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VersaTrust has been serving the Texas area since 1997 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How To Evaluate a Cloud Provider Security

When you’re searching for a cloud security provider, you need to think about more than just the 5 stars they received. While reviews and testimonials can be helpful when finding a partner to work with your business and are a good starting point, they can only tell you so much. Your organization should be considering how they handle their security, how they can assist with your compliance requirements, and whether or not they’re the right match for you.

Advantages of Working With a Cloud Security Service Provider

The cloud brings a number of benefits to the table, ranging from increased productivity to improved communication. By working with a cloud service provider who keeps security in mind, however, you can find a whole host of other upsides to the technology. Cloud service providers can:

  • Improve the reliability of your applications
  • Make it easier for your team to work in-office, remotely, or both
  • Offer a secure cloud environment with enhanced security features
  • Help your organization meet compliance requirements
  • Ensure you’re using the right services for your business’s needs, saving you from overspending
  • Make sure your applications are integrated properly
  • Be on call if something goes wrong
  • Monitor your cloud-based systems

Network Audit MOB

How Can You Evaluate a Cloud Service Provider?

There are plenty of cloud service providers out there – and they aren’t all the same. It’s important to know what to evaluate. Here are 3 questions to get you started.

Do They Take Cloud Security Seriously?

It is essential that you first evaluate a cloud service provider’s security. If they are not taking their cybersecurity methods seriously, they could cut corners when it comes to your business.

When comparing your options, you will want to determine:

  • Whether or not they’ve had any breaches, and how they responded to them
  • Any data loss incidents and the actions taken to rectify them
  • Their cybersecurity expertise, experience, and knowledge – including certifications
  • The security controls they deploy for themselves and for clients, like multifactor authentication (MFA) and real-time identity monitoring

How Does the Provider Handle Compliance?

Cybersecurity and compliance with government regulations is more important than ever; it’s a necessity for many businesses if they want to hold onto their insurance policies. Failing a compliance check could mean that insurance won’t pay out in the event of a breach.

So, when it comes to cloud service providers, they need to understand the compliance requirements of your industry. This is a good time to review their standards, frameworks, operations, audits, and processes. What are they doing to ensure compliance for their clients? You want a provider that is adhering to security regulations and industry guidelines.

What Support, Services, and Tools Do They Offer?

Cloud services can encompass a wide range of services and support options. It’s important to consider what your organization needs to help you evaluate providers.

Outsourced IT HVO promo

With your cloud needs and wants in mind, you can ask these questions:

  • Does the provider offer migration, cloud management, or both?
  • Do they offer proactive IT and cloud management?
  • Is help desk included?
  • Are there internal resources used to manage the cloud?
  • How are backups and data stored and handled?
  • Do they make assurances regarding uptime and performance?
  • How is billing handled for these services?
  • What is included in the service-level agreement?

Of course, your organization should pay special attention to the cloud service provider’s service level-agreement (SLA). This will outline exactly what the provider will handle for you, their security responsibilities, shared responsibilities, maintenance, support, and more. If you skip this step, you could be setting up the partnership for misunderstandings that lead to security and compliance issues.

Are They a Good Fit for You?

Not every cloud service provider out there is going to be a good fit for your business. Reviews and the questions above are a great start, but they’re not always going to give you a full picture. What works for the company next door may not always work for you. From customer service to initial interactions to cost, there’s a lot to take into account.

You’ll also want to consider your organization’s needs and wants when it comes to cloud services. A good provider will help you with an initial conversation by going over these and not trying to simply shoehorn you into any one solution. They’ll assess your current strategy and work with you to ensure application and infrastructure integration so there are no big hiccups in your day-to-day.

If it’s time to migrate to the cloud or change how you manage the technology, VersaTrust can help. With certified experts on hand, we’ll have a meeting with your organization to go over your current approach, needs, and challenges to help identify the best cloud services and solutions for you.

Start on Your Cloud Journey Today Get Started.

