The Importance of GovCloud, On-Prem Hosting, and SCIFs in GovCon Security Compliance
In the world of U.S. aerospace and defense contracting, data security is paramount. Not only must government contractors adhere to strict compliance requirements and ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information, they must also balance these protections with secure availability and access.
This balance is particularly important when deploying third-party software solutions.
In this article, we will delve into the significance of three key options for achieving GovCon security compliance – GovCloud, on-prem hosting, and SCIFs – and how each ensures the highest level of government contracting security.
GovCon, or government contracting, refers to the process of companies doing business with the federal government as subcontractors or prime contractors. It involves bidding on and fulfilling contracts for the provision of goods and services to federal agencies. GovCon companies may work on a wide range of projects, from defense and security to infrastructure and technology.
What is GovCloud Hosting?
GovCloud is a specialized cloud infrastructure designed to meet the stringent compliance requirements set by the U.S. Government. It provides a secure environment for processing, storing, and transmitting sensitive data, ensuring that government contractors can operate within a highly regulated framework.
GovCloud offers several advantages over commercial cloud solutions when it comes to government contracting:
Personnel: GovCloud regions are operated by employees who are U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.
On-premises, or on-prem, hosting refers to the practice of hosting software and data within the physical premises of an organization. Unlike cloud-based solutions, which rely on remote servers and infrastructure, on-prem hosting allows organizations to maintain complete control over their data and infrastructure using their security protocols.
On-prem hosting offers several benefits for government contractors seeking to ensure compliance and security:
A SCIF, an acronym for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process sensitive compartmented information (SCI) types of classified information.
SCIFs are designed to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and provide a controlled environment for handling classified materials.
SCIFs play a crucial role in ensuring the security and confidentiality of classified information in government contracting. Here are some key reasons why SCIFs are essential:
While most government contractors choose one secure deployment option over another, there are a number of reasons why they might need more than one secure deployment option. For example, different government agencies may require different security requirements.
When working with the Department of Defense, a contractor may have to adhere to more stringent security requirements than the Department of Veterans Affairs. A government contractor would need to be able to deploy software in a way that meets the specific security requirements of the agency they are working with.
By combining security measures, government contractors can create a holistic and robust security ecosystem that addresses various aspects of compliance and protection. For example, a hybrid deployment; a combination of on-prem and GovCloud environments allows contractors to leverage the cloud while setting up permanent or temporary SCIFs.
Businesses that work with the government must meet a wide range of strict requirements in order to win and keep government contracts. The complexity of laws and regulations that accompany government contracts can be daunting, but with the right secure deployment options, it doesn’t have to be.
Xait understands the complexities of aerospace and defense contracting and data security, and offers all three options, as well as hybrid, to ensure our customer partners operate and win with the highest level of security.
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Kris Sæther is Chief Commercial Officer of Xait. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Media Studies, and has worked in financial communication in London and Frankfurt prior to joining Xait. He has 20+ years experience from the information management industry. Kris is an avid runner and skier, and a passionate fan of the world’s coolest soccer team, Tottenham. If he is not working or running you will find him cheering for his two daughters on the handball court.