Search for:
Understanding the Aspects of CMMC Compliance

If you are a defense contractor or a business that deals in Controlled Unclassified Information, you might have come across Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. CMMC cybersecurity is one of the most advanced data security framework that has been made a mandatory requirement by the DoD. Meaning, any contractor that works directly or indirectly with the DoD must be validated by the CMMC government contracting

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model has a wide range security maturity levels that defense contractors should meet. The compliance level helps the Department of Defense determine if a contractor is qualified for the job or not. 

With the increase in cases of data breach, it has become a challenge for the DoD to ensure the safety of Controlled Unclassified Information stored with the DIB vendors. The recent data breaches have made it essential for the DoD to address cyberattacks. CMMC compliance is one such step towards ensuring the defense contractors are protected against cyberattacks.

Ever since the CMMC has rolled out, CMMC compliance has been made a mandatory requirement by the DoD. Without meeting CMMC standards, no defense contractor can bid on government jobs or get new contracts. Noncompliance with the CMMC regulations can take away your ability to bid on DoD contracts or continue the contract. 

As of now, there are over 100 provisional assessors that are getting trained to become Level 3 certified assessor. Besides this, the DoD also released the interim DFARS Vs CMMC cybersecurity rules last year. 

According to the interim rule, the defense contractor will be required to have an SSP, POAM, and Incident Response Plan. Some new provisions have been added that requires the defense contractor to self-score their assessment method. Another provision allows qualified and trained DoD auditors to score SSP IAW for a defense contractor. 

Many of you must be wondering why DoD has implemented CMMC. 

CMMC has been introduced by the DoD to serve as mechanism to ensure the defense contractors have taken appropriate measures to safeguard controlled unclassified information stored and processed within their systems. CMMC is put in place to verify whether a defense contractor has some level of data security practices. 

Every year, the DoD has to face enormous cybersecurity challenge. According to a report, the Pentagon prevents over 36 million phishing and ransomware attacks in a day. Even with all the resources, the Pentagon faced a data breach incident in 2018 in which the personal information of 30,000 employees got exposed. The information was stored in one of their third-party contractors. 

The need for a robust cybersecurity plan has been there for a long time. In 2015, when the DoD determined cybersecurity requirements in DFRAS, it required the defense contractors to comply with data security standards charted by the NIST. While the framework is effective, the implementation of the program is slow. This let the DFARS to come up with more comprehensive cybersecurity practices called the CMMC. 

The new compliance requirement ensures that a defense contractor has taken all necessary measures to protect the CUI stored in their networks. Moreover, only those contractors will be able to bid who are fully compliant. …

Understanding the Benefits of Outsourcing CMMC Compliance 

Ever since the introduction of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, the US Department of Defense contractors are looking for ways to become compliant to ensure continuity of contracts. DoD contractors can either opt to acquire CMMC cybersecurity certifications on their own or rely on a third-party service provider or CMMC consulting VA Beach

Several self-assessment handbooks offer assistance to DoD vendors and suppliers for their in-house certification initiatives.

However, when it comes to the CMMC program, one must be aware of the pitfalls when looking after the compliance requirements on their own. Every DOD contractor has to pass the third-party CMMC assessment to become certified with the DIB. If a contractor fails in the initial third-party assessment, they may lose valuable time while rectifying the mistakes. Such contractors may also experience hold-ups and delays. Businesses that count on government contracts for revenue may get adversely affected by audit delays. 

This is where a CMMC consulting agency comes into the picture. A majority of DoD contractors don’t have skills and enough IT resources to become NIST SP 800 171 or CMMC compliant. Such contractors can outsource their CMMC compliance initiative to a proficient MSP. 

Qualified and experienced managed services are equipped with IT infrastructure processes to assess IT infrastructure and look for control gaps. They can also help a business with its security plan. They also have a support team to look after the remedial activities whenever there is a need. Managed services providers have all the necessary tools required to monitor IT security, resolve control gaps, and create a detailed report. 

For a small business that relies on government contracts, building such capabilities in-house can be a challenge, both in terms of time and money. By outsourcing the compliance initiatives, they can ensure they are on the right path to compliance. Outsourcing such tasks also save them money and effort. 

When it comes to choosing a managed service provider, one should be mindful of whether the MSP is CMMC RPO or CMMC Registered Provider Organization. 

Businesses with CMMC RPO seal are the one that has been recognized as cyber-knowledgeable. They have a good understanding of how the CMMC compliance process works. 

