December 12, 2023 4 min read

eMASS Consulting for NIST RMF A&A DCSA ATO Success

In the world of DoD classified contracting, security and compliance are critically important, especially for federal contractors providing essential services to the broader Department of Defense (DoD). To operate effectively in this highly regulated space, organizations must adhere to stringent NIST RMF and DAAPM cybersecurity standards and obtain the necessary Authorizations to Operate (ATO) from DCSA onsite and virtual inspections. 

This is where Arlington steps in as your trusted partner and guide. As experts in eMASS (Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service) and NIST RMF (National Institute of Standards and Technology Risk Management Framework), we specialize in providing comprehensive advisory solutions to classified defense contractors seeking ATO from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA). 

Understanding the Landscape: eMASS and NIST RMF

eMASS (Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service): eMASS is a Department of Defense (DoD) information technology system used for managing the entire NIST RMF Assessment & Authorization (A&A) process for cleared industry. It streamlines the authorization process, making it efficient and compliant with NIST standards.

NIST RMF (National Institute of Standards and Technology Risk Management Framework): RMF is a structured process used to manage and reduce cybersecurity risks. It provides a framework for assessing and authorizing information systems, ensuring they meet security requirements. The very fabric of NIST RMF is none other than NIST SP 800-53, the gold standard for information security and risk management. 

Our Comprehensive eMASS NIST RMF A&A Advisory Services

Arlington's advisory solutions are designed to assist classified defense contractors at every stage of the NIST RMF A&A and eMASS journey, from initial assessment to achieving a successful ATO from DCSA.

Gap Analysis: We conduct a thorough gap analysis to identify areas where your organization may fall short of the NIST RMF and DCSA requirements. Specifically, the MS Excel “Export” spreadsheets list all the controls (upwards of 1,650 rows) that require detailed information to be input, but before that, they must be assessed for control maturity  Additionally, these controls also require developing a wide-range of NIST 800-53 security policies, procedures, programs, and plans.  

Security Control Assessment: Our experts evaluate the effectiveness of security controls, ensuring they align with the stated NIST 800-53 guidelines - and the DAAPM requirements - listed on the MS Excel “Export” spreadsheets. This entails performing as needed testing, inspection and review of the controls prior to submission to eMASS for review by DCSA for your ATO. 

eMASS Deployment: We can help you set up and configure eMASS to streamline your A&A process. From helping users understand how to use eMASS to ensuring all controls are in place and functioning as required, Arlington can do it all.

Policy & Documentation Development: We assist in the development and implementation of cybersecurity policies and procedures aligned with NIST 800-53 guidelines and the DAAPM requirements set forth by DCSA. With our industry leading Arlington Security Portal, cleared industry now has all the necessary policies, procedures, programs, and plans required for working towards a successful ATO from DCSA. 

We even offer an eMASS Toolkit that comes complete with all required NIST 800-53 policy templates and critical programs and plans. In short, our world-class Arlington Security Portal (ASP) provides cleared contractors with access to all required NIST 800-53 policies, procedures, programs, and plan documentation for eMASS ATO success with DCSA. 

Continuous Monitoring Plans: We develop plans for ongoing security monitoring to maintain compliance for ensuring your ATO is successfully maintained as required by legal/contractual and DCSA requirements. With Arlington, we offer industry leading NIST 800-53 ConMon Programs for helping continuously monitor your classified environments (i.e., MUSA, SUSA, WAN, etc.).

Remediation: Our comprehensive eMASS services also include all required follow-up measures after your initial eMASS submission to DCSA for hopeful Authorization to Operate (ATO) designation. To be clear, it is quite common for DCSA to return a list of corrective action items in their System Deficiency Status Report (SDSR), and if you’ve received such notification, we can assist with remediation.  

A&A Package Development: With Arlington, we guide you in compiling a complete and accurate Authorization package for submission to DCSA. This includes all necessary documentation, from completing the online System Security Plan (SSP) within eMASS to developing all required NIST 800-53 policies, procedures, programs, and plans. We also offer industry leading documentation for incident response, contingency planning, insider threats, tabletop exercises for IR and CP, risk assessments, and so much more. 

Training and Workshops: We offer tailored training programs to educate your team on eMASS, NIST RMF, and compliance best practices. Our workshops provide hands-on experience to enhance your organization's cybersecurity capabilities.

Trust Arlington - Industry Leaders for eMASS Consulting for NIST RMF A&A DCSA ATO Success

Navigating the complexities of eMASS, NIST RMF, and DCSA ATOs requires a partner with expertise and a deep understanding of the defense contracting landscape. Arlington is that partner. With our comprehensive eMASS NIST RMF A&A advisory solutions, we guide you through every step of the compliance journey, ensuring that your organization meets the highest cybersecurity standards and obtains the necessary Authorizations to Operate.

Trust Arlington as your expert eMASS consultant, and together, we'll navigate the eMASS and NIST RMF landscape with precision and confidence, securing your mission-critical operations.