Approximately 4,000 Georgia businesses received DoD contracts in the last five years, making defense contracting a $7.3 billion industry in Georgia. This crucial supply chain is increasingly at risk for cybersecurity attacks, particularly the small businesses that make up the largest percentage of Georgia’s defense industrial base. According to Verizon, 43% of recent attacks targeted small businesses resulting in an average of $1.42 million in lost business.
In January of 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued guidance called the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). All contracts will have CMMC in place by fiscal year 2026. CMMC builds on the DFARS requirements that DoD contractors have been subject to since 2017. Adversaries have cost the U.S. $600 billion annually, according to Katie Arrington, Chief Information Security Officer for Acquisition of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the Georgia Cyber Center, as well as the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center, and Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, have partnered to form the Georgia Defense Industrial Base Task Force (GaDIBT). The task force is made up of industry experts who lend their experience to developing resources and educational webinars to support Georgia companies as they prepare for CMMC.
To learn more, visit the Technology Association of Georgia at: https://www.tagonline.org/ga-dibt/ . You may also visit GDEcD’s CybersecurityEDGE site for additional resources: https://www.georgia.org/cybersecurityedge. For additional support, please contact Cassia Baker, Project Manager, Centers of Innovation: Cbaker@georgia.org.You may also connect with Heather Maxfield, Interim Executive Director, TAG-Ed at: Heather@tagonline.org.