DOD Plans Free Software Tools to Support Small Business Cyber ​​Compliance


As the Department of Defense focuses on increasing the number of small contractors in the defense industry, the Office of Small Business Programs is working with the federal government on a series of software tools it plans to offer to industry to make doing business easier.

Speaking at an enterprise information technology event hosted by AFCA’s Northern Virginia chapter on Thursday, Farouk Mita, director of the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs, said the office will release a series of software tools this year to help with everything from better market intelligence. For the purchase of personnel to process security for small businesses.

Mita said that as the DoD continues to develop its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Rule, it will require contractors to maintain certain cybersecurity standards in order to compete for defense contracts.

“When I first got into this business, one company said to me, ‘Hey, DOD is releasing CMMC, and I can’t comply. It’s expensive, there’s a lot of different standards, and it’s a barrier to entry,'” he said. I wanted to make sure we were helping them get the resources they needed. [National Institute of Standards and Technology] 800-171 requirements.

In the year The rulemaking process, which is expected to follow the 2021 reform, is still evolving, but the office is deploying free downloadable tools “in the coming months” through the Project Spectrum Education and Training initiative, he said. CMMC controls the unclassified information it is intended to protect.

“I think small business safety is critical,” he said. “When it’s you [have] Cyber ​​and other forms of invasion, you will lose [intellectual property]You lose money, we lose government data and nobody wins. So it’s on us to protect you.”

He added that the Office of Small Business Programs is still working out the details of the cost-sharing model with industry to determine what features the director will support and what companies will choose, but the goal is for small businesses to maintain their systems. and offset some of the cost compliance burdens that may result under the CMMC.

Those upcoming weapons will complement the resources the Pentagon is already providing. Project Spectrum websiteFree access to resources like cyber preparedness training, tool reviews, cyber consultants and more.

Outside of CMMC’s compliance efforts, Mita also said the Office of Small Business Programs is developing new software tools to provide better market intelligence to the Pentagon’s procurement workforce.

“If we want to go outside, not only in the DOD marketplace, not only in the federal government marketplace, but if we want to find new entrants, companies that were just doing business, we need to do better market research,” he said. .

Expected to launch later this year, the new tools will help small business professionals, contracting officers, program managers and others identify more potential companies to showcase more of the federal government and business landscape.

The number of small businesses receiving federal contracts in fiscal 2022 represents half of the 121,270 received in fiscal 2010. Small business participation has declined significantly.

Earlier this year, a DoD memo directed officials to prioritize small business goals and contracting opportunities over best in class contracting goals.

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