One of the significant tasks of MSP is conducting gap analysis and readiness evaluation. 

Gap analysis and readiness examination serve as a foundational step for the DoD contractors to understand where they are lacking in meeting the CMMC cybersecurity requirements.

This assessment allows the MSP to identify IT assets and processes that are not in accordance with the NIST 800 171. 

Here are some questions you should ask when conducting a CMMC gap analysis. 

  • How do you store the data, and how is it accessed?
  • Is your IT support staff appropriately trained?
  • Do you have effective incident response plans in place?
  • Have you implemented and maintained a data security plan?

The answers to these questions will help you locate risk areas. The results will also assist you in creating and implementing an effective Remediation plan. 

Without a thorough Gap Analysis, an organization may experience challenges in identifying security risks, categorize activities, and assign a budget for CMMC compliance initiatives.…

UI/UX Trends That Will Shape The World Of App Development In 2023 And Beyond

The first impression of a mobile application is its UI design. UI design establishes a connection of the user with the brand and enhances the user’s experience with the app, and contributes to the ROI of the mobile application. Nothing can stop a mobile application’s success when its UI design has engaging content and is client-centric. The outlook of UX design is evolving continuously, and new things are being developed as time is passing. The most changing industry is the UI/UX industry which affects another area of industries too. The UI design is not just about the way an app looks. There are excellent app development companies in Virginia that expertise in UI/UX designs. The data structure of the mobile application should combine successfully with the guidelines of UI design. Here are some rising trends in the year 2021.

  1. Enhanced personalization- Mobile application personalization will be rising at a high rate this year. A good build UX is growing to be essential in mobile app development. This customization is seamless because of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Streaming services use good personalization to provide value to the user.
  2. Curved edges- Rounded corners look smoother than the edges and help process data easily. Android and iOS both flagships feature curved edges. Most mobile phones these days have curved edges. The curved edges on the app will give the user a good experience.
  3. Voice Assistance- Mobile applications that are voice-powered are continuously becoming a part of our lives. Voice assistants are quick to give precise results to the query and ensure a good user experience. Get software companies in VA for excellent services.
  4. Direct login- Login without passwords in the app is getting more popular these days. It is hard for the users to remember the passwords to multiple applications. Many applications allow password-less logins and use sign-in links, OTP, etc.
  5. Animation- For a better user experience, advanced animation is an essential tool. Motion graphics and animation features add value to your application and can help the branding of your business. 
  6. Gradient- Gradients are more about bright colors now used as background. Gradients try to get a clear source of light. Vibrant shades create positivity and also bring depth and dimension to the UI design.
  7. Dark theme- Dark theme consumes less battery of the phone and reduces eye strain by modifying according to the light conditions.
  8. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality- Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) empowers coordinating the advanced digital parts into this present reality picture by giving clients a new appearance at their everyday system. 
  9. Navigation- Mobile phones currently have larger displays and can hold more content than tiny phones, and are great for multitasking. The bottom navigation bar makes it easy for the user to navigate through the application.
  10. Illustrations- Designers can use their creativity to create illustrations with which they can connect on an emotional level. There will be more design experiments in the coming times to produce the emotional effect of users.
What are the challenges to CMMC compliance, and how can MSSP resolve them?

The latest benchmark for confirming cybersecurity procedures and controls is the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). Defense Department has already put it into action. Any DoD company seeking government contract are required to be CMMC compliant. Thus, the demand for CMMC consulting VA Beach experts have also gone up. 

By June 2020, all service providers in the sector, along with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), must be in compliance with the CMMC. In its totality, the official criteria were made public in January 2020.

By June 2020, answers to Requests for Information (RFI) for defense contracts included new cybersecurity standards.

The new CMMC program backs ISO quality requirements. The emergence of cyber war is a direct reaction to the vulnerabilities posed by past, present, and potential cyber threats.

The latest benchmark for confirming cybersecurity procedures and controls is the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). Defense Department is putting it into action.

By June 2020, all service providers in the sector, along with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), must be in compliance with the CMMC. In its totality, the official criteria were made public in January 2020.

By June 2020, answers to Requests for Information (RFI) for defense contracts will include new cybersecurity standards.

The new CMMC program will back ISO quality requirements. The emergence of cyber war is a direct reaction to the weaknesses presented by past, present, and potential cyber threats.

What Information About the DOD’s Announcement Is Needed by Managed Security Service Providers?

