October 2020 is a looming deadline for all Alabama companies who contract with or plan to contract with the Department of Defense.
That’s the date that DoD will require all of its suppliers pass certification for a new level of cyber security qualification.
To meet increasing cyber risks, the DoD introduced the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification in January 2020, and it is being rolled out over the next several months. The new model requires that all DoD contractors be certified at one of five levels by an approved certification body. It is expected that beginning in October of 2020, all DoD requests for proposals will include these CMMC requirements.
To help small and midsize businesses meet these new standards, the DoD recently awarded a $500,000 grant to an outreach program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
UAH’s Office for Operational Excellence will offer low-cost cyber security assistance to Alabama businesses toward compliance with DoD cyber security regulations. As part of the program, UAH conducts education seminars, workshops and direct technical assistance to help small to medium size companies become ready to meet new DoD cyber security requirements.
The OOE program is called ACCESS, which stands for Alabama Cybersecurity Coaching, Education and Support Services.
“It is vitally important for small and medium-sized businesses in our state to be compliant with the new DoD requirements in order to strengthen national security and maintain a good business relationship with the DoD,” says Brian Tucker, ACCESS program manager.
ACCESS partners include the Alabama Small Business Development Center, the Alabama Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Alabama Technology Network.
Part of UAH’s Research Institute, OOE helps government and industry cope with enterprise challenges by providing customers and sponsors with enterprise-level solutions through education, discovery and application of innovative supply chain and product lifecycle management.
OOE has expertise in mapping, analyzing and improving supply chains within DoD, NASA and the private sector. It has direct interface with UAH academic staff, graduate students and independent research centers. The OOE research staff works directly with customers to develop flexible solutions to meet specific needs to face the dynamic challenges impacting business, industry and government.