit the score a supplier achieves following a gap analysis based on the controls listed in the NIST Special Publication 800-171 document. Sounds simple right? I can tell you from experience that the idea is not clearly defined within the rule.
Following the interim rule passed down in the document DFARS Case 2019-D041 on September 29, 2020, there’s a growing number of subcontractors in the Department of Defense (DoD) supply base selling into the “Primes” who are receiving urgent requests from their customers to comply with this new requirement. Regardless how long the DFARS 252.204-7012 has been a stated requirement for DoD contract awards, this new urgency is driving a lot of activity in the Defense Industrial Base (DiB). As such, you have likely heard from a range of vendors that have offered to help you reach that goal.
If you’re a supplier or manufacturer that relies on business with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the contracts they offer, you will need to ensure that your IT infrastructure can pass a third party certification for cybersecurity readiness over the coming months. This certification is referred to as CMMC or the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. It is an initiative designed to help protect the data being shared within the Defense Industrial Base of the United States and the contract information necessary to produce the parts, systems, and components needed for our national defense.
Improving record keeping and data handling is critical to keeping the trust of partners, vendors, contractors, and customers. The importance is magnified when the federal government is involved, with the goal of creating a national culture of cybersecurity that protects the information of our businesses, citizens, and government. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created Special Publication 800-171 to help protect Controlled Unclassified Information. But what does that actually look like? How will you know you’re meeting the standards laid out in NIST 800-171? What is CUI?