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Debunking the Myths about Protecting Covered Unclassified Information

When it comes to meeting the compliance requirements for NIST, CMMC, and DFARS, safeguarding Covered Unclassified Information is crucial. The new CMMC cybersecurity requirements have made it clear that anyone who is a part of the defense Industrial Base supply chain should take necessary measures to protect CUI. However, DoD has not yet made it clear how to protect the CUI. Thus, getting help from CMMC consulting firm is recommended. 

There is confusion amongst DoD contractors as to how to protect CUI. In this blog, we have cleared some myths that surround CUI protection and cybersecurity compliance.

Myth 1: If a contractor handles CUI, the entire IT infrastructure and environment must be CMMC level 3 compliant.

According to the CMMC model v1.02, during the implementation of CMMC, the DoD contractor can achieve a specific level of certification for the whole IT network or particular enclaves. The decision will depend upon where you are storing the covered unclassified information. It’s worth mentioning that the Department of Defense has approved the CMMC compliance for the enclave model.

Myth 2: Defense contractors are obligated to use Microsoft GCC High since most DoD enterprises use it.

Agencies that are under the Department of Defense do not typically use GCC High. They usually have their DoD-only cloud storage for CUI.

Besides this, the DoD has not made it mandatory for the DIB supply chain members to use a particular solution for storing and sharing CUI. The DoD has only mentioned that the contractors at all levels should comply with the regulations set out by them to safeguard the CUI within the supply chain.

Myth 3: Cloud Service Providers appointed to handle CUI must have accreditation from FedRAMP.

Only those service providers are included in the FedRAMP marketplace with the Authority to Operate with the federal government. FedRAMP members are sponsored by the Federal agencies and appointed by them. However, an Authority to Operate is unnecessary if the cloud services provider is hired by a private enterprise that has taken federal government contracts.

Myth 4: Cloud Services Providers should accept the DFARS 7012 flow downs

Department of Defense has released a procurement toolbox that addresses the concern of the DFARS flow-down clause. While a contractor doesn’t usually flow down the DFARS clause when it comes to cloud services providers, however, if the CSP is hired as a part of the CIS, they should meet DFARS compliance requirements.

Myth 5: Since proper marking of controlled unclassified information has not been done yet, subcontractors should consider all information at CUI.

While it’s true that proper marking of CUI has not been done in the past, initiatives are underway to ensure an appropriate system for making emails containing CUI. All contractors and subcontractors should do the proper marking of the CUI that has come down to them under the DoD programs that follow CMMC compliance.

Myth 6: It’s a data breach if a DoD user sends an unencrypted email with controlled unclassified information to a DoD contractor.

Such incidents are termed as security incident and not a breach. The subcontractor or DoD keeps a record of the incident internally and looks for any residual information. Additionally, such incidents don’t prevent one from bidding for government contracts.…

The Importance of Mobile DevOps and How Does it Benefit

Mobile is being used as the main source of accessing the internet in the current times. Therefore, many businesses have developed mobile applications for their business to keep up with the times. IT industries have been focusing on making a market existence and fulfilling the market demand. The developers, however, ignored the app security, quality of the code, development costs and maintenance. Professionals working on mobile app development Virginia focus on the mobile DevOps to enhance mobile applications’ quality and accept new trends and techniques. 

DevOps is a methodology that adds practical cooperation among the people involved in producing digital products. It concerns project managers and app developers. DevOps wins over constant software development challenges, reducing the gap between software development and IT operations. The traditional strategies used to result in client dissatisfaction, extra development costs, and time. DevOps combine software development and IT operations. 

App developers ensure better functionality of both development and operations to support cooperation between both. It promotes deeper integration, enhances cooperation, causes a shift in the mindset, and is not solely an approach. DevOps brings constant delivery, automation, and getting together so operations and development teams can work together more productively and launch software more quickly and dependably. DevOps brings in many advantages to your business; one of the most significant is the positive ROI. For app development companies, DevOps has proven to be extremely useful. You can see the results of DevOps when it starts bringing productivity, customer satisfaction, and revenue. 