5 Cyber Trends an Outsourced IT Support Services Firm Says You Can’t Ignore

Tech companies experienced a 2,300% increase in cyberattacks in 2021, according to Deepen Desai, CISO and vice president of security research and operations at Zscaler. But tech isn’t the only industry that’s been hit, and the attackers aren’t likely to go away any time soon.

As hackers develop more sophisticated methods of attack, it’s important to be aware of the security concerns that may affect your company. Watch out for these 5 cybersecurity trends in 2022 and learn how you can protect your business.

#1 Remote Work Vulnerabilities

Devices that belong to the Internet of Things experience an average of 5,2000 attacks per month, according to Symantec. Those devices are often hooked up to home networks – networks that remote employees use to access work files.

When all employees worked on-site, the area that bad actors could attempt to exploit and attack was tiny compared to the decentralized remote work environments of today. For many companies, a return to a fully on-site staff in the short term is unlikely.

While home office kits, faster broadband, and more devices have made remote work more agile, they have also increased security threats. Home networks are rarely as secure as on-site cyber defenses, and there are also more unsecured devices connected to the home network, creating even more vulnerabilities.

Sometimes, employees who are working from home may fall into a comfortable routine and adopt a more lax approach to how they use their devices and the software that they download. Tech used without either the permission or the knowledge of the IT department can create vulnerabilities since they haven’t necessarily been vetted by your IT team to ensure that they are secure and will keep you safe.

The solution? Set up the controls you need while also empowering your employees to work securely while they’re remote. Be confident that your team has the right software, hardware, and equipment to keep your data secure. Talk to an expert at VersaTrust about the security of your remote team to keep them and your company data safe.

Learn about how advanced security systems can keep you protected and running in the new year

#2 More Attacks in the Cloud

Gartner forecasts that Software as a Service (SaaS) revenue will grow to $151.1 billion in 2022, which makes these applications an attractive target to hackers looking for a major payout.

SaaS tools have solved many problems, but they come with their own set of issues. Did you know that poor management, or a lack of management, can lead to SaaS data leaks?  It’s not just the user’s responsibility to keep their account protected; management plays an important role. These solutions need to be properly updated and monitored to remain cyber secure.

SaaS solutions are vulnerable to attacks like any other business. Recently, the HR management platform Kronos was attacked by a ransomware group. Kronos retained data about their clients that the ransomware attackers were able to access. This breach caused scheduling, timesheet, and payroll problems for businesses that use Kronos.

Kronos isn’t the only third-party service that ransomware groups have successfully targeted. In fact, hackers go after SaaS providers and third-party services because they can breach more companies in one attack. In 2022, remember that SaaS solutions are also vulnerable to attack, and they can turn into serious cybersecurity problems.

What’s your solution? Before purchasing or downloading any new SaaS tools, make sure they are secure. Our team at VersaTrust can point out possible vulnerabilities and explain what needs to happen before you adopt a new SaaS tool to close those security gaps. Take a look at how we keep you secure.

#3 Attacks with a Human Element

Eighty-five percent of data breaches involve what Gartner calls “a human element” – aka people inadvertently clicking on links or wiring money to criminals. Hackers succeed because they know how to exploit the blind trust most people put in communications that look like they come from the boss or a business partner. It’s called social engineering. Here’s how it works:

A hacker creates an email address with a similar name to the CEO and asks employees to send them money. Or they send a link in an email that looks harmless, but actually contains a virus. Either way, the trusting employee falls for the scam and suddenly you’re dealing with a data breach.

These attacks are only going to increase. According to Troy Gill, senior manager of threat intelligence with Zix | App River, email will be increasingly targeted in 2022.

Everyone is responsible for cybersecurity, but many people are unaware of just how much one mistake can cost in terms of lost data and ransoms. To solve this problem, everyone on your team needs to be educated about and aware of potential threats. Empower your staff to be more secure through training that’s easy to understand and relatable. Start by sharing this article about phishing with your team to help them identify what they should be looking out for in emails before they click.

