Important Questions to Evaluate MSP Compliance and Security

For a long time, the US defense industry has faced immense security threats from unmonitored defense contractors and vendors. The majority of defense contractors don’t have well-monitored IT infrastructure. They are more vulnerable to becoming prey to cybercriminals. Given the increase in cyberattack incidents, the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the General Services Acquisition Regulation have added multiple data protection requirements, including Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. Since CMMC is new and not many organizations are aware of the compliance requirements, the demand for CMMC consulting firms has gone up. 

This blog will highlight a few methods to evaluate a managed service provider’s compliance status. 

Question 1: Does your Managed Service Provider use cloud-based IT infrastructure to ensure the security of your data. If they do, make sure they have configured that environment to DFARS compliance standards. 

 Most cloud services, if not all, are not hosted in FedRAMP High datacenters. And there are very few data centers that are built in accordance with the NIST 800 171 controls. Thus, it’s essential that you ask if your MSP uses a compliant environment to store their data. 

Before finalizing your MSP partner, ask whether they manage vulnerability and virus data. Most systems that process or store vulnerability information fall under CUI data, and they must be stored in a DFARS compliant ecosystem.

It’s essential to ask your MSP where they are storing your data backup. Find out whether your MSP uses a FedRAMP Moderate environment to store your data backups. 

Question 2: How to determine a plan for MSP to access your network?

Before finalizing your MSP, understand how they will access your system. Will they use a share account or have their own account to access and monitor your IT environment. When it comes to auditing the system, every personnel should have their own accounts to log into the system and perform their activities. If every administrator logs in via a shared account, it will be challenging to keep track of who logged into the system. 

Determine if everyone in your organization can access the system at the same level. Ensure that the MSP you have partnered with doesn’t give access to all your systems to just one personnel. Besides this, your MSP must be able to identify changeable roles within your organization.  

 How does your managed service provider access your servers and systems remotely? Make sure your MSP’s monitoring system offers an audit trail of access to the network. Are you aware of who has access to each of your systems? When evaluating your MSP partner, one of the essential components to check is whether they are able to support your IT system remotely. The NIST 800-171 compliance norms require that your MSP access log can be properly audited. 

Question 3: What is the process of training the MSP support staff?

If you deal with ITAR data in your IT environment, your MSP should only recruit US persons on your support staff. 

While IT monitoring is a highly specialized job, most MSPs don’t require their team certification. However, CMMC compliance requires that every support staff with access to your system has acquired a minimum level of competence in data security.…

How to Use Breadcrumbs to Optimize Mobile Site?

Breadcrumbs are an essential navigational feature that assists visitors in navigating a website. These breadcrumbs understand their position in respect to the overall structure of your website.

SEO and digital marketing Virginia Beach experts advocate using breadcrumbs since they offer many benefits to users while having no influence on the UI.

 Breadcrumbs, as the name implies, are connections to a website’s home page and earlier pages in the site’s structure.

Breadcrumb trail links are signified by “>” or “/” and appear towards the top of a page, just below the global navigation.

Tips for optimizing your breadcrumbs for mobile design and layout

Breadcrumbs may appear differently on mobile devices compared to their appearance at the top of a web page since they serve an essential function in navigating the site and presenting the website hierarchy.

1. Ensure that breadcrumbs are enabled and available to users.

Many web designers cover up the breadcrumb trail since they feel it does not match the design aesthetic.

This is definitely not the truth. Breadcrumbs are an essential component that helps consumers traverse the page and allows Google to grasp the path easily. As a result, ensure that they are readily available to users.

2. Make changes to the Breadcrumbs design for mobile devices.

Breadcrumbs are frequently displayed on bigger displays but are deleted from smartphones to conserve screen space. However, this is a concern because quick navigation is more important on smaller devices. As a result, breadcrumbs will still be required on your mobile design.

Simply resizing them to accommodate the space available is your workaround.

You may need to adjust the trail’s horizontal and vertical spacing to suit mobile users’ smaller displays.

However, a user’s security when viewing a website may be jeopardized. Encourage your guests to use a VPN as one approach to safeguarding them.

