Security at the Forefront

Lisa JeckeringNews

By James Clark, Azimuth Corporation Facility Security Officer (FSO)

Compliance is king when it comes to a Facility Security Officer’s work. As Azimuth Corporation FSO, I have established stringent company protocols to ensure this compliance—but why is this important? Why does my work matter? It matters because every security action helps prevent breaches and violations that threaten our national security.

A Need for Heightened Security Measures

Over the years, we have seen what happens when security lapses occur—in government contracting and numerous other industries. As one example, attackers inserted malicious code into SolarWinds Corporation’s Orion software in 2020, which was then distributed as updates to around 18,000 customers, including multiple US government agencies and private companies. This attack compromised networks of major government agencies such as the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security, and the Pentagon. The breach exposed sensitive information and underscored vulnerabilities in the software supply chain.

Incidents like this are becoming more prevalent. In fact, data breaches in 2024 have resulted in 1 billion stolen records—and we are only halfway through the year. Our ever-growing digital presence ripens targets for nefarious actors, making security a primary concern for every government partner. Our country’s fortune and future hinge on FSOs treating every security undertaking as a matter of national security—because it is.

Government Security Requirements

The US government must strike a delicate balance when developing industrial security programs—safeguarding highly sensitive information while ensuring that thousands of US government contracting companies have access while performing on contracts, programs, bids, and research and development efforts. Classified information, in particular, requires rigorous industry safeguards, which are detailed in the National Industrial Security Program, or NISP.

The NISP is a multi-disciplinary program that applies to all US contractors who need access to classified information for executive branch departments and agencies. The NISP Operating Manual (NISPOM) defines the requirements, restrictions, and safeguards that Azimuth and other government industry partners must follow. Azimuth must also adhere to applicable laws and regulations, such as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), which mandate specific security measures.

Azimuth’s Security Approach

To ensure compliance with all government requirements, Azimuth’s security compliance centers around five key tenets:

  • Personnel Security: Background checks, security clearances, and continuous evaluation of employees.
  • Physical Security: Access controls, surveillance, and facility protection measures.
  • Cybersecurity: Protecting IT systems, networks, and data from cyber threats.
  • Information Security: Policies and procedures for handling and protecting sensitive information.
  • Training and Awareness: Regular training programs to ensure employees understand and adhere to security protocols.

Azimuth’s investments in these five tenants help safeguard our nation’s security—and carry ample secondary benefits. For example, these measures protect Azimuth’s proprietary technologies and solutions from industrial espionage and theft. In addition, they enhance our reputation and ensure operational continuity, free from security breach disruptions. Workplace security for our employees is another benefit.

At Azimuth, security is always a priority, tied to everything we do, whether it be a contract effort or corporate endeavor. This approach is vital to our customers—and to our country.

 

 

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