Contact us and let’s start working on your cybersecurity strategy for 2022

#4 Ransomware Hasn’t Gone Away

According to the National Security Institute, the average requested ransom fee increased from $5,000 in 2018 to $200,000 in 2020. When those attacks succeed, the costs are astronomical. The average total cost to an organization of recovering from a ransomware attack was $1.85 million in 2021.

Ransomware attackers have changed their strategies. Instead of using large-scale, generic, and automated attacks, hackers are using more advanced methods. Specifically, they’re attempting more hands-on keyboard hacking that’s more targeted while focusing intently on fewer organizations.

The ransom fee isn’t the only cost involved, however. Recovering from a successful ransomware attack takes time, impacts customers, and even requires rebuilding systems. According to Sophos, these costs, on average, come out to 10 times more than the ransom paid. Many companies that are victims also never get their data back.

In 2022, stay focused on preventing ransomware attacks. Don’t just detect and respond. Focus on predicting and anticipating risks. An expert at VersaTrust can show you how our fortified IT and security can keep your business’s data safe.

#5 Fight Back with a Multi-Layered Cyber Defense from an Outsourced IT Support Services Firm

Of the 32% of organizations that chose to pay a ransom during a 12-month period, 29% got half or less than half their data back, and only 8% managed to retrieve all their compromised data, according to a report from Sophos. Paying an attacker doesn’t mean you’ll get your data back, so do everything you can to prevent an attack in the first place.

Businesses are fighting back against remote work vulnerabilities, attacks in the cloud, social engineering scams, and ransomware attacks. It’s impossible to ignore what’s happened in the cybersecurity realm in the past few years. Because of the serious and expensive consequences of these attacks, there’s more awareness of and funding for cybersecurity solutions.

A strong cyber defense strategy uses a multi-layered approach that not only responds to attacks but also proactively defends against them. For many companies, it’s a matter of if not when an attack will happen. Partnering with security professionals like VersaTrust can help you prepare and respond.

Outsourced IT support services firms provide the expertise you need to navigate these current cyber trends. In 2022, prioritize budgeting for security and investing in a strong cyber strategy that aims to prevent attacks and mitigate risk. VersaTrust’s multi-layered approach uses proven technologies to provide detection protection. Learn more about how we can help your business here.

Outsourced IT support services like VersaTrust can help you plan how to respond to the most recent cyber trends 

Cybersecurity Professionals Are Difficult To Find – Consider Outsourcing

With the labor market increasingly taxed by the Great Resignation, Outsourced IT services are increasingly in demand. Add in this decade’s rapid spike in cybersecurity woes, and it becomes an even more desperate picture. Hardest hit are small businesses whose profit margins are under pressure from inflation and that are struggling to hire and retain talent.

According to the 2020 Cybersecurity Workforce report, the IT industry is currently in need of 3 million qualified cybersecurity workers. 64% of the cybersecurity professionals surveyed say their organization is impacted by this cybersecurity skills shortage.

Until recently, most businesses have been able to skate by on bare-bones cybersecurity. Relying on a single software solution or firewall to keep them safe. Cybersecurity can no longer be an afterthought – even for micro-enterprises. If you deal with information, you’re dealing in gold – and it is absolutely critical to safeguard your organization, workforce and clients.

Consider what security measures you have in place, and then consider how rapidly an issue would be remediated by your team. If you don’t have a cybersecurity expert on staff, or haven’t consulted with one, chances are there are big gaps in your security. Outsourcing IT for cybersecurity doesn’t mean you have to replace your current IT staff. On the contrary: a provider can support and augment your team, so you have the best of both worlds.

Outsourcing allows small and large businesses to leverage economies of scale for their IT needs. A recent study from Computer Economics found that security was the fastest growing IT role being outsourced. It’s little surprise, as more companies recognize they can’t insource the right skills to address these varied and complex threats and keep their companies safe. That makes security a priority for outsourcing.

