Federal contractors are subject to numerous requirements under federal law and, as we have previously highlighted here, need to keep pace with changes in law and regulation. 

Under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) each federal agency is required to develop, document, and implement an agency-wide program to provide information security for the information and information systems that support the operations and assets of the agency, including those provided or managed by another agency, contractor, or other source. Accordingly, FISMA provides authority for the imposition of requirements on those companies which qualify as federal contractors. 

By way of example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs impose specific requirements on their contractors.   

Adding new data protection requirements for federal contractors who use or handle U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) information, the DOD earlier this year issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking regarding amendments, 75 F.R. 9563, to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). 

The proposed amendments require “adequate security,” defined as “protection measures … commensurate with the risks of loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to or modification of information,” and have three main subparts; basic safeguarding, enhanced safeguarding, and cyber intrusion reporting. 

Basic safeguards, required for any unclassified DOD information, include:

  • Designating  the level of access and dissemination of informationProtecting DOD information on public computer or Web sites
  • Transmitting electronic information using technology and processes that provide the best level of security and privacy
  • Transmitting voice and fax information on with reasonable assurances that access is limited
  • Protect information by at least one physical or electronic barrier
  • Sanitize media in accordance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) before external release or disposal
  • Provide protection against computer intrusions and the unauthorized release of data. 

In addition to the basic safeguards outlined above, contractors are required to implement enhanced safeguards to certain types of data. The enhanced safeguards include:

  • Encryption/Storage controls
  • Network intrusion protection
  • Implement information security controls

Additionally, a reporting requirement has now been proposed, requiring contractors to report to the DOD within 72 hours of any cyber intrusion event that affects DOD information resident on or transiting the contractor’s unclassified information systems.

The new proposed DOD amendments, along with the various other federal contractor requirements, including those imposed by CMS and the Department of Veterans Affairs, highlight the necessity for companies that qualify as federal contractors to be up to date on their legal obligations or risk loss of their federal contractor status. 

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Photo of Jason C. Gavejian Jason C. Gavejian

Jason C. Gavejian is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and co-leader of the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group. Jason is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) with the International Association of Privacy…

Jason C. Gavejian is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and co-leader of the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group. Jason is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

As a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), Jason focuses on the matrix of laws governing privacy, security, and management of data. Jason is co-editor of, and a regular contributor to, the firm’s Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report blog.

Jason’s work in the area of privacy and data security includes counseling international, national, and regional companies on the vast array of privacy and security mandates, preventive measures, policies, procedures, and best practices. This includes, but is not limited to, the privacy and security requirements under state, federal, and international law (e.g., HIPAA/HITECH, GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), FTC Act, ECPA, SCA, GLBA etc.). Jason helps companies in all industries to assess information risk and security as part of the development and implementation of comprehensive data security safeguards including written information security programs (WISP). Additionally, Jason assists companies in analyzing issues related to: electronic communications, social media, electronic signatures (ESIGN/UETA), monitoring and recording (GPS, video, audio, etc.), biometrics, and bring your own device (BYOD) and company owned personally enabled device (COPE) programs, including policies and procedures to address same. He regularly advises clients on compliance issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and has represented clients in suits, including class actions, brought in various jurisdictions throughout the country under the TCPA.

Jason represents companies with respect to inquiries from the HHS/OCR, state attorneys general, and other agencies alleging wrongful disclosure of personal/protected information. He negotiates vendor agreements and other data privacy and security agreements, including business associate agreements. His work in the area of privacy and data security includes counseling and coaching clients through the process of investigating and responding to breaches of the personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI) they maintain about consumers, customers, employees, patients, and others, while also assisting clients in implementing policies, practices, and procedures to prevent future data incidents.

Jason represents management exclusively in all aspects of employment litigation, including restrictive covenants, class-actions, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and wage and hour claims in both federal and state courts. He regularly appears before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, and the New Jersey Department of Labor. Jason’s practice also focuses on advising/counseling employers regarding daily workplace issues.

Jason’s litigation experience, coupled with his privacy practice, provides him with a unique view of many workplace issues and the impact privacy, data security, and social media may play in actual or threatened lawsuits.

Jason regularly provides training to both executives and employees and regularly speaks on current privacy, data security, monitoring, recording, BYOD/COPE, biometrics (BIPA), social media, TCPA, and information management issues. His views on these topics have been discussed in multiple publications, including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle (SFGATE), National Law Review, Bloomberg BNA, Inc.com, @Law Magazine, Risk and Insurance Magazine, LXBN TV, Business Insurance Magazine, and HR.BLR.com.

Jason is the co-leader of Jackson Lewis’ Hispanic Attorney resource group, a group committed to increasing the firm’s visibility among Hispanic-American and other minority attorneys, as well as mentoring the firm’s attorneys to assist in their training and development. He also previously served on the National Leadership Committee of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and regularly volunteers his time for pro bono matters.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Jason served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Richard J. Donohue on the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County.