How To Achieve CMMC Compliance?
If you are a contractor working with the Department of Defense, you know about the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). The new regulations’ requirements will apply to DoD projects starting from early September 2020, which means you should start planning for compliance with the new rules to ensure you do not miss out on future DoD contracts. We have an outline of the new standard and will lay out the steps that you should take right now to check off all the boxes needed for CMMC compliance.
What Is CMMC?
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is a new, unified standard that ensures cybersecurity implementation for the defense industrial base (DIB). The DoD’s supply chain of more than 300,000 companies means that many companies must comply with the new standard.
Before the CMMC standard, DoD contractors were solely responsible for implementing, monitoring, and carrying out of their technology’s security certification and ensuring the integrity of sensitive information they transmitted or stored. Much of what is in the CMMC is in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). The DFARS regulations have been effective since 2016, aimed at securing Controlled
Unclassified Information (CUI)
Department of Defense contractors and subcontractors should all comply with the DFARS regulations, which are easy to understand – all organizations should have security measures to keep CUI safe and must have reporting procedures in place for any cybersecurity events.\
In many ways, CMMC compares to DFARS, though CMMC compliance has maturity levels, and all contractors need to undergo a third-party assessment since self-assessment is not an option. The third-party evaluation ensures that a contractor is compliant with the procedures and processes necessary to protect sensitive information.
Steps for CMMC Compliance
CMMC compliance requires a contractor to carry out several steps that include:
Carrying Out a Gap Analysis and Readiness Check
A readiness check helps a contractor establish how prepared they are for a compliance audit by isolating immediate concern areas. We recommend that companies base the review on NIST 800-171 because it is the minimum requirement for CMMC Level 3. After completing a gap analysis, its results will help the contractor to establish its CMMC compliance level.
The analysis should cover:
- Areas that need attention
- Prioritization of identified issues
- The personnel to work on gaps
- Completion timeline
- Estimated cost
- The process used to track goals and the completion milestones
Implementation of a Detection and Alerting System
Many contractors aim to gain Level 4 or 5 CMMC compliance, and a big part of that is the ability to report on how well they identify and respond to cyber threats. We recommend that contractors leverage the Security Operations Center as a Service (SOCaaS). SOCaaS is a managed service that offers contractors a suite containing security incident reporting, threat intelligence, and continuous data analysis. The managed Security Operations Center (SOC) has a managed cloud application Security Information and Event Management, an indicator of compromise alerts, countermeasures recommendations, and SIEM tuning.
With SOCaaS, an organization can quickly achieve a high level of CMMC compliance, making it vital for any company that needs to work on DoD contracts.
Have a System Security Plan
A System Security Plan (SSP) is necessary to document all the security protocols that a contractor has in place for storage and transmission of CUI, and is a prerequisite for CMMC compliance. If a business does not have an SSