Unplanned outages cost enterprises millions of dollars each year, but they are not the only worry. Maintaining the reliability of any information-bearing device is also crucial for complying with regulatory standards such as those described in DFARS 252.204-7012. The NIST SP 800 171 framework also highlights the need of preserving baseline configurations in order to protect the effectiveness of information security measures. Furthermore, DFARS 7012 mandates data conservation and protection, among other things. Proactive system maintenance by DFARS consultant is the most effective method for ensuring smooth operation and continuing compliance with most business standards.
Here are top tips for making sure your IT upkeep is up to the task:
#1. Automated patch management
Patch management is crucial for protecting data systems and infrastructure against emerging threats, such as those discovered after a software product has been installed. Security upgrades should be obtained on a regular basis for any company software that is still supported by its original creators. If, however, the software has approached the expiration of its extended support lifecycle, it should be deactivated as soon as possible.
Patching on a large scale is problematic because of the complexities of today’s business computer systems. An automated technique, on the other hand, that employs an up-to-date inventory of all your processing technologies and automatically installs important security updates keeps your systems secure while minimizing disruption.
#2. Backup and disaster recovery
Information integrity is one of the pillars of DFARS compliance, which is why having a documented backup and disaster-recovery policy is vital. This will help to safeguard mission-critical data from common threats like ransomware and unplanned outages.
Many businesses, on the other hand, focus almost entirely on the backup aspect of disaster response. It is also vital to ensure that the disaster recovery procedures used by your company are in line with your demands as well as the needs of your customers and stakeholders. Setting your recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) establishes how long it should take to restore a network and how much data you can tolerate losing.
#3. Information security standards
Every firm must meet a certain degree of security in order to comply with regulations and internal expectations. While creating a risk-free workplace is tough, developing a security baseline may help you pass regulatory audits and fulfill the demands of customers and stakeholders.
The special publication NIST 800-171 offers a strong basis for outlining the fundamental security and compliance standards. This well-known framework serves as the cornerstone for a number of compliance processes, including DFARS 252.204-7012.
#4: Consistent compliance audits
The DFARS 7012 clause mandates all Defense Industrial Base contractors to adhere to the criteria outlined in the NIST SP 800-171 framework. Regulatory organizations are currently conducting audits of enterprises throughout the DoD supply chain to guarantee compliance with these criteria. Instead of waiting for a surprise audit, it is far preferable to be proactive with regular security and compliance audits to guarantee you are prepared to pass an official assessment when the time comes.
These audits should preferably be performed by a third party, who may bring a new viewpoint and may identify difficulties you hadn’t considered.