By choosing to leverage external resources, these companies can refocus on their core competencies and offload the external pressures created by an ever-changing IT threat landscape, increasing complexities presented by technology and the scarcity of IT employees who can navigate these challenges at a fair price.

There are several benefits to outsourcing IT, especially when it comes to improving your security.

Here are our top 5:

Expert Cybersecurity, Affordable IT Services

Outsourced IT security management calls for expertise in diverse skill areas, typically requiring multiple specialists. At the same time, there is a market-wide shortage of these skills. Hiring and retaining workers with the requisite skills to protect your company is expensive and uncertain. In contrast, you can access a team of such experts by outsourcing and pay flat fees with relative certainty that your IT team is going to be there, protecting you around the clock.

Focus on your core business

Outsourcing your IT even partially can free up critical resources to focus on the core of your business. Your existing IT team can manage infrastructure and all those “keeping the lights on” tasks or turn their attention to strategic initiatives to make your business more effective and competitive. For example, outsourcing your IT security allows your staff technicians to focus on high-impact projects that lead to the success and growth of your business.

Informed policy guidance

The IT threat landscape is always changing, and companies that don’t have a full, expert grasp of the extent of these security risks can’t adequately address them. Creating effective security policies takes in-depth experience that most IT generalists don’t possess. For instance, the IT staff in your company may not be able to accurately assess the effectiveness of your existing security policies or how well your company is keeping up with compliance requirements you’re required to follow.

Unbiased checks and balances

Your IT security is best outsourced, because it ensures some necessary degrees of separation between your company and your security checks and balances. Processes like security assessments and recommendations can become sensitive territory when managed internally. Outsourcing puts it in the hands of neutral parties who are fully vested in protecting your organization and can offer verification of that protection.

Comprehensive security coverage

Most companies focus on infrastructure security measures, like firewalls, anti-virus and spam filtering, but fail to address internal threats or physical security risks, like inappropriate data access or removal and employee security lapses. These actually represent a large risk to organizations. Employees removing confidential information on a USB key or a busy manager clicking on a phishing link can have catastrophic results. The nuances of these internal threats rely on trained security professionals. It’s not something you can have a regular IT person scout for with enough success to detect all the vulnerabilities.

With an outsourced IT provider, you can address security from all angles, covering your bases and providing safeguards and protections your internal IT staff often don’t have the experience, training and skills to implement and oversee. Given that 60% of small businesses suffering a serious cybersecurity incident go out of business within 6 months, outsourcing your IT security could be one of the most important decisions you make as a business owner.

The Outsourced IT Provider Fort Worth Trusts for Cybersecurity

We’ve provided outsourced IT services for companies throughout Fort Worth to improve their cybersecurity, get compliant with regulatory mandates and weather the storms of the 2020s. By partnering with VersaTrust, you get the benefits of a fully compliant IT and security team at the fraction of the cost of having an in-house IT team. At VersaTrust, we work with you to continually improve your IT and cybersecurity as your business grows.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your business grow!

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Phight the Phish

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Now, in its 18th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month exists to help Americans develop an appreciation and awareness of the importance of cybersecurity. One of the focus areas of this year’s campaign is phishing. And with good reason. Consider the following statistics:

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Now, in its 18th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month exists to help Americans develop an appreciation and awareness of the importance of cybersecurity. One of the focus areas of this year’s campaign is phishing. And with good reason. Consider the following statistics:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported over 240,000 instances of phishing in 2020 – a 110% increase from 2019
  • There were 11 times as many phishing complaints in 2020 as compared with 2016
  • Globally, 75% of organizations experienced a phishing attack last year
  • 96% of phishing attacks were perpetrated via email

While cybercrime has been rising steadily for years, COVID-19 provided a host of opportunities for cybercriminals who were quick to exploit the global pandemic for their nefarious means, most notably through COVID-related fraud around the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

What is phishing?

Computerworld describes the origins of phishing as follows:

“The word phishing was coined in 1996 by hackers stealing America Online accounts and passwords. By analogy with the sport of angling, these internet scammers were using email lures, setting out hooks to ‘fish’ for passwords and financial data from the ‘sea’ of internet users. They knew that, although most users wouldn’t take the bait, a few likely would.”