The Department of Defense (DoD) formally announced the launch of a Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification in the middle of 2019. (CMMC). This innovative security paradigm is intended to enhance the cybersecurity of supply chains, including Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), particularly as it relates to the Defense Industrial Base (DIB).

The CMMC framework’s initial release is anticipated for January 2020. The DoD’s Requests for Information (RFIs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) will incorporate CMMC requirements by June 2020. (RFPs). Government contractors have only six months to adhere to the new cybersecurity standards because of the limited time constraint. Specific standards for protecting sensitive information will be included in these regulations, along with dissemination limits.

Why Did the CMMC Get Started?

DoD created the CMMC framework in direct response to the recent high-profile security breaches experienced by the Defense department. The DoD is interested in preventing the rise and evolution of cybersecurity threats that persistently target sensitive information, as stated in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171.

The initiative will guarantee that the companies (and contractors) working on behalf of the DoD adhere to all applicable cybersecurity regulations. There will be five different certification levels. In addition to making security a top priority, the program will also develop a uniform standard for the entire DOD supply chain. The DoD will improve its cybersecurity protection for all supply chain components through a single, consistent, and verified standard.

Understanding the CMMC Compliance Challenge

The CMMC does present a barrier even though it is intended to provide a tested verification method for cybersecurity best practices and processes. The CMMC cybersecurity will ensure fundamental cyber hygiene, safeguard CUI, and guarantee that the networks of industry partners are secure; yet, a small Managed Security Service Provider may find it challenging to meet CMMC compliance requirements (MSSP).

According to the CMMC framework, five certification levels will be completely accessible in January 2020. Unfortunately, contractors will not be required to comply until June 2020. Small MSSPs may find it challenging to comply due to the compressed timeline and the projected complexity of the five levels. Any company doing business with the government will need to prove that all computer systems and cybersecurity procedures adhere to CMMC standards to comply. Similarly, primes must aid smaller businesses if they hope to secure the subsequent DoD contracts.…

How can DoD contractors Identify Vulnerabilities in their IT Network?

Identifying threats and system vulnerabilities is essential when it comes to DoD contractors’ network security. However, the problem is that most DoD contractors are small or mid-sized businesses. They have limited resources to build a robust IT security team. Thanks to IT services for government contractors, more contractors are now becoming cybersecurity compliant and taking practical steps towards addressing system vulnerabilities.

Once your asset inventory has been established, and you are confident, it is time to begin scanning for vulnerabilities. Utilizing automated techniques is the most efficient way to learn about the vulnerabilities in your technology ecosystem. Your entire digital environment should be scanned for vulnerabilities using automated tools or scanners. Your automated solutions ought to include current feeds that reflect the most recent details on risks or exposures that are relevant to the technology you are utilizing.

Vulnerability Tools: What Are They?

Numerous automated scanners and solutions are available to assist businesses in finding vulnerabilities in their environments and apps. OWASP and Gartner have compiled lists of accessible tools and solutions.

The breadth of the scans should be broad, and automated instruments should be set up to run continuously. The environment surrounding present vulnerabilities is constantly shifting, as was already mentioned. The number of unknown weaknesses also rises as scan intervals lengthen. The likelihood of unknown flaws lingering in your environment for a long time is decreased by continuous scanning.

Also, thorough scans are recommended. It may be a good idea to run scans within your on-premises production environment, but what about the flaws in your public cloud or staff endpoints? Finding flaws in those systems could be equally crucial as it is in an on-premise production environment. A risk assessment should be conducted by IT solutions and services company, as with any risk mitigation effort, to determine which settings are the most dangerous and call for scans.

Prioritizing and Reporting

Concluding reports can be scary for people who have previously seen vulnerability reports because they often involve much work to review and determine which vulnerabilities need to be fixed immediately. Action plans or SLAs that specify how the business will respond to vulnerabilities when they are discovered should be decided upon and documented by a security practitioner or security team. The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of a vulnerability is a valuable benchmark that should be utilized to choose the best course of action.

A widely used method for judging the seriousness of technological security flaws is the CVSS. Security professionals can prioritize response activity by using the severity rankings the CVSS scoring system assigns to vulnerabilities. Scores vary from 0 to 10, with 10 being the most serious, and are determined based on predetermined criteria. A corporation should become familiar with the CVSS score methodology and plan how it will respond to the various ratings in advance.

What is the Best Course of Action for a Response or Remediation?

It is advised that businesses form a steering committee to decide on response strategies and priority setting. The steering committee should be composed of a cross-functional group capable of evaluating the information available on vulnerabilities found and choosing the best course of action. A network team member, software developers, site reliability engineers, and a customer service representative are possible candidates. They will all value the chance to learn more about the vulnerability and how the suggested remediation plan might affect their own teams or your clientele.

