Grant Compliance

Navigating the Funding Landscape:
The Critical Aspects of Network Compliance

Home >> Resources >> Cyber Compliance


Navigating the Funding Landscape: The Critical Aspects of Network Compliance

Congrats, you got past the first hurdle; you secured the funding! This is a monumental step forward in your mission to connect rural communities. Whether you applied for or will be applying for BEAD, ReConnect, EA-CAM, or other funding programs, the potential success


Daniel Brashear
Director of Technology Services

comes with a complex web of requirements. One of these complexities being the cyber compliance policies and procedures that you created during the application process. These plans are critical to safeguarding your network and solidifying access to your awarded funding.

The cyber compliance policies and procedures are based on the NIST Cyber Security Framework and CISA Baseline Goals. These requirements provide clear guidance and an underlying foundation on how you must properly manage and safeguard your network. If these plans are not implemented meticulously, they could lead to fines or having your funding removed. It may feel like audits are a distant rumor, but they can happen frequently. So, how can you ensure your plans are in practice and not tucked away in a binder collecting dust?

Perform Risk Assessments – Start with a network assessment. This will help you and your team discover and address where you have vulnerabilities or gaps in your network. To continue to maintain a healthy network and remain compliant, regular scans of your exposed systems, internal network, and subscriber network should be conducted.

Protect Your Data – Maintain your integrity as a provider by implementing measures to protect your data from being breached. Additionally, perform routine backups in the chance your data is compromised.

24/7 Network Monitoring – Be prepared and make sure you address any issues before they reach the customer with 24/7 network monitoring. With continuous monitoring, you will be able to resolve issues quickly and protect your network from attacks.

Train Employees – Conduct regular training for your employees to make sure they are informed and up to date. To prevent gaps as your team inevitably changes, make sure there are multiple people who are educated and informed on how the network works and ongoing maintenance protocols.

As you continue to evolve your policies and procedures, it is critical that you update the funding agency with any changes if required, or you could risk falling out of compliance.


“Audits are not uncommon

and they are not a myth.”


It may feel overwhelming as you begin to unravel all the elements that you committed to with your funding. Just remember, these requirements were designed to help you grow as a network and implement best practices that will only benefit you for the future. Take it one task at a time and enlist outside help if you need it. Remain detail-oriented in your approach to compliance; don’t let something as small as a password length requirement get you in trouble. Be proactive and don’t wait for an audit to catch you in the act. Fix your shortfalls now and be ready when an audit inevitably comes.