Due to the sensitive nature of its operations, the U.S Department of Defense (DoD) has high-level CMMC certification requirements that all contractors must follow. These requirements also work to prevent hackers and cybercriminals from gaining access to confidential information in the DoD database.
All DoD contractors must meet the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance to bolster security. If you seek to compete effectively for DoD contracts, you need to adhere to all CMMC guidelines.
What Is CMMC Certification?
CMMC is a comprehensive security framework designed to ensure contractors within the defense industrial base (DIB) adhere to standard cybersecurity control practices.
The new CMMC model builds on the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFARS). It has different levels and technical requirements to ensure that companies protect CUI (controlled unclassified information) and follow all cybersecurity best practices.
Who Needs to Be CMMC Compliant?
Companies that handle government data in the DIB must meet DFARS and CMMC compliance requirements. There are five different levels of CMMC certification, depending on the type of data you access, process and store.
- Level 1 – Basic Cyber Hygiene. This level focuses on protecting the federal contract information (FCI) through basic security practices like email and password policies.
- Level 2 – Intermediate Cyber Hygiene. At this level, documentation of procedures and policies for CMMC compliance is vital. You must meet 55 additional cyber hygiene practices in the NIST SP 800-171 and more FCI-related practices.
- Level 3 – Good Cyber Hygiene. This level requires you to meet any remaining NIST SP 800-171 requirements and review policies and procedures regularly while managing CUI-related activities.
- Level 4 – Proactive Cybersecurity Practices. This level adds 26 practices from Draft NIST SP 800-171B and introduces enhanced cybersecurity protection measures against advanced persistent threats (APTs).
- Level 5 – Advanced / Progressive. Companies at this level are expected to manage APTs in a standardized and sophisticated optimization of cybersecurity capabilities.
How to Prepare for a CMMC Certification
Meeting the CMMC compliance requirements can be overwhelming because of the lengthy implementation. However, this should not delay you from starting the certification process. These five steps will help you ensure that your business is CMMC ready.
Determine the Certification Level You Require
The first step toward achieving compliance is establishing the level of certification you require based on the DoD specifications. Note that all levels are layered such that, to advance, you must first meet the prior requirements.
Assess and Realign Your Existing Security Infrastructure
Your current security framework will help you determine the security measures you need to align with the CMMC compliance requirements. Assessing your NIST 800-171 security protocol will guide you on what needs improvement and adjustment.
Create a Comprehensive CMMC Certification Plan
Creating a strategic compliance plan will help your business prepare for a CMMC audit and ensure that your infrastructure continually aligns with the CMMC requirements. It would help if you built a robust security network with end-to-end encryption and backup.
Outsource to Professional Compliance Experts
Professional CMMC compliance services provide expertise and security control systems that help you prepare your resources for audit. There are myriad benefits of working with certified compliance professionals. Some of them include:
- High-level cybersecurity compliance at affordable costs
- CMMC professionals possess all the documents and tools required to create a comprehensive security framework
- Comprehensive remediation process
- Adequate support and reliability
- Easy scalability options
Stay Informed on CMMC Developments
Since cybersecurity trends continue to evolve, visit the DoD website regularly to stay updated with the latest CMMC developments.
Although the CMMC model is new and still developing, you need to align your cybersecurity protocols with the CMMC requirements to gain a competitive advantage and improve your security environment. To leverage compliance guidance from the experts, contact K2 Tech Group today.