FAR CUI Rule’s Return: Impacts on CMMC Compliance & Federal Contracting

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) rule is back, and its resurgence is raising important questions for federal contractors, especially those subject to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). What is the FAR CUI rule, why is it back in the spotlight, and how will it impact your compliance efforts? Let’s dive in. 

Impact of FAR CUI Rule's return on CMMC compliance and federal contracting.

What is the FAR CUI Rule? 

The FAR CUI rule is a set of regulations designed to standardize how federal agencies and their contractors handle sensitive but unclassified information (CUI). This includes everything from personal data and financial records to technical specifications and export-controlled information. The rule aims to ensure consistent and robust protection of CUI across the entire federal government. 

Why the Resurgence? 

The FAR CUI rule has been dormant for several years, but its recent revival signifies a growing recognition of the escalating cyber threats faced by the government and its contractors. With the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks, a unified approach to safeguarding CUI has become more critical than ever. The re-emergence of the FAR CUI rule demonstrates a renewed commitment to protecting sensitive government data. 

Impact on CMMC Compliance 

The FAR CUI rule’s return is particularly relevant for defense contractors who must comply with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. The framework assesses and enhances the cybersecurity posture of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and strongly emphasizes protecting CUI.

While the exact impact of the FAR CUI rule on CMMC is still under discussion, several potential scenarios could unfold: 

  • Modified Assessment and Validation:
    The FAR CUI rule could lead to changes in how CMMC compliance is assessed and validated. This might involve adjusting the scope of assessments, modifying the criteria for evaluating compliance, or altering the role of third-party assessors (C3PAOs)
  • Enhanced CUI Protection Requirements:
    The rule could introduce new or stricter requirements for handling CUI, necessitating updates to existing CMMC compliance programs
  • Increased Scrutiny:
    Expect increased scrutiny of your cybersecurity practices with a renewed focus on standardized CUI protection, regardless of your CMMC level.

How to Prepare for the FAR CUI Rule?

To navigate this evolving landscape, federal contractors should take the following steps: 

  1. Review and Update CUI Practices: Ensure your existing processes for handling, storing, and transmitting CUI align with the FAR CUI requirements. Update policies, procedures, and training materials as needed. 
  1. Stay Informed: Keep abreast of the latest developments regarding the FAR CUI rule and its potential impact on CMMC. Monitor official announcements, attend industry events, and consult with legal and cybersecurity experts. 
  1. Be Flexible and Adaptable: Adjust your CMMC compliance program to accommodate any changes resulting from the FAR CUI rule. 
  1. Prioritize Cybersecurity: Regardless of specific regulatory requirements, prioritize robust cybersecurity measures to protect CUI and safeguard your business from cyber threats. 

Understand the FAR CUI rule and its potential impact on CMMC to proactively adapt your cybersecurity practices and ensure your organization is well-prepared for the future of government contracting.

For more additional insights you can watch this from @Summit7 

  •   Aaron Tubal
  •   Jun 07, 2024
  •   Blog