How Can DFARS Affect Your Company? A Guide for Contractors
September 4, 2023 at 11:00 PM
Image of city lights from space, and an image created by a company that maintained DFARs compliance.

Cybersecurity and regulatory compliance can be daunting for small businesses. With limited budgets and staff, keeping up with complex regulations like the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS) can feel like an uphill battle.

Staying DFARS compliant is crucial for contractors that work with the Department of Defense. Falling out of compliance could mean losing your contracts or facing legal action. The stress of constantly maintaining compliance and keeping networks secure can overwhelm small business owners.

An experienced managed IT services provider like It's Just Results can provide support with a team of experts specializing in compliance, threat analysis, and cybersecurity consulting tailored for small businesses. Professional IT businesses become invaluable partners to small businesses by providing assessments, incident response, policy development, and more.

What is DFARS?

The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) is a set of defense acquisition regulations that provide guidelines for contractors regarding the handling and protection of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).

There are security requirements that defense contractors must meet to protect CUI and other sensitive DoD data. This includes:

  • Implementing network security controls
  • Conducting assessments
  • Developing system security plans

Understanding the critical aspects of DFARS is the first step to maintaining compliance.

Consequences of falling out of compliance

Falling out of compliance with DFARS can have severe consequences for defense contractors. Violations can result in:

  • The DoD terminating a contract
  • The loss of future business opportunities
  • Civil or criminal penalties

If an incident like a data breach occurs and a contractor is found non-compliant, they could face significant legal and financial liability.

DFARS non-compliance also damages a company's reputation with DoD and other partners. By continually meeting DFARS requirements, businesses can avoid the consequences of falling out of compliance.

How to regain DFARS compliance

If your business has fallen out of DFARS compliance, a company must take prompt action to get back on track.

  1. Conduct a thorough assessment to identify the areas that do not meet DFARS standards.
  2. Develop a plan to implement missing controls like:
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Encryption
  • Auditing
  • Etc.

Businesses with limited or inexperienced IT staff may need outside expertise to assist with assessment, planning, and implementation.

Thorough documentation of the compliance process is critical. Once requirements are met, schedule an official audit by a qualified third-party assessor and provide the results to DoD.

Maintaining ongoing compliance

Compliance is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. After regaining compliance, shift your focus to consistent maintenance with these steps:

  1. Update system security plans annually at a minimum.
  2. Continuously monitor your network for new threats and vulnerabilities.
  3. Conduct regular audits and penetration testing to validate controls.
  4. Stay up to date on DFARS by tracking any new amendments or clarifications.
  5. Appoint internal staff roles to oversee compliance.
  6. Leverage IT partners, like It's Just Results, to provide assessments, audits, and advisory services to help sustain compliance.

Maintaining compliance takes time and attention. Organizations that need to be DFARs compliant but lack resources should build a relationship with a cyber security specialist.

Leveraging managed IT services for DFARS compliance

Trying to manage DFARS compliance in-house can quickly overwhelm small contractors. Leveraging the expertise of a managed IT services provider is vital.

Experienced providers like It's Just Results are deeply familiar with DFARS requirements. They provide services like:

  • Gap assessments
  • Security audits and vulnerability testing
  • Policy development
  • Incident response tailored for DFARS compliance needs

With an IT partner's guidance, small businesses can ensure they implement and sustain all necessary controls to stay compliant and avoid violations. Their expertise provides peace of mind.

Improve your IT and cybersecurity processes, including DFARs compliance, by working with It's Just Results.

Get vital technology support in compliance and more by working with an experienced managed IT services provider. Our team of experts specializes in compliance, threat analysis, and cybersecurity consulting tailored for small businesses. Get in touch with It's Just Results for help with compliance and security so you can focus on daily operations and growth.