The Culture Shift in Compliance with Government Contractors Requires a Cybersecurity Merger with Managed IT Services
Government contractors face the challenge of meeting government regulations that seem to change year over year. The recently implemented Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) serves as an excellent example of the federal government requiring watershed changes and stringent regulatory mandates. This and other standards left some organizations panicking to understand how the new guidelines affected them and comply before deadlines.
What is particularly worrisome about the CMMC rollout is that contractors who failed to gain certification or stay in compliance do not receive a grace period. Your organization can be sidelined, and that revenue stream will evaporate. Too often, outfits react to changes rather than strategically leverage managed IT services in a fashion that ensures ongoing compliance. That’s why the way companies approach compliance needs to evolve. By aligning cybersecurity with managed IT, decision-makers create a leadership philosophy that ensures the organization stands ready at all times.
Cybersecurity Compliance with Government Contractors Remains Crucial
Organizations need to understand that compliance and risk go hand in hand. The federal and state governments continue to roll out enhanced measures primarily because bad actors prove successful against existing defenses.
For example, the FBI received more than 467,000 hacking incident complaints in 2019. The country’s top law enforcement organization’s 2019 Internet Crime Report indicates that the U.S. suffered upwards of $3.5 billion in losses last year alone. Those losses have reportedly tripled since 2015 despite increasingly strict security regulations. These rank among the changing frameworks companies must now comply with to maintain government work.
- Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- International Organization for Standardization & the International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC)
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
In many respects, government contractors and those in the supply chain have come to a critical point that demands proactive thought leadership. As Department of Defense official Katie Arrington said about the CMMC, “This is a culture change.”
Before the new standard was implemented, organizations routinely fell behind and got hacked. The elephant in the room is: What can businesses do now to merge their managed IT strategies with cybersecurity to create the top-tier vigilance necessary to deter threat actors?
How Managed IT Secures Compliance with Government Contractors
One of the primary reasons organizations either fall behind regulations or find themselves hurrying to get back into compliance involves ongoing change. Keeping abreast of the most recent change and meeting timelines have become full-time jobs.
Many government contractors now outsourced their managed IT needs with a cybersecurity specialist to minimize the risk of regulatory failures and avoid penalties. By tapping a third-party expert to navigate compliance in conjunction with IT oversight, decision-makers no longer need to worry about audits. These are strategies government contractors are leveraging to become part of the compliance culture shift.
- Monitored IT: By working with a Managed Security Service Provider (MMSP), contractors enjoy wide-reaching benefits that include breach detection, antivirus enhancements, and ongoing vulnerability scanning. An MMSP stands watch over your systems and harden defenses as weaknesses are detected.
- Ongoing Threat Detection: Government audits may detect threat vulnerabilities. When this occurs, your outfit could be face penalties that include giving up lucrative government work. A firm with cybersecurity expertise looks beyond seemingly sound security measures. Threat actors may be targeting your employees with phishing and social engineering schemes.
- Compliance Services: A managed IT firm with security experience reviews an outfit’s cyber health and compares its strengths and deficiencies against those required by government mandates. This ongoing service typically improves a company’s defenses beyond minimum thresholds. Proactive cyber hygiene positions an organization ahead of the curve.
- Cybersecurity Training & Awareness: Hackers are deftly aware that an increased number of employees work offsite and may be vulnerable to attack. Given that an organization is only as strong as its weakest link, educating frontline workers about common and emerging threats ranks among the best ways to prevent a breach and meet regulatory guidelines.
As an organization that profits from government contracts, compliance remains a cornerstone of success. Needless to say, the global threat posed by hackers from rival nations and garden variety digital thieves persists. Those are reasons that compliance will continue to evolve to deter the latest schemes to steal digital assets. Your organization can avoid being sidelined or getting hacked by enlisting a managed IT firm that specialized in cybersecurity compliance.