3. Customize the appearance of your breadcrumb trail.

After you’ve created and configured your breadcrumb trail, you may customize it to match the design and layout of your site. Presets, layout modifications, and personalization are all methods to entice customers to revisit your website and browse it more.

Make the required changes and tweaks to your trail plan. You may make your site’s background, dividers, and items appear exactly how you want them to, enticing mobile users to remain and explore.

Examples of effective UI/UX enhancements you can implement to your IT solutions and managed services site include:

  • Minimizing complexity as much as possible for better usability and faster page load times.
  • Using a layout optimized to fit on a mobile screen.
  • Keeping to a simpler design overall – after all, less is more.

4. Avoid breadcrumbs that are enclosed in many lines.

Breadcrumbs on mobile webpages may quickly wrap into many lines, taking up substantial space on an already crowded mobile display.

A breadcrumb path with several lines may not accurately depict the chain’s architecture, mainly when some items occupy their row and others have numerous links in a single row. To fix this, use the arrows at the ends of the lines to separate the lines.…

How to Use the NIST CSF to Enhance Ransomware Preparedness?

Ransomware is an ever-present threat these days, so organizations are continuously looking for methods to strengthen their security. The demand for managed IT services for government contractors has also gone up in recent years. One effective way is to use a robust cybersecurity framework to drive security strategy and apply industry standards. Many firms rely on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework for an ideal cybersecurity boost (NIST CSF). 

What exactly is NIST CSF?

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is a security framework that outlines a focused, adaptable, reproducible, performance-based, and cost-effective method that people and businesses can proactively use to improve their cybersecurity profile. It also assists critical infrastructure owners and operators in identifying, assessing, and manage cybersecurity risk.

Core Functions of the NIST CSF for Ransomware Risk Management

The following are the basic NIST CSF core responsibilities, as well as some configuration options for a malware risk management approach:


 NIST CSF aids in the identification of procedures and commodities that must be safeguarded. This covers data storage and access network points, which are vital in combating ransomware assaults.


NIST CSF also attempts to safeguard your resources from cybersecurity threats by implementing suitable measures. It offers effective methods for ransomware protection, such as 

  • whitelisting websites, email screening, and
  • Educating consumers on how to recognize warning signals of a ransomware assault.


Detection entails putting in place measures to detect and identify ransomware efforts. This is true for cybersecurity incidents that are frequent antecedents to ransomware assaults, such as spreading spam messages or SMS messages with unfamiliar website URLs. Consider installing the following to thwart any ransomware activity:

  • Honeyfiles and honeypots
  • Intrusion monitoring and mitigation systems
  • File scanners


According to the NIST Standard, readiness requires more than merely being prepared to act but also being able to do so quickly. This is because speed is essential when it pertains to ransomware assaults. When a ransomware hacker has access to a document or a network, it’s typically too late to stop the danger. Conversely, if you have the necessary response mechanisms and safeguards, you may guarantee that the attack’s impacts are reduced to the greatest extent possible.


Your backup system is the most critical installation for ransomware attack recovery. An adequately set up backup strategy will enable you to keep usually working while dealing with the ransomware assault.

How to Use the NIST CSF to Enhance Ransomware Preparedness?

According to the NIST Standard, the best way to attain ransomware preparedness is to take purposeful actions toward it. The methods listed below might help your company prepare for ransomware.

Step 1: Establish Priorities and Scope

Determine your purpose, company objectives, and top-level organizational preferences. To guarantee that security measures do not inhibit your goals, you should connect every cybersecurity plan with your entire mission. Defining your goals and objectives will also offer insight into your firm’s many forms of risk.

Step 2: Inform the Organization About Impending Changes

Once the scale of your cybersecurity program has been determined, you may advise your business about the networks, commodities, compliance standards, and general risk strategy that will be engaged in the program’s execution. This is also perfect for speaking with your managed IT services provider about identifying risks and weaknesses.

Step 3: Develop an Up-to-Date Cybersecurity Profile

Make a profile of your existing cybersecurity strategy benchmarks by defining which NIST CSF Category and Subcategory outcomes your firm is currently capable of achieving. Take note of outcomes currently being worked on or partially completed since these will assist steer your future cybersecurity measures.

