DoD Rolls Out Contractor Cybersecurity Standards

DoD Rolls Out Contractor Cybersecurity Standards

The new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification standards take effect in January 2020. How does this program affect contractors in Iraq?

These university-developed standards, which are not yet completed, will feature a five-tier security system. The nature of the contract dictates the nature of the compliance, explained Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy. The new system should eliminate the holes in the DoD’s previous ad hoc approach to information security, she added.

Information and Technology security specialist Joyce Corell applauded the move. She claimed that the biggest threat to governmental information security is lax security at private entities. Additionally, much of the government’s IT security resources go to fight large-scale cyber crime, and so small hackers often find gaps in the system, she noted.

Top Five Office Injuries Among Cybersecurity Contractors

Directives like this one always mean increased staffing, especially for overseas military contractor offices. Remote locations in foreign war zones do not have the same infrastructure and resources as stateside locations, yet they must meet the same standards. Additionally, there are more subcontractors overseas, and as mentioned in the above story, that is a major area of concern.

Since the compliance deadline is right around the corner, expect military contractors to hire a large number of IT consultants for temporary assignments. These individuals are hard workers, but they often know little about the environment in which they work.

In 2020 and beyond, overseas contractors must beef up their existing IT staffs because compliance with government regulations is a time-consuming process. Additionally, prior to scheduled inspections, these firms must usually hire additional consultants.

Hard workers who are focused on a task often have issues with monitor-related vision issues. The initial setting on computer monitors is almost always too high. Generally, if the screen is bright enough to be a light source, it is too bright. The problem is even worse if the room is dark.

Vision issues like these are rather difficult to correct. Glasses or contacts alone usually do not suffice. Instead, individuals with these problems must often undergo expensive laser eye repair surgery. Such surgery also requires extensive down time for recovery.

Many people are surprised to learn that falls are over twice as common in offices as they are in outdoor work environments. Many times, workers use chairs as ladders. Much more often, workers trip over open drawers and loose carpet, usually due to poor lighting.

As mentioned below, fault is usually not an issue in Defense Base Act compensation cases. If you were injured overseas, full compensation is typically available.

Struck by/caught between injuries are rather common, as well. Some people bump into desks or cabinets. These injuries, while not terribly severe, take a long time to heal and limit mobility. Other workers get their fingers caught in drawers or doors. Finger injuries usually take a long time to heal, as well, because it is almost impossible not to use one’s hands for an extended period of time.

Even small stacks of paper or light boxes can cause serious lifting injuries in some situations. Many times, the victim uses an improper lifting technique and has a pre-existing injury.

Fault is usually not relevant in DBA claims, and pre-existing conditions are usually not relevant either. As long as the work injury aggravated a pre-existing condition, and not the other way around, the victim is usually entitled to full economic benefits.

All these injuries often affect people who are new on the job and not familiar with the environment. Carpal tunnel syndrome, on the other hand, usually affects workers who have been on the job for a while. The primary nerve which connects the fingers to the neck must pass through the narrow carpal tunnel in the wrist. If the tunnel collapses, even a little, the worker may experience a nerve injury.

Typically, the victim does not want to say anything about an ergonomically improper workstation until the pain begins. At that point, the victim often asks for an accommodation, which the employer provides. But by that time, nerve injury has already set in, and a simple fix will not provide any relief. In fact, by encouraging even longer hours of typing, the accommodation may make the injury even worse.

Injury Compensation Available

An office injury may mean several weeks away from work, at the least. Since many people live hand-to-mouth and a contractor’s job is the family’s only source of income, that loss could be devastating.

So, the Defense Base Act does not just pay for medical bills. It also pays two-thirds of the victim’s Average Weekly Wage during the person’s temporary disability. The AWW calculation includes:

  • Net Pay: If the victim just arrived overseas, taking the last year’s compensation and dividing by 12 may not produce accurate results. There is a big salary difference between an IT tech in Baghdad and a similar position in Boise.
  • Bonuses: Many firms offer performance bonuses. For example, if a tech completes a certain number of projects within a certain amount of time, the tech gets a bonus. If the person is unable to work, it is impossible to claim such bonuses.
  • Incremental Pay Increases: Think about NFL Players who get hurt late in training camp and miss six weeks. There is a big difference between two or three weeks of preseason pay and two or three weeks of in-season pay.
  • Noncash Compensation: If the worker drives a company vehicle or stays in company housing, these noncash benefits are typically part of the victim’s AWW.

These benefits are available to people with temporary disabilities. If the victim has a long-term or permanent disability, alternative no-fault lost wages compensation is available.

Contact Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A. to learn more about the DBA’s medical benefits.