As a Federal contractor, you are required to comply with Federal regulations related to cybersecurity and data protection. One of the most important of these is 252.204-7012, a regulation that requires contractors to implement adequate security measures to protect controlled unclassified information (CUI). In this article, we will explore what Dfars 252.204 7012 compliance entails, why it is important, and what steps you need to take to ensure that your organization is compliant.

What is Dfars 252.204 7012?

DFARS 252.204-7012 is a regulation that was introduced by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2013. The regulation requires contractors that handle CUI to implement a set of security controls outlined in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-171.

CUI refers to unclassified information that is sensitive and requires safeguarding or dissemination controls. Examples of CUI include financial information, personal identifiable information (PII), and technical data related to defense systems and equipment.

Why is Dfars 252.204 7012 Compliance Important?

Compliance with DFARS 7012 is critical for several reasons:

  1. Contractual Obligations: Compliance with 252.204-7012 is a contractual requirement for all DoD contractors. Failure to comply can result in the termination of a contract or the withholding of payments.
  2. Protecting Sensitive Information: The security controls outlined in NIST 800-171 are designed to protect sensitive information from cyber threats such as hacking, data breaches, and cyber espionage.
  3. Business Continuity: Compliance with DFARS 7012 can help to prevent disruptions to your business operations by reducing the risk of cyber incidents that could lead to data loss, system downtime, or reputational damage.

What Steps Do You Need to Take to Ensure Compliance?

Compliance with DFARS 252.204-7012 involves several key steps:

  1. Understand the Requirements: The first step is to review and understand the requirements outlined in NIST 800-171. This includes identifying the CUI that your organization handles, determining the applicable security controls, and establishing policies and procedures to implement those controls.
  2. Conduct a Gap Analysis: Conduct a gap analysis to identify any areas where your organization may fall short of the required security controls. This will help you to identify areas that need improvement and develop a plan to address those gaps.
  3. Implement Security Controls: Implement the security controls outlined in NIST 800-171. This includes implementing technical controls such as access controls, encryption, and network security, as well as administrative controls such as security awareness training and incident response planning.
  4. Maintain Documentation: Maintain documentation of your compliance efforts, including policies and procedures, risk assessments, and security controls. This documentation will be required in the event of an audit or review.
  5. Monitor and Update: Regularly monitor and update your security controls to ensure that they remain effective and aligned with business needs and evolving security threats.


Compliance with DFARS 252.204-7012 is a critical requirement for government contractors that handle CUI. By understanding the requirements, conducting a gap analysis, implementing security controls, maintaining documentation, and regularly monitoring and updating your security posture, you can ensure that your organization is compliant and well-positioned to protect sensitive information from cyber threats. Need assistance with protecting federal information? Contact Cleared Systems for more information.