Do This to Win Your Next DoD Contract

Small businesses like yours go a long way in keeping the US defense industry afloat. While this undoubtedly creates many opportunities, it also means that the landscape is highly competitive. You want to do everything in your power to maximize the contracts you win and keep them once you have them. By now, you know plenty about product development, marketing, and bidding. However, adequately researching and investing in your cybersecurity capabilities might be something you’re overlooking.

The United States Department of Defense takes cyber security very seriously. This is because foreign nations, terrorist groups, and criminal organizations are interested in compromising the advantages of the United States military. Adversarial groups like these understand that your small business might be an easy target for their cyberattacks. It is your responsibility to keep them at bay. Failing to do so could threaten national security and might cause you to lose valuable contracts. Conversely though, being the company that thoroughly invests in their cybersecurity apparatus will give you an edge over your competitors. If you’re curious about what to do, these steps are a great place to get started.

Do Your Research

As the old saying goes, knowledge truly is power. In order to protect your business and the sensitive information it handles, you need to stay up to date on the standards the Department of Defense has in place. Luckily, the DoD is very clear on the standards you’ll need to meet. They’re codified in a measure known as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement or DFARS. This measure houses the cybersecurity standards you’ll need to comply with in order for you to qualify for contracts. If you’re wondering what does dfars compliant mean, it can be surmised into two primary obligations. First, you are mandated to report any cyberattacks or breaches to the DoD immediately and provide them with updates for 90 days after. Second and most importantly, you must comply with the 110 cybersecurity standards outlined in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-171 or NIST 800-171. Understanding the basics of DFARS as outlined in NIST 800-171 is the best place to start your journey into fortifying your cybersecurity capabilities.

Consult With The Experts

Having some basic knowledge of these standards will help position you for success. That said, your business has many moving parts and the cyber landscape is changing all the time. Developing a relationship with a reputable compliance management service is an investment that will save time, and help generate future revenue. NIST 800-171 is readily available, but if you’re not particularly familiar with cybersecurity jargon and protocol it can be difficult to sort through. Making mistakes here can make you vulnerable to attack or disqualify you from a lucrative contract. Compliance management experts will be able to inform you on what you need to do in order to comply with DFARS. In the event that your systems need improvement, they’ll be your guide in making the necessary updates.

Once your business is up to date and compliant, you’ll still need to keep your systems current. Professional compliance managers will keep you informed on any regulatory changes, while also advising you of any updates your system may need.

As the world grows more connected, a robust cybersecurity network is critical for your business to thrive. As new threats emerge, your contracts will require you to stop these threats and protect sensitive information. Once you’ve developed a basic understanding of the standards, working with a compliance management firm can take your business to the next level and will keep you there for years to come.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.