Step 4: Perform a Risk Assessment

Determine the possibility of your firm experiencing specific cybersecurity occurrences and the consequences of such incidents. Recognizing the consequences of cybersecurity incidents is crucial because it will help you better plan for new dangers.

Step 5: Create a Target Profile

A target profile identifies modifications to your present profile that must be made to reach your intended cybersecurity results, including your goal Categories and Subcategories scenario. This will act as the organization’s aim.

Step 6: Identity, Analyze, and Close Gaps

Platform migrations and updates frequently involve discrepancies; this is a crucial step. Evaluate your existing and desired profiles to see if any shortages need to be filled before going live. Develop prioritized plans of action to remedy any gaps discovered. Check that even these action plans take into consideration all mission factors, expenses and rewards, and hazards. This allows you to focus your efforts on evaluating the resources you will require to solve the shortages in a cost-effective, focused manner.

Step 7: Carry out Action Plans

Execute your strategy to achieve your desired profile. Follow the process and adjust your current cybersecurity activities to achieve as near to your desired cybersecurity position as feasible. You can also seek help from sector-specific norms, guidelines, and procedures.…

What is the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification in Detail?

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) latest authentication mechanism, the CMMC solution, is crafted to guarantee that cybersecurity regulations and procedures effectively protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that is stored on DIB systems and networks.

The DoD introduced standards for securing Covered Defense Information (CDI) and reporting cyber incidents in October 2016 with the publication of DFARS 252.204-7012. The DFARS required DoD Contractors to self-certify that suitable security measures were in place inside contractor systems to protect CDI confidentiality.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171, Safeguarding Controlled Unclassified Data in Nonfederal Systems and Businesses, defines the security measures needed by the DFARS. The OUSD (A&S) initiated the CMMC development process in March 2019, issued the first draft of CMMC v1.0 in January 2020, and announced CMMC 2.0 in November 2021. They also intend to publish a handbook for the CMMC Certification Assessment Process (CAP) in June 2022, as well as the most current “interim norm” in May 2023.

CMMC in the Clear Words 

After the final regulation is in place, CMMC 2.0 will be phased in for select DoD-identified contractors. When fully functional, CMMC 2.0 is mandatory for all organizations doing business with the Department of Defense at any level. Prime vendors and their suppliers will be expected to fulfill one of the 3 CMMC trust categories and show adequate cybersecurity implementation through independent validation efforts. The award or continuation of a DoD contract will be contingent on CMMC compliance.

Without having fulfilled the CMMC procedure, no vendor companies will be allowed to obtain or exchange DoD information relating to programs and projects. When a contractor’s contract comes up for extension, they must be CMMC competent.

The CMMC was included in Requests for Information (RFIs) in mid-2020 and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in late 2020. To build a DoD standard for CUI cybersecurity, CMMC compliance requirements are mostly based on NIST SP 800-171.

The CMMC will have three cumulative Certification levels

• Level 1

Foundational: Provides fundamental cybersecurity for small businesses by implementing a subset of globally acknowledged standard practices. At this stage, the procedures would incorporate certain conducted procedures, at least on an ad hoc basis. This level incorporates the same 17 controls stated in the initial CMMC structure, but needs simply an annual self-assessment and validation by business leadership.

• Level 2

Advanced: Covers all NIST SP 800-171 Rev. 2 controls. Processes are established and executed at this level, and there is a thorough understanding of cyber assets. The Department of Defense has reduced the initial 130 controls in the CMMC Level 3 standard to the 110 controls described in NIST 800-171. The Department of Defense is exploring a split procedure that would select “prioritized purchases” that would be subjected to an independent review against the new Level 2 Advance standards on a triannual basis rather than a year self-assessment with certification.

• Level 3

Expert: Contains sophisticated cybersecurity procedures. At this level, procedures include enterprise-wide continuous innovation and defensive reactions executed at machine velocity. This level will take the place of what were formerly known as CMMC Levels 4 and 5. The specifics of this level are currently being worked out. This level is planned to include a subset of measures from NIST SP 800-172 in which an enterprise already has a Level 2 CMMC Accreditation, and the Level 3 measures will be examined by DoD rather than a C3PAO.…