In 2010, the United States government mandated an order to safeguard sensitive information it created or owned. Unlike classified information which can be accessed by only a few key people, unclassified information can be accessed by many governmental and non-governmental bodies. Therefore, this information can’t be termed as classified, but it still requires controlled access and dissemination due to its sensitive nature. Hence the name, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
CUI may include information that organizations have on critical information, defense, export control, financial information, intelligence information, and the list goes on. If this information lands in the wrong hands, it could be a potential threat to national security. Therefore, if your company handles this kind of information for daily operations, you should know how to control and manage the CUI. And how exactly can you do this? Read this article for the top four tips.
- Contract A Cybersecurity Company
One of the requirements for your business to be CUI compliant is that your business partners— like your vendors—should also be CUI compliant. For this reason, you’re required to vet them to assess their conformity before engaging in any business dealings with them. Now, as a business person, this can be a daunting task, more so if you lack experience handling this kind of information.
On this account, you should get assistance from a registered cybersecurity company for CUI services. They’ll audit your business to assess its conformity with CUI regulations, including vetting your business associates. You’ll, therefore, have time to focus on other developmental sectors of your business.
For quality services, conduct thorough research on certified and reliable companies. You can do this online on cybersecurity company websites. For instance, if you’re in Minneapolis, you’ll get helpful information from Beryllium InfoSec’s post about the company’s services, which by the way, come at very affordable rates.
- Undergo CUI Training
To effectively manage CUI, you and all your staff who have access to this information should go through a certified training CUI course. The certification will be especially useful if you want to secure a contract to work with the government.
The training is designed to enable any working person to undertake it without significant challenges. For instance, the program is:
- Free: You can get a registration link on credible websites like that of the Department of Defense (DoD) at no expense.
- Done Online: You can conveniently learn from wherever you are.
- Supported By Many Browsers: This makes the course easily accessible.
- User-Friendly: There are several keyboard shortcuts for those using assistive technology.
At the end of the course, you’ll sit for an exam that won’t take you more than an hour. If you attain a 70% or above score, you’ll be awarded a CUI compliance certificate, which you’ll print and save for proof. The good thing about the training is that you may take the exam as many times as you want. So, even if you don’t get 70% on your first try, you can still retake the exam and do better. This program is easy, convenient, and literally at your disposal.
- Organize Your Data Early Enough
Organizing CUI documents is a step towards building a firm foundation for your company’s information security management system. After identifying the CUI in your system, you should begin categorizing it as early as possible. You may do this by:
- Establishing clear and attainable goals for the categorization process
- Understanding data profiles and grouping them based on selected criteria such as their privacy requirements
- Digitizing your work to make the process more efficient
- Being informed of CUI policy changes to match your organization process with the required standards
The timely organization of the data will save you the last-minute confusion of getting your record in order. For instance, when you want to secure a government contract, the process may be hectic but in the long run, it’ll prove to be worthwhile as you’ll have all the documents marked and ready when required for proof or inspection.
- Employ Internal Security Precautions
Upon classification, make sure to protect the information within your company by employing security measures such as:
- Locking them in secured cabinets
- Setting up encryption locks and strong passwords to protect the CUI stored in computers
- Restricting physical access to the files to a small number of authorized personnel
You can also employ other steps to ensure the security of the information, such as installing surveillance cameras on access routes and storage sites for the documents, using technology such as iris recognition or fingerprint detection to gain physical access to the files containing the CUI, and other security measures.
For your company to gain a praiseworthy reputation, you must ensure that you protect the CUI at all times. This article has pointed out ways to manage the information, including contracting cybersecurity services, undergoing CUI training, categorizing your data on time, and putting internal security measures in place. To be in line with the governmental information regulations, make sure to put these tips into practice.