Pulling feedback from all interested parties or sponsors will help ensure that any concerns or suggestions are taken into account and provide all parties a chance to buy in or support the suggested solution. A proposed patch may involve a restart or downtime. Are there any additional risk-reducing measures the panel can take if a fix is not readily available in some circumstances? In the end, the committee will have to decide between remediating the detected vulnerability, mitigating its effects, or accepting the risks that come with it.

Assessing Your Security Maturity Using the Maturity Model

Not every business or other entity is created equally. A strong, thorough, ongoing vulnerability management program may already exist in more developed firms. Some companies may only be beginning to roll out their program. The strength or maturity of your program can be ascertained in any case.

The SANS has released a vulnerability management maturity model that defines five distinct maturity levels and lists the actions a business should take to achieve each level. Reviewing the model to see how they compare to the predetermined standards may benefit an established company. When building its risk management program, a start-up or less professional organization may elect to follow the model as a guide.…

What is a Vulnerability Management Program from the Point of View of an Auditor?

There are weaknesses in every technological ecosystem. A “Weakness in a data system, system security protocols, internal procedures, or execution that could be abused or provoked by a threat source” is one of the definitions for vulnerabilities that NIST has defined. Software developers, criminals, or security researchers may unavoidably discover bugs or weaknesses in the software and technology we employ over time.

A CVE number is given to a vulnerability once it has been made publicly known to identify it formally. The National Vulnerability Database (NVD) of NIST and MITRE both keep an up-to-date list of CVEs. Over 19,000 CVEs were monitored and maintained by NIST’s National Vulnerability Database in 2020, and over 9,000 CVEs have already been found for 2021. Undoubtedly, vulnerabilities are a concern for everyone and must be continually addressed. To address the dangers posed by vulnerabilities, DoD contractors must build an efficient vulnerability management program.

What is Vulnerability Management?

The “cycled process of finding, classifying, ranking, resolving, and eliminating” software vulnerabilities is known as vulnerability management. NIST defines vulnerability management as a data security constant monitoring capability that identifies vulnerabilities on devices that are likely to be utilized by attackers to infiltrate a gadget and use it as a foundation from which to extend penetration to the network.

Why Do You Need a Vulnerability Management Program?

How is vulnerability management different from program management if we add the term “program” at the end of vulnerability management? An expert in program management might reply as follows: A program is a collection of related initiatives and activities that are coordinated and managed within a framework that enables the delivery of outcomes and benefits. A program’s objective is to connect similar work. Anyone with vulnerability management knowledge can appreciate the significance of the idea behind this definition of “program.” Performing vulnerability management is a coordinated activity that calls for the efficient completion of numerous tasks and initiatives.

What constitutes a vulnerability management process’s four primary components?

A more prominent firm will require additional personnel and processes to guarantee that vulnerability monitoring is conducted properly and effectively. Although the number of individuals and procedures involved will vary from business to business, the following four key components should be present:

  • Inventory
  • Identification
  • Reporting
  • Prioritization
  • Response

The Importance of Creating an Inventory of IT Assets

As the proverb goes, you can’t defend what you can’t see. All forms of technology have flaws, as was already mentioned. You can’t identify the weaknesses in your technological ecosystem if you don’t know what technologies you currently use. A business must be aware of the technology used in its surroundings and keep an accurate inventory of its assets. Creating a thorough inventory of all your technological assets might be difficult for different businesses.

Due to tighter internal control regimes brought on by increased regulatory supervision, financial service and DoD companies organizations appear to have less difficulty recognizing their inventory of IT assets. Controls like disabling end users’ ability to install software or changing their endpoints’ configuration significantly limit the chances of introducing untested or unauthorized software into the ecosystem. Shadow IT hazards can also be decreased by limiting the devices connected to a network or by implementing stringent procurement procedures for hardware or cloud services.

On the other hand, software development companies appear to be at the other extreme of the spectrum. Contractors frequently use BYOD devices and have full access to the technological infrastructure. Creating an exhaustive asset inventory can be very challenging in this kind of setting.

Because resources can be set up quickly and easily in the cloud, things could become more difficult. Do you know what resources and technology your cloud environment possess? Are you aware of the cloud services that are present in your ecosystem? The most important aspect of a vulnerability management program is keeping an exhaustive inventory of all technological assets. …