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Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)
What is CUI?
Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) is federal non-classified information that is information the federal government creates or possesses, or that an entity creates or possesses for or on behalf of the government. Such information requires safeguarding or dissemination controls compliant with law, regulations, and government-wide policies.
CUI can include a wide range of information, such as personal information, proprietary information, or information that is considered critical to national security. It is important to properly handle CUI to ensure that it is not inadvertently disclosed to unauthorized individuals.
Why Is Protecting CUI So Important?
The DoD’s requirement for CUI classification indicates that this unclassified information is sensitive and valuable to the nation, making it a target for adversaries. As a result, cyber and physical security protection is needed. CUI presents a significant national security risk and lacks the same level of regulation as classified information. This makes it more susceptible to unauthorized access by foreign powers and malicious actors who may attempt to piece together bits of CUI.
The primary risk for organizations handling CUI is the potential for security breaches, leading to its dissemination to hackers and others. As a result, organizations must identify and handle CUI in accordance with mandated classifications and protection regulations. The government has established CUI policies to protect and govern the dissemination of this information. If you are a part of the DoD supply chain or the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) as a contractor or subcontractor, you are responsible for protecting CUI through both cyber and physical security measures.
Defense contractors must adhere to the requirements outlined in NIST SP 800-171 to demonstrate adequate security measures for protecting covered defense information in their contracts.
Implementing DFARS & NIST 800-171 will help protect your company's data as well as your customer’s data. If a business is part of a DoD, General Services Administration (GSA), NASA, or other federal or state agencies’ supply chain, the implementation of the security requirements included in NIST SP 800-171 is a must.
Failure to initiate the compliance process puts your business at risk of losing current and future contracts. At Bluestreak Consulting™, we understand the obstacles that you will have along the way. Download our Free Compliance eBook to help you understand everything you will need to do in preparation for bidding on and being eligible to be awarded future DoD contracts.
About the Author
Joe Coleman is the cybersecurity officer at Bluestreak Consulting™, a division of Bluestreak | Bright AM™, and a regular editorial contributor for several trade publications providing technology, tips, and news for manufacturers. Joe has over 35 years of diverse manufacturing and engineering experience. His background includes extensive training in cybersecurity, a career as a machinist, a machining manager, and an early additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer. Contact Joe directly at email@example.com.
About Bluestreak™ Bluestreak™is a powerful Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and a fully integrated Quality Management System (QMS), designed for the manufacturing environment and service-based manufacturing companies ( metal-treating/powder-coating, plating, heat-treating, forging, and metal-finishing), businesses that receive customers’ parts, perform a process (service) on them, and send those parts back to the customer). Companies need MES software tailored to specific functionality and workflow needs such as industry-specific specifications management, intuitive scheduling control for both staff and machinery maintenance, and the ability to manage work orders and track real-time data. If different work centers on the production floor aren’t “speaking” to each other via the MES, the data loses value and becomes disjointed or lost in disparate silos.
Bluestreak | Bright AM™ is an MES + QMS software solution specifically designed to manage and optimize the unique requirements of Additive Manufacturing’s production of parts and powder inventory usage.