Cyberattacks have increased in quantity and sophistication over time. In the face of this concern, the US government and many other nations have implemented a variety of compliance requirements and procedures, including:
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) covers healthcare practitioners, health insurers, and institutions that handle sensitive health information.
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act covers all publicly listed firms in the United States, wholly-owned affiliates, and international firms openly quoted and do business in the United States.
- The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act regulates businesses that provide financial goods or services, such as insurance, loans, and financial or investment advice.
- Contractors and suppliers working for the Department of Defense must comply with the CMMC and the DFARS.
- Corporations that hold, handle or have access to government information on account of an agency are subject to the Federal Information Security Management Act.
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-171 – applies to all federally funded institutions.
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to enterprises within the EU and those that provide services or commodities to EU citizens and businesses.
Companies must complete all compliance criteria in order to demonstrate that they can protect themselves from cyber threats. Noncompliance may result in severe consequences, including criminal prosecution. Thus, the need for a DFARS consultant has increased.
Regrettably, since they lack the essential in-house experience, small and medium-sized firms often suffer from compliance. They usually can’t afford to hire a chief information security officer.
How can vCISO help companies achieve compliance?
- Performing gap analyses
A virtual chief information security officer assesses your organization’s security strategies, methods, and safeguards against regulatory compliance standards. This enables them to spot security flaws and make recommendations for how to fix them.
- Creating and updating security policies and procedures
A virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) creates the required security policies and procedures to satisfy your company’s compliance obligations. If your company is subject to HIPAA, for example, the vCISO will develop rules and guidelines for things like:
- Who has access to digitally protected health information (ePHI), and how can their identities be verified?
- How can you make sure your ePHI isn’t being misused or destroyed?
- How will ePHI-containing electronic devices be relocated, uninstalled, destroyed, or repurposed while maintaining ePHI security?
If your organization currently has measures in place, the vCISO will assess them and, if required, update them.
Recommend and put in place security measures
A virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) implements hardware, software, and security mechanisms that your firm is required to have. Companies adhering to DFARS compliance and CMMC, for instance, are required to adopt the following:
- Encryption: Encrypts data so that those without the decryption key can’t read it.
- Backup and recovery: Makes duplicates of data so that the firm may recover it in the event of a data loss.
- External security assessment: External security testing identifies and assesses security flaws in a company’s router that malevolent intruders may use to infiltrate the network.
- Dark web monitoring: Monitors operations on the dark web and alerts an institution to possible threats.
- Security event and data management: Gathers and analyzes log data from a variety of sources in order to evaluate activity logs and issue warnings when suspicious behavior is found.
Cybersecurity training for employees
Most compliance guidelines require firms to deliver security awareness training to their staff regularly. HIPAA, for instance, requires yearly training, but DFARS requires monthly or biennial training.
These training sessions can be conducted as often as needed by a vCISO. The vCISO educates your staff on DFARS cybersecurity guiding principles and enables them to recognize and respond to possible attacks through presentations, cyberattack practical exercises, and other educational techniques. The vCISO also addresses your firm’s IT security measures, regulations, and practices during the course.