The codes should be written in such a cooperative way and can be smoothly combined according to both development and operations. Continuous integration focuses on merging the finally build code with error-free developments. Planning continuously brings the whole team together to identify the app’s various possibilities and its resources and results. Business analysts, project managers, developers, operation staff, everyone comes together in continuous planning. 

With DevOps, developers of IT consultant companies can monitor and test the application before delivering it to the end-user. When a task is continuously monitored, it helps identify and solve issues, and therefore, this makes sure the app’s stability and performance are top-notch. Testing the produced mobile application is a vital part of the app development process. It addresses bugs and other issues before it is made available for the public. Examining and testing the app beforehand helps us deliver quality to the clients. 

Deployment is the method where the code that passes the automated testing is transferred to production. It is another standard of DevOps. This practice results in quality in the applications, and you end up creating brilliant apps with DevOps. Agile and DevOps are the widely utilized terms, and the most excellent associations use any of these philosophies In mobile app development. A few different ways are there in which organizations acknowledge both DevOps and Agile for versatile application advancement.

DevOps is vastly recommended for better versatile application improvement and better future usefulness of the application. Get some excellent DevOps arrangements that will direct you about the app development process appropriately.…

Learn Lead Generation Using Digital Marketing in 2023

Digital marketing has proven its worth for many businesses. Digital marketing can solve many issues faced by businesses like lead generation. A common assumption about digital marketing is that it is overrated; however, digital marketing can bring you enough business when it’s utilized efficiently. Traditional marketing is considered old school by many marketers these days as the times have changed drastically and things have all turned digital. Taking things online gives you the benefit of deciding your target audience and whom to connect. 

Campaigns used to be complicated and also goal-driven in the previous times of traditional marketing. In the current times, campaigns are becoming more lenient and are achieving goals as that is the main focus of campaigns. It’s the same; only the way a digital marketing agency Virginia follows to achieve the goal has changed. The primary and most common objective of marketing is to generate business. This is when digital marketing comes into the picture. Once a lead is generated through digital marketing, the lead can be turned into a customer. Lead Generation ensures quality and quantity traffic to your website. And, with effective digital marketing strategies, you can convert the website visitors into leads which can be converted into loyal customers. Therefore, digital marketing helps increase conversions. 

Digital marketing brings businesses new customers, through their search queries. For example, a user searches for ‘digital marketing companies in Virginia,’ he’ll get the results most relevant to his search query.

  • Optimize your website. You have to keep optimizing your website that deals with your business products and services. Optimizing your business’ website will help the visitors of your website to navigate easily through the website. Keep your website updated with the changes in the business products or services.
  • Optimize the content on your website according to search engine optimization rules. Through SEO, you will be able to reach out to the people looking for your business. Ensure the content on your website is informative and is providing value to the visitor of the website. The user should get answers to all his queries through the content on your website. SEO will make your website rank higher, and therefore you will appear high in search results and generate more leads.
  • Email marketing is another aspect of digital marketing through which you can generate leads and turn them into conversions and earn business. Email marketing is just a matter of the time and effort you put into it. It is one of the old-school and effective marketing tools. Email marketing has been proved beneficial for many businesses.
  • Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. can be used to generate leads too for small business IT solutions. Social media has a rising number of users, and it has a substantial impact on its users. Social media is proven effective in influencing the purchasing habits of customers. LinkedIn is the most used platform for generating leads for your business. There is a vast number of marketers who successfully generate leads from social media and earn in millions.

These are some of the many ways to generate leads using digital marketing. Once you generate a lead, it becomes easy to convert potential customers into actual customers. …

THINGS THAT MAKE A MOBILE APPLICATION BETTER THAN OTHERS

There are approximately 8.9 million mobile apps available on the App Store worldwide. That is a stunning figure. This implies that if you want to distinguish yourself from the crowd, your app must have an incredible app design and user experience. Thus, having a support from app development companies in Virginia is a must. 

