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Setting the Floor: New FAR Rule Defines Minimum Contractor Information System Safeguarding

May 17, 2016

Shifting approaches, on May 16, 2016, the FAR Council concluded a long-running rulemaking with a final rule and a new clause, FAR 52.204-21, that will establish minimum security controls pulled from NIST Special Publication 800-171 over contractor information systems that may process, store, or transmit “Federal contract information,” defined as information provided to or generated under any government contract (except for COTS) that is not intended for public release. Future rules will address more specific controls applicable to more sensitive information such as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), but this rule focuses instead on establishing those baseline controls the FAR Council believes any prudent business would implement in relation to its information systems and does not replace more stringent security requirements like those in the DFARS Safeguarding Rule.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Alan W. H. Gourley
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2561
Evan D. Wolff
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2615
Maida Oringher Lerner
Senior Counsel – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2596