BEAD: Cybersecurity & Supply Chain Risk Management

February 5, 2024

There are many questions regarding cybersecurity and supply chain risk management requirements for BEAD applications. The plans must be operational before you are awarded the funding. Andy Deinert, Director of Network & Security Services, discusses details.

Core Cybersecurity Requirements for BEAD Funding 

Applicants must fulfill two key cybersecurity obligations to qualify for BEAD funding: 

  1. Develop a comprehensive Cybersecurity Plan 
  2. Establish a Supply Chain Cybersecurity Plan 

Both components must be fully operational to secure BEAD grant funding. 

Crafting a Supply Chain Cybersecurity Strategy 

Unlike conventional supply chains that involve physical components like fiber optics, the BEAD focus extends to: 

  • Software systems, like those provided by billing vendors 
  • Hardware assets, such as routers and firewalls

What you need to do now: Prioritize your critical vendors — those essential for your network’s operation. While it’s not necessary to scrutinize every vendor immediately, begin with the most vital and gradually extend your focus. 

Adhering to the NIST Framework 

Your cybersecurity strategy should incorporate the following elements as per the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) guidelines: 

  • Regular vulnerability assessments. 
  • Comprehensive employee cybersecurity training. 
  • Execution of tabletop simulation exercises. 
  • Frequent policy evaluations. 

Building Your Cybersecurity Plan  

Begin with an assessment of internal knowledge regarding cybersecurity. If your team includes cybersecurity specialists, they can spearhead the development of your strategy. In the absence of specialized staff, consider these options: 

  • Hybrid Approach: Combine internal efforts with Vantage Point’s specialized expertise. 
  • Full Outsourcing: Leverage Vantage Point’s skilled team to comprehensively manage your cybersecurity needs. 
  • Skills Development: Engage in Vantage Point’s three-year Cybersecurity Playbook Program to equip your staff with proficiency in various cybersecurity domains. 

Vantage Point’s team is ready to streamline your cybersecurity measures and facilitate the creation of a robust plan. Simplify the compliance process for your company’s BEAD cybersecurity requirements with help from Vantage Point Solutions. 

Discover Vantage Point’s Expertise in BEAD Initiatives 

We’re here to help you – BEAD and beyond.  

BEAD is one component of a bigger discussion.

Let’s start that conversation here.