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Maida Lerner is senior counsel in Crowell & Moring's Washington, D.C. office and a part of the firm's Privacy & Cybersecurity, Government Contracts, and Environment & Natural Resources groups. Maida counsels a broad group of clients in a variety of sectors on cyber and physical security compliance and risk management, homeland security, and administrative matters, including trade associations and companies in the pipeline, transportation, government contracts, education, health care, and manufacturing sectors.

On May 14, 2024, the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) published the final versions of Special Publication (SP) 800-171 Revision 3, Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations and its companion assessment guide, NIST SP 800-171A, Revision 3 (collectively, “Rev. 3 Final Version”).  While the Department of Defense (DoD) is not requiring contractors who handle Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) to implement Rev. 3 for now, it is expected that DoD will eventually incorporate Rev. 3 into both DFARS 252.204-7012,  Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting (DFARS 7012) as well as the forthcoming Cyber Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. Continue Reading NIST Releases Final Version of NIST SP 800-171, Revision 3

On May 2, 2024, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a class deviation to DFARS 252.204-7012,  Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting (DFARS 7012), specifying that contractors subject to the clause must comply with NIST SP 800-171, Revision 2.  The deviation (labeled Deviation 2024-O0013) will delay the incorporation of NIST

On March 11, 2024, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published an updated Secure Software Development Attestation Form, meaning that producers of software and providers of products containing software used by the federal government may be required to submit their attestations in the very near future. The Attestation Form, first published in April 2023, is a key cog in CISA’s implementation of software supply chain security requirements in accordance with Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity and OMB Memoranda M-22-18 and M-23-16.Continue Reading Software Developments: CISA Finalizes Attestation Form, Triggering Secure Software Development Implementation

On December 26, 2023, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the highly anticipated proposed rule for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Program (CMMC), a cybersecurity regulatory program that will likely impact most of the government contractor community. Every contractor who handles sensitive data such as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or Federal Contract Information (FCI) during DoD contract performance will be covered by this regulation. While the CMMC program builds upon the security requirements included in Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clause 252.204-7012, CMMC will bring greater scrutiny to contractors’ cybersecurity compliance and potentially greater consequences for failure to comply in the era of the Department of Justice’s Civil Cyber Fraud Initiative and False Claims Act litigation. If finalized as proposed, the rule will significantly impact the CMMC regime, notably by requiring senior company officials to complete an affirmation for every CMMC level self-assessed or certified, thus increasing legal compliance risks.Continue Reading DoD’s New Year Resolution: A Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Program (CMMC) Proposed Rule

On November 9, 2023, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) released the Final Public Draft (“FPD”) of Special Publication (“SP”) 800-171 Revision (“Rev.”) 3, “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations” and the Initial Public Draft of NIST SP 800-171A Rev 3, “Assessing Security Requirements for Controlled Unclassified Information.”  The FPD of SP 800-171 Rev. 3 condenses several control requirements from the initial public draft while adding new requirements under existing controls.  The initial draft of SP 800-171A now aligns with SP 800-171 Rev. 3 and includes more detailed assessment procedures than its predecessor.  Changes in both documents forecast the evolving compliance requirements for organizations required to safeguard Controlled Unclassified Information (“CUI”).Continue Reading The Holidays Come Early: NIST Unwraps Final Draft Revision 3 to NIST SP 800-171

On June 21, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule amending the Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation (HSAR) by updating an existing clause (HSAR 3052.204-71) and adding two new contract clauses (HSAR 3052.204-72 and 3052.204-73) to address safeguarding of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).  The final rule is effective July 21, 2023.

The new clauses aim to improve privacy and security measures around CUI by introducing: (1) general CUI handling requirements; (2) authority to operate (ATO) requirements for federal information systems; (3) incident reporting requirements and activities; and (4) sanitization of government related files and information. These new clauses move DHS away from the use of DHS-defined sensitive information and toward the government-wide CUI model. Continue Reading Homeland Cybersecurity: DHS Overhauls Its CUI Program, Releases New Contract Clauses

On June 9, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released M-23-16, Update to Memorandum M-22-18, which alters key deadlines and clarifies how agencies and software developers can comply with M-22-18.  The original memorandum, published in September 2022, required all federal agencies and their software developers to comply with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF), NIST SP 800-218, and the NIST Software Supply Chain Security Guidance (collectively, NIST Guidance) whenever third-party software is used on government information systems or otherwise affects government information. Continue Reading Softening the Blow: OMB Extends Software Supply Chain Security Deadline and Clarifies Scope

On May 10, 2023, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a draft of NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-171 Revision 3, containing new and revised cybersecurity controls that, when finalized, will be required for federal contractors handling Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).

NIST proposed five key changes to NIST SP 800-171:

  1. New controls

On April 28, 2023 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published its long-awaited draft Secure Software Development Self-Attestation Form.  The form is a key component of the mandatory software supply chain security requirements introduced by last fall in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-22-18. The Form requires certain software developers to attest to specific security elements of their software development life cycle (SDLC) and their development environment. 

Background

In May 2021, the Biden Administration issued Executive Order (EO) 14028, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.”  The EO directed the federal government to prioritize software supply chain security, including by creating secure software development practices for federal software acquisitions.  Pursuant to the EO, in February 2022 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published NIST Special Publication 800-­218 and the NIST Software Supply Chain Security Guidance (collectively, the NIST Secure Software Development Framework, or NIST SSDF), providing software development-focused security controls and best practices for federal agencies and their commercial software partners. 

OMB Memorandum M-22-18, published on September 14, 2022, requires companies providing software to the federal government to complete the self-attestation form to certify that they comply with the NIST SSDF controls and guidance whenever third-party software is used on government information systems or otherwise affects government information.  Continue Reading CISA Releases Draft Secure Software Development Self-Attestation Form

On March 22, 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a final rule requiring contracting officers to consider supplier risk assessments in DoD’s Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS) when evaluating offers. SPRS is a DoD enterprise system that collects contractor quality and delivery performance data from a variety of systems to develop three risk assessments: