The US Department of Defense (DoD) spent $439.4 billion on contracts for products and services in 2020. That’s billions of tax dollars awarded to hundreds, if not thousands of companies contributing to US national defense. To get involved in this lucrative industry, contractors must abide by Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS) requirements, such as limiting offshore acquisitions to organizations located in DFARS-compliant countries. Read on to review the list of DFARS-compliant countries (2021) and the safeguards that organizations must demonstrate to secure DoD contracts.
NIST 800-171 / DFARS
The federal government utilizes contractors to provide routine services and products to achieve the nation’s missions and conduct operations. During the course of business, the government shares sensitive information with federal contractors, which is then stored, processed, and transmitted via information systems. Department of Defense (DoD) contractors must abide by Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) requirements for protecting Covered Defense Information (CDI), which is directly related to national security.
If your company is a supplier or contractor with the US Department of Defense (DoD), it has to comply with several regulations to ensure the safety of US citizens, domestic and abroad. The most comprehensive is the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). It specifies the requirements pertaining to covered defense information (CDI), including ways to safeguard it and report on any cyber incidents that could compromise it.
To work closely with the Department of Defense (DoD), companies need to handle sensitive data critical to the entire country’s security.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) outlines the five elements of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. These five elements include identification, protection, detection, response, and recovery.
The Defense Industrial Base (DIB) sector is a vast business network containing some of the most critical infrastructures in the US. Working in partnership with or for the Department of Defense (DoD) as a contractor can be lucrative, but that comes at the cost of high risks to your own company and the safety of all Americans. That’s why you’ll need to ensure compliance with various DoD cybersecurity frameworks, and the NIST 800-171 assessment methodology is a critical first step in that direction.
Contracts with governmental agencies can be extremely valuable for businesses. This is especially true for contracts with the Department of Defense (DoD), which has abundant resources to offer its vendors. The catch is that the DFARS compliance requirements are among the most complex cybersecurity regulations for any US industry. Any company working with the DoD needs to be fully compliant. Nonetheless, resources spent meeting them are guaranteed to provide optimal ROI.
Companies seeking to work with US governmental agencies need to adhere to strict standards for cybersecurity. This is especially true for contractors looking to work with the US Department of Defense (DoD). To secure specific contracts, and maintain preferred status, you’ll need to comply with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171. And to do so, there are several NIST 800 171 compliance tools at your disposal.