With a phishing attack, the perpetrator sends unlawful emails, asking for personal information or credentials (perhaps a pin number). Oftentimes, these emails are disguised and appear to be sent from a company or service that the recipient uses and may redirect the individual to a phony website in the hope that users will bite and provide the information they ask for, such as credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords, usernames, and other valuable information. This information can be used to access important accounts, resulting in identity theft and financial loss.

Phishing is a form of social engineering, which is the art of manipulating people in order to gain access to buildings, systems, or data through the cloud. While email is the most common medium for phishing attacks, text messages, direct messaging, social media, and video games are also used in order to get people to respond with their personal information. Phishing attacks have one characteristic in common: They are designed to trigger emotions such as curiosity, compassion, fear, and greed.

How can you spot a phishing attack?

Phishing emails are one of the most common online threats, and it is important to know the telltale signs and know what to do if you see them. Here are a few rules of thumb in helping to identify phishing attacks:

  • A legit organization will never send you an email asking for passwords, credit card information, credit numbers, or tax numbers, and also will not send the link you need to log in – if the company you are dealing with needs information about your account, the email should refer to you by name and instruct you to contact them by phone
  • Check email addresses carefully – cybercriminals often use an email address that resembles one of a reputable company, but has been modified to omit a few characters
  • A general greeting such as “Dear Customer” or “Sir” and missing contact information or a signature block are strong indicators of a phishing email
  • Be alert when you receive a suspicious, urgent, or threatening email from a company

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has provided a number of resources in support of Cybersecurity Awareness month, and has also shared these general cybersecurity tips:

  • Use multifactor authentication on all accounts and devices
  • Be password-savvy, get creative and avoid using use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Protect all devices with anti-virus software
  • Limit the information you post on social media
  • Before connecting to public wireless hotspots, confirm with staff that the network is legitimate

Examples of phishing attacks

While there are some definite telltale signs of phishing attacks, as identified above, they can also be incredibly well done. Cybercriminals have come a long way from the Nigerian prince days of yore. And since seeing is believing, we have included a few examples below.

This email, purporting to be from Netflix, is one that has been making the rounds. Recipients are encouraged to update their account by providing their credit card information.

phising

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never send an email asking for your banking information, like in this fraudulent email example.

refund

Even Chick-fil-A isn’t safe from cybercriminals.

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Keeping yourself and your organization cybersafe

The theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month is Do Your Part. #BeCybersmart. Sound advice. And one of the best ways to be cybersmart is by working with the right managed services provider (MSP) partner, one that is up to speed on the latest and greatest in the constantly evolving field of cybersecurity and cloud computing, and one that is committed to keeping you and your organization secure. VersaTrust is that right MSP partner. By taking the time to get to know your business and your organizational requirements, VersaTrust is able to customize IT solutions that are in line with your strategic goals and constraints, and all within your budget. Reach out today and #BeCybersmart.

Cybercrime and You: Why Cybersecurity Is Critical for Small Businesses

In 2019, more than $3.5 billion was lost to cybercrime. During this, the 18th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we want to help you understand the threat of cyberattacks. More importantly, we want to help you see the cybersecurity steps that you can take to protect your business so that you do not become yet another victim of these digital criminals.

In 2019, more than $3.5 billion was lost to cybercrime. During this, the 18th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we want to help you understand the threat of cyberattacks. More importantly, we want to help you see the cybersecurity steps that you can take to protect your business so that you do not become yet another victim of these digital criminals.

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime occurs when criminals target people electronically. These digital crimes can take a variety of forms. For example, cybercrime would include fraud, theft, and malware. These different forms of crime can result in tremendous devastation for the victims as they find themselves attempting to recover their private data, as well as any funds that were lost.

Cybercrime can target individuals and businesses, stealing everything from Social Security numbers and business data to funds directly from the bank.