What Characteristics Characterize a Good App?

Several factors distinguish one app from the rest. Let’s look at some popular metrics that might help your app concept succeed.

Versatility

Your software must be adaptable. That is, it should be compatible with all mainstream operating systems. While most people now use iOS and Android, certain users still rely entirely on Windows for their operations. As a result, you must guarantee that your app is accessible on all key platforms your target audience may use.

Insights from Users

Understanding your users’ behavior is one of the finest methods to improve the UX of your app. You may monitor their behaviors to see what works and where they might improve. A/B testing is an option. Gather information. Learn from their actions and improve your app accordingly. You may also utilize the information to create focused, data-driven marketing initiatives for your customers.

Consistent Color Scheme 

The colors you pick in your app may greatly impact user behavior. There is no surefire color formula. It is entirely dependent on the nature of your application and its functionality. If you’re uncertain, try A/B testing different color palettes to see which one works best for you.

Now that we understand what it takes to make a fantastic app let’s look at the essential components of a successful mobile app.

Key Elements of a Successful Mobile App

Solves a Problem

Every excellent product or service answers a popular need. For instance, the Uber app handles the difficulty of getting from one location to another. Previously, booking a cab using a phone and an app was complex. With the introduction of the Uber app, hiring cabs has gotten easier, providing answers to their problems.

So, if you want your application to be effective, consider what problem it will tackle. Consider a problem that a large percentage of your intended audience is experiencing – then work your way outwards.

It is Both Simple and Elegant.

Every successful app developed by software companies in VA is built on simplicity. Not only should your UI be self-explanatory, but so should the layout. Nobody wants to utilize anything that makes them feel stupid. Your application is not an exemption. According to a prominent eMarketer survey, around 14% of smartphone users removed an app since it was challenging to use.

It is Quick and Stable.

In an age of immediate gratification, if your application takes a lifetime to load information, it will almost surely be removed – sooner or later. Your app should not fall behind as everything becomes quicker. Consider the finest programs you use the most: they are quick, stable, and snappy.

Any successful app is built on the foundations of stability and speed. If you want to increase your app’s performance, start with the content – focus on what’s vital and leave the rest for later pages. You should also think about downsizing your photos, optimizing the code, and using a CDN to improve your app’s performance.

It Provides a Personalized User Experience.

Are you wondering how to build an app successfully? Begin exploring methods to customize the user experience of your app. We appreciate items that are adapted to our specific requirements. Consider video streaming services apps. They always display recommendations depending on our preferences. Unsurprisingly, we binge-watch for hours, even when we know we should be doing housework.

It is safe and trustworthy.

Security is undoubtedly one of the most crucial factors determining an app’s long-term success. Mobile applications must be very secure and trustworthy since they store and deal with sensitive personal information. Some of the most prevalent security vulnerabilities are unintentional data leaks, incorrect session handling, and flawed encryption.

To avoid such security difficulties, consider hiring a reputable mobile app development company to evaluate your app and eradicate any potential security vulnerabilities ahead of time. You will avoid exposing your most sensitive information this way.…

What is Machine Learning, and What are the Best Machine Learning Platforms for App Development?

Are you ever puzzled why you always get suggestions to watch films from Netflix based on what you’ve already watched?

Is this real magic? Machine learning is nothing short of a miracle. To produce a user-friendly interface, it makes suggestions depending on your saved data.

As a businessman, if you have opted to build machine learning-based apps, you must be familiar with machine learning technologies. Or much be looking for a mobile app development Virginia firm who have expertise in developing ML-based apps.

What is Machine Learning?

In layman’s terms, it is a cutting-edge artificial intelligence program that enables the system to understand and develop automatically via past experience.

