FISMA Compliance, Certification & Accreditation for Georgia Businesses
Federal contractors in Georgia providing services to various governmental agencies will ultimately need to begin the process of FISMA compliance, certification & accreditation.
While FIMSA was signed into law in 2002 (and then amended in 2014), there seemed to be a general weakness regarding enforcement on federal contractors, but that’s all changed. Increased calls from federal agencies for strengthening cybersecurity controls has essentially brought thousands of businesses throughout North America into scope for FISMA compliance.
The tone in Washington, D.C. has forever changed regarding information security and cybersecurity awareness. Say goodbye and goodnight to soft enforcement by federal agencies and hello to the new world of compliance. What does this mean for the large number of business in Georgia offering services to federal agencies? It’s a wake-up call that effectively places huge compliance challenges on hundreds of organizations in Georgia offering services to the likes of DoD, HHS, IRS, and other agencies. If FISMA compliance, certification & accreditation mandates have not come knocking on your door, it’s probably just a matter of time.
FLANK is Georgia’s leading provider of federal regulatory compliance services and solutions, offering high-quality, fixed-fee pricing for businesses throughout the Peach State. Learn more about FISMA compliance, certification & accreditation today from the federal compliance leaders for Georgia businesses.
7 Essential FISMA Compliance Initiatives for Georgia Businesses
1. Get to Know NIST SP 800-53: One of the world’s most recognized and well-respected information security publications is none other than NIST 800-53. For years, federal agencies have been aligning their security controls against the prescribed mandates, and now, federal contractors are next in line for compliance. Like many of today’s leading InfoSec frameworks, NIST 800-53 has evolved over time, maturing itself along the way into becoming an incredibly in-depth publication. To obtain a copy of the most recent NIST 800-53 publication, please visit http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html
2. Begin with a FISMA Scoping & Readiness Assessment: Compliance with the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA) can be quite challenging indeed, all the more reason for beginning with a scoping & readiness assessment. Performed by highly capable federal compliance experts, our FISMA scoping & readiness assessment helps organizations in Georgia in identifying business process boundaries, information systems in scope, gaps and deficiencies that require remediation, and much more. Simply put, getting off one the right foot begins by properly scoping and planning for FISMA compliance.
Because FISMA compliance ultimately means compliance with the well-known NIST 800-53 publication, our scoping & readiness assessment will walk your business through every security control category, offering detailed advice and recommendations. More specifically, for the prescribed security controls published in NIST 800-53, we’ll determine all necessary operational/security/technical requirements needed to be in place, assess your current baseline of controls, and then provide a detail assessment of gaps requiring remediation.
3. Get Ready for Security/Technical Remediation: FISMA compliance ultimately means putting in place a number of essential security/technical controls as published in NIST 800-53. What types, specifically? How about Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), vulnerability scanning, anti-virus, intrusion detection systems, encryption, audit logging and audit trails, and much more. It can be a tall order indeed, and its why Georgia businesses often find themselves needing assistance in terms of identifying, obtaining, and implementing various tools. And from open-source tools to enterprise-wide Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), there are dozens upon dozens of vendors to choose from. Using the wrong product can end up costing Georgia businesses thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of lost productivity, so let the experts at FLANK assist.
Remember, the time and effort needed for selecting and implementing security tools can be overwhelming, so let us assist your organization today.
4. Policies and Procedures are Essential: Developing FISMA policies and procedures is one of the most challenging and time-consuming endeavors businesses have to undertake. While federal contractors have historically spent thousands of dollars on InfoSec policy development, that’s not the case anymore. As the world’s leading provider of information security policies and procedures, FLANK offers a wide variety of policy templates and toolkits for FISMA compliance. Visit flank.org today to learn more. Writing policies and procedures doesn’t have to be an exhaustive process, and it’s not anymore, thanks to us.
While organizations may very well have existing information security policies and procedures in place, are they current, accurate, and even relevant to one’s environment? What’s interesting is that the time and energy it takes for re-vamping existing information security policies and procedures is often much more than starting completely over with our policy documents. Yes, our documents are that good!
5. Operational Initiatives are Critical: You’ve got security/technical areas to remediate and policies to develop, so what else? There’s a number of operational requirements that must also be in place, such as implementing security awareness training, developing and testing one’s incident response plan, and more. With FISMA, you’re getting hit on all fronts when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of organizational assets, so be prepared for numerous mandates coming your way. Our NIST 800-53 FISMA toolkits and policy templates provide all the necessary documentation needed for becoming compliant, and they’re available for instant download today at flank.org.
6. Assess Third-Party Outsourcing Entities: Every business is outsourcing some other type of service or function to another business. It’s natural and it’s the new world we live in. But what you’ll need to know for FISMA compliance is that assessing such outsourcing providers is a requirement for FISMA compliance, and for some obvious reasons. For example, do you outsource to a Managed Security Services (MSS) provider? If so, then this organization’s controls will need to be assessed as they can impact the safety and security of your environment that is undergoing FISMA compliance.
7. Continuous Monitoring is a Must: For federal contractors in Georgia, earning FISMA compliance, certification & accreditation is a huge milestone indeed, but staying the course and maintaining compliance is often just as challenging. With that said, you’ll need to undertake regularly scheduled activities in identifying, evaluating, and if necessary, making changes to one’s control environment – a concept known as “Continuous Monitoring”. People come and go, business processes change, and because of this, your control environment is affected. How do you maintain an environment that exude excellence, one with a mature set of policies, procedures, and processes? By implementing the concept of “Continuous Monitoring”, that’s how.