Why should I care about cybercrime?

It can be tempting to assume that only large companies need to concern themselves with cybercrime. However, these attackers will not limit themselves to only multimillion-dollar organizations. They know that often smaller businesses do not have the same level of protection in place and, thus, can be easier targets.

The dangers of cybercrime exist both offline and online. When attackers gain access to this type of confidential information and resources, they can empty bank accounts, steal private information, and cause tremendous disruption throughout daily life.

Fortunately for businesses of all sizes, basic self-defense practices can help to protect your information and keep your data out of the hands of bad actors. As many as 56% of IT leaders report that they believe their employees have picked up bad cybersecurity practices while working from home, leaving businesses at greater risk for attacks. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your business.

Examples of cybercrime

Cybercrime can take several different forms, but all of them can cause tremendous problems for businesses. Knowing the different methods of cybercrime, however, can help you understand the various methods of attack and how businesses can take steps to protect themselves.

Malware attacks

Malware attacks victimize businesses by attacking computer systems and networks. These crimes can take a variety of forms, such as spyware or adware.

Ransomware attacks

With a ransomware attack, the criminals take control of important networks or databases for the business. They lock the rightful owners out and refuse to allow you access until you agree to pay a ransom for the data.

Bots

With a botnet attack, hackers get the computer user to inadvertently download some type of malware that allows them to control the computer. They then can remotely use this computer to further their destruction and commit more crimes. Criminals can end up controlling entire networks of computers and use them for nefarious purposes, such as theft.

Physical cyberattacks

With a physical cyberattack, a criminal uses cyber means to gain control over internet-based machines. For example, they might take control over security infrastructure and disable it for a building.

Social engineering

Social engineering attacks manipulate victims into revealing confidential information that they would not otherwise reveal. For example, an employee receives an “urgent” call from a person pretending to be someone significant at the organization, and demanding confidential information that they need “right away.” This scenario can result in employees mistakenly complying.

Phishing attacks

With a phishing attack, attackers will send deceptive emails or other forms of communication to employees of a company to secure confidential login information or similar data. For example, they might send highly researched emails to a mid-level employee, correctly using the hierarchy of the company and the responsibilities of the recipient in the organization. They then ask for information, such as the login to an account or billing information.

These types of attacks occur often, as 61% of data breaches use compromised credentials. This stresses the importance of businesses paying close attention to the threat of phishing and training employees on how to spot the threat.

How can I better protect myself online?

As a small business owner, you have several tools and processes that you can use to better protect yourself. We will walk you through a few important cybersecurity steps you can use right away.

Secure your networks

If you can connect it, you need to protect it. Wireless routers provide cybercriminals with an excellent means to access online devices. You need to make sure that all of your networks are secured.

Use the latest virus protection software

You also want to make sure that you maintain the latest virus protection software on your network and computers. This provides you with a proven defense against the latest attacks from cybercriminals. Virus protection software works to incorporate information about the latest types of attacks, so you have the best possible protection.

Stay up to date on your software

Developers do not only update their software to improve features and provide a better user experience, they also look for security gaps to close and improve the overall protection you have when using the software. While it can feel tempting to put off running regular security updates, you want to make sure you complete them as soon as possible to protect your business.

Double your login protection

You want to make sure that no unauthorized users can log into your accounts and access your private information, and multifactor authentication (MFA) will help. Creating a two-step login process will help ensure that no one has access to your accounts but you. Even if the criminals manage to secure one of your passwords, such as through phishing or hacking, they will still not reach the account itself. This gives you the chance to update your passwords and make sure that this attacker stays away from your data.

Using this double authentication process can provide powerful protection for users. More than 99.9%of the Microsoft enterprise accounts that have experienced a security breach did not use this important multifactor authentication.

How do I learn more about cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity continues to play a critical role in building a modern business. With criminals interested in attacking your business digitally to steal money and information, you need to make sure that your business has its self-defense systems established. Even after Cybersecurity Awareness Month has passed, you need to make sure your protective measures stay in place.

Fortunately, VersaTrust is here to provide you with the help and support you need to keep your business secure. Contact us today.

How Partnering With a NIST-Compliant MSP Can Help You Meet Compliance Needs

When you’re working on government and Department of Defense (DOD) contracts, trust and reliability are key. In a world where cyberattacks cost businesses and governments billions of dollars each year, your cyber readiness can have a critical impact on the contracts you secure and the business you gain. To guarantee the right level of service and security, most government clients demand compliance with key standards like the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), CMMC , and others.

Unless you specialize in cybersecurity, your in-house IT likely will not meet strict government standards. If you aren’t NIST compliant, for instance, most bids will be rejected automatically. IT compliance isn’t optional anymore – you need to be compliant with key security standards, and the best way to do this is to partner with a managed services provider (MSP) with a documented track record of security compliance like VersaTrust.

What Do You Need to be Compliant?

There are two key cybersecurity compliance standards businesses need to be compliant with when handling government and DOD projects. These are:

  • The NIST CSF (Cybersecurity Framework)
  • The CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification)

Both of these are voluntary sets of standards. However, agencies often require compliance to move forward with projects. For instance, any government subcontractor that stores, transmits, or processes CUI (controlled unclassified information) needs to be compliant with the NIST’s SP 800-171 standard. Before 2018, self-attested compliance with security standards was often “good enough.” However, the situation has changed now. Under Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012, government partners and subcontractors need a documented and audited security compliance trail. 

Why Compliance is Important

You’re probably not going to have the in-house IT capabilities to meet the NIST and CMMC requirements. This is why it’s so important to work with a fully compliant MSP like VersaTrust. As your security partner, the MSP you work with has access to your documents, sensitive data, and CUI. Compliance, in this case, isn’t just about meeting specific government needs for projects. It’s also about working with a security partner who ensures your data stays safe and away from the eyes of cybercriminals.

What about the CMMC?

The NIST framework in general and NIST SP 800-171, in particular, are voluntary sets of standards that companies can look at and work toward. When it comes to U.S. government projects, though, an aspirational approach to security – “we’ll get there someday” – isn’t going to cut it. Thanks to self-attestation and a lack of consistent verification methods, NIST SP 800-171 suffered from low levels of compliance: few of the firms contracted by the government actually bothered to meet all the NIST SP standards. This is where CMMC comes into the picture .

The CMMC is not the same as NIST

A common misconception is that the CMMC is the same as NIST. This is not true. The CMMC was built to address the shortcomings of poor NIST compliance after U.S. government contractors were repeatedly hit with cyberattacks and data breaches they weren’t prepared to handle. The Department of Defense introduced the CMMC to ensure compliance at every level of the supply chain in the defense industrial base (DIB).

Remember: the CMMC isn’t optional

Unlike NIST, CMMC compliance is mandatory if you want to work on DOD projects. Your IT team will need a CMMC compliance certificate, or you’ll need to work with a fully compliant MSP. This is where VersaTrust can bridge the gap between your in-house security and the CMMC’s stringent requirements.

How VersaTrust Can Help You Move Beyond Compliance

When your business has the capabilities and experience to deliver solid results on U.S. government projects, IT compliance should not be holding you back. When you partner with VersaTrust, you shift the security-compliant burden over to a proven, trusted MSP. We have a well-documented compliance process that’s in full alignment with NIST and the more stringent CMMC provisions.

What does this mean for your business? You’ll be able to successfully bid on a wider range of U.S. government and DOD projects where security compliance is mandatory. By partnering with VersaTrust, you get the benefits of a fully compliant IT and security team at the fraction of the cost of enforcing compliance in-house.

At VersaTrust, we work with you to continually improve IT compliance over time as your business grows so that compliance issues will never be a roadblock when securing new projects.

Reach out today at (817) 595-0111! Let’s get on a free consultation call to talk about how VersaTrust can help you navigate DOD and U.S. government IT compliance regulations.