ML has undoubtedly evolved over the years to provide consumers with a completely unique experience based on their preferences. Many firms, like Tinder and Snapchat, have leveraged ML to create unique mobile app services to improve user experience, enhance customer loyalty, raise brand exposure, and filter target audiences.

Best Machine Learning Platforms

The most critical machine-learning capabilities include face recognition, upskilling, and optimization.

Some of the best machine learning software;

Analytics Platform KNIME

KNIME Analytics Platform is an established online deep learning framework that delivers end-to-end analysis of data, collaboration, and monitoring. It is a free, open-source platform. Data scientists may quickly create visual workflows with the KNIME Analytics Platform’s drag-and-drop graphical interface. It will not necessitate any coding skills.

IT consultant companies may create workflows by selecting from over 2000 nodes. KNIME Analytics enables developers to carry out various tasks, ranging from simple I/O through data modifications, translations, and data gathering. KNIME Analytics’ best feature is that it combines the full-function operation into a unified workflow.

TIBCO Software

TIBCO is a data science framework that covers the whole analytics lifecycle, including cloud-based analytics and integration with several open-source libraries.

TIBCO data science enables users to prepare data and construct, deploy, and evaluate models. It’s well-known for applications including product refining and company discovery.

Amazon SageMaker

Amazon SageMaker is a virtual machine-learning system for programmers that enable them to construct, teach, and executing machine-learning algorithms. Data scientists or engineers may readily deploy machine learning models on integrated and edge devices.

It is created by Amazon Web Capabilities (AWS), which provides the most comprehensive collection of machine learning services and accompanying cloud architecture.

Alteryx Analytics

Alteryx is the most effective data science tool for accelerating digital transformation. It provides data accessibility as well as data science procedures.

Alteryx is a tool that allows data scientists to develop algorithms in a workflow.

Their objective is to make it simple for businesses to build a data analytics environment without the necessity for data scientists. Alteryx is unrivaled in self-service data analytics.

SAS

SAS is a data science and analytics software supplier that provides a comprehensive array of sophisticated research and data science tools. The best aspect of choosing the SAS framework is the ease with which you may obtain data in any version and from any source.

It builds a pipeline that adjusts dynamically to the data. Natural language creation is also included in project management. SAS Model Management enables users to enroll SAS and open-source models as independent models or within projects.…

How to generate more clicks on their website with the current ranking?

For as long as anyone can remember, search engine optimization has been about attracting attention in search.

And yet, most consumers (and many SEO and digital marketing Virginia Beach specialists) tend to view this as the only tactic available to them: boosting your site’s organic rankings.

This could have been the only way to boost organic searches when Google launched. The only results in Google SERPs at the time were ten blue links: The more it rises, the more clicks it will receive.

Google SERPs are entirely different now since they are graphical and dynamic.

More clicks can now be generated without spending money to increase your Google position.

Here are some ways to achieve this:

Rich Snippets

Search results that have been “enhanced” with extra information are known as rich snippets.

The site owner has a lot of control over rich snippets. In other terms, Google will add the information the site owner decides to include to a search snippet. Anyone from Virginia Beach IT companies of eCommerce brand can use rich snippets.

The website owners must employ structured data, ideally, Schema, to convey that extra information.

Google provides an impressive list of the Schema categories they support.

Some universal Schema types are:

  • Product Schema: Product schema that will be used within the search snippet to display your product’s pricing and availability. One may also include the average ratings if you gather client product reviews. Several excellent plugins can collect product ratings automatically and mark them with Schema to fill product-rich snippets in search results.
  • F&Q Schema: Any page with a brief Q&A section answering two or more pertinent questions will work with a FAQ structure. There will be questions and collapsible responses in the FAQ-rich snippet. 
  • How-To Schema: Any kind of how-to content can use the HowTo schema. Steps, time needed, and visuals will all be included in How-To rich snippets.

