NISPOM Conforming Change 2 – Understanding the Change and How to Conform

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by Gaby Friedlander

 

History of NISPOM

NISPOM, the National Industrial Security Policy Operating Manual is the roadmap for all U.S. Government Contractors supporting Classified Government Programs. It was published in 2006. It prescribes the requirements, restrictions, and other safeguards to prevent unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

Updates to NISPOM have included Conforming Change 1, March 28, 2013—and sources say that in 2016, NISPOM Conforming Change 2 will be published. Once it’s published, you will have 6 months to implement your Insider Threat Program.

 

Why the Update?

All employers face the risk of insider threats. Whether it is due to a malicious insider, or due to honest employee mistakes, the insider threat has no sign of abating in this digital age of storing, transferring, and maintaining vital company data.

It makes sense that, in response to major government breaches, like Edward Snowden’s informational leaks, the Washington Navy Yard Shooting and more, the US Government is trying to ensure its Contractors stay ahead of risks for internal breaches.

NISPOM Conforming Change 2 centers around helping Government Contractors recognize and stop insider threats from manifesting. Federal law now mandates that Government Contractors not only have an insider threat detection program, but their internal organizational security meet specific functioning standards.  

 

How to Conform

Instead of waiting for the updates (and to make the most of the short 6-month timetable, once NISPOM Conforming Change 2 is published), security officers can take these steps now to address insider threats and stay ahead of the curve:

·        Establish an insider threat program that will identify and report suspicious activities or threats

·        Designate a senior contractor official

·        Comply with “Minimum Reporting Requirements for Personnel with National Security Eligibility Determinations”

·        Provide records pertinent to insider threat

·        Train relevant personnel

·        Implement protective measures pertinent to user activity monitoring on classified networks.

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