Title Tags and H1 Headings

The element of a search result that is typically most visible is the title of the search snippet. It grabs attention and frequently affects whether it is clicked.

As a result, we have always placed a lot of emphasis on creating compelling titles that encourage clicks.

It was simpler in the past because Google would take the title of your page and make it the headline of the search snippet.

Google has begun altering your titles and creating new ones over the past two years.

Although there is no definite treatment for this, altering your H1 tag to suit your title might be beneficial.

The issue is that Google wants its user to see the exact content in the search snippet they are visiting on the target page. According to Google, it improves usability. To get Google to use your very prominent H1 heading in the search snippet, make sure it contains the same information as your page title.

Dates

In search results, the timeline when the writer created the content (or revised it) is usually displayed. It might affect click-through because people are more likely to click on a recent result.

Images

The search results on mobile devices are quite graphic. Google would display images surrounding and within search snippets, making them easier to click by pulling them from pages with high page rankings.

Without photos on your page, Google won’t be able to fetch any, which means that your snippet will be buried among other, frequently more visually appealing results.

Fundamental picture SEO techniques would be effective since there are no specific Google guidelines for how to tag those images so that they are pushed into Google’s SERPs. You will be guided step-by-step through the on-page optimization process, including image optimization, using SE Ranking’s Audit tool.…

What Constitutes the NIST Privacy Framework’s Elements?

If your business is even remotely connected with DoD or deals with controlled unclassified data, you must be aware that DoD contractors are required to be cybersecurity compliant. Compliance requirements like DFARS, CMMC, and NIST are some of the basic cybersecurity norms.

Other technology- and security-focused NIST guidelines will be familiar with the framework of the NIST Privacy Framework. It is expressed in a common language to manage privacy-related risk and can be customized to any organization’s role in the data handling ecosystem. This allows regulatory, business, and technology approaches to be aligned.

The main elements of the NIST Privacy Framework are outlined below:

Core

The prescribed activities and results about managing privacy risk make up the Core of the NIST Privacy Framework. Functions, Categories, and Subcategories are Core components that collaborate to support this conversation.

Functions The NIST Privacy Framework’s functions help an organization identify, comprehend, and manage its data processing to more accurately identify the associated privacy risk and decide how to best manage it. At the highest level, functions organize the fundamental privacy-related actions. 

The five functions are, Identify, Govern, Control, Communicate, and Protect. 

Categories

According to the framework, categories are “subdivided into groupings of privacy outcomes strongly related to programmatic objectives and specific actions.”

Subcategories 

Subcategories further segment Categories according to the objectives of managerial and technical actions. Supporting the achievement of the results specified within each Category is the aim of Subcategories.

Catalog and charting: The company keeps track of all the resources it uses to support data processing operations.

Knowledge and Instruction: Annual privacy awareness program is a requirement for all employees and contractors, and the Privacy Officer keeps track of who has completed it.

Policies, procedures, and practices for data processing: The rights of data subjects are governed by a data processing policy, which has been established and is yearly evaluated by the

Data Processing Consciousness: The Privacy Officer is responsible for managing risk related to the company’s data processing operations. To make sure privacy duties are recognized and upheld, the Privacy Officer meets with each functional group in the company once a quarter.

Data Security: The environment for processing data is continuously scanned for vulnerabilities. The Security team reviews the scan results monthly, and remediation is carried out per the risk posed by each found vulnerability.

Profiles

An organization or DoD companies can choose particular Functions, Categories, and Subcategories from the Core using the NIST Privacy Framework’s notion of Profiles to manage privacy risk. In doing so, the organization is able to compare the existing state of a specific set of privacy activities—Profile 1—and the desired state—Profile 2—for that group of activities. Comparing an organization’s present state to an end state aim that involves compliance with a particular compliance rule can be very helpful in identifying gaps. The gap analysis findings enable Privacy and Risk practitioners to inform management partners of the consequent compliance risk and set standards for how compliant the company is at the moment. 

Implementation Tiers

For management to assess their current risk posture and the maturity of the organization’s processes and controls with regard to privacy, the NIST Privacy Framework has four separate Tiers established. The following defines the tiers:

  • Tier 1: Partial
  • Tier 2: Knowledge of Risk
  • Tier 3: Recurring
  • Tier 4: Flexible

The management may better understand the steps necessary to reach the target state if they can evaluate the organization’s current posture. To meet the organization’s regulatory compliance obligations, this aids privacy and risk professionals in securing resources and prioritizing privacy-related projects.…

What Does DFARS Compliant Mean for DoD contractors?

DFARS 252.204-7012 compliance is required of all defense contractors and subcontractors who process, store or transfer covered defense information regardless of size. Contractors seeking for CMMC government contracting must adhere to several requirements, but two in particular—demonstrating “sufficient security” and reporting cyber incidents—seem to be the most important.

Adequate Security (as demonstrated by NIST 800-171 compliance): According to the DFARS, “security precautions that are proportionate with the implications and possibility of loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to, or modification of information” are included in sufficient security measures. The Government has stated that contractor information systems that handle, hold, or transfer CDI shall enforce security standards in National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171, “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Non-federal Information Systems and Organizations,” to help give additional context for what constitutes adequate security with regard to the protection of covered defense information.

The term “must” is used precisely, necessitating NIST 800-171 compliance. In essence, the Government is saying that NIST 800-171 compliance constitutes “sufficient security.” 

“Actions conducted through computer systems that lead to a breach or an actual or potentially harmful effect on a data system and/or the information housed therein” are what the DFARS 252.204-7012 describes as a “cyber incident.”

Contractors are required to take the following actions if a cyber incident affects CDI:

  • To ascertain whether a particular CDI was hacked on contractor PCs or servers, conduct analysis and acquire proof.
  • Report the cyber issue as soon as it is discovered (within 72 hours). To report the incident, a medium-assurance license will be needed.
  • Maintain and safeguard OS images and additional forensic data for 90 days, such as packet captures and logs.

These specifications require vendors to have an emergency management plan and processes in place (and tested).

Being DFARS compliant involves several factors to take into account. The main element to consider is whether your business complies with the 110 controls listed in NIST 800-171 Appendix D. NIST 800-171 Appendix E also contains the frequently overlooked non-federal organization (NFO) rules. These 63 additional controls are “anticipated to be regularly fulfilled by non-federal enterprises without specification,” according to NIST 800-171. In essence, they are measures that should be included in a thorough security program. Federal contractors frequently ignore the procedures in Appendix E, even though they are necessary to apply to be deemed compliant. To comply with the cyber disclosure rules, should a breach occur, government contractors must also have a strong incident response program in place.

What would happen if an organization wasn’t NIST 800-171 or DFARS compliant?

Simply put, a government contractor who violates DFARS 225.204-7012 runs the danger of not receiving future contracts from the Government. According to the Government’s response to feedback on the DFARS vs CMMC regulation, the rule does not preclude a demanding activity from clearly declaring in the request that compliance with the NIST SP 800-171 would be utilized as an assessment criterion in the source selection process.

However, it will be the government’s responsibility to determine how they will evaluate compliance with the particular solicitation. Additionally, according to the Government, by agreeing to the contract, the contractor commits to abide by its provisions. The federal contractors’ best interest is served by their ability to demonstrate compliance with NIST 800-171 regulations. Compliance with DFARS 225.204-7012 has been a prerequisite for government contractors for more than two years.

However, the fact that federal contractors gave a self-attestation regarding their compliance is one of the critical issues. It might be challenging to determine whether firms genuinely adhere to the measures listed in NIST 800-171 without a third-party audit. The DOD is quite concerned about whether government contractors adhere to the standards in NIST 800-171, which is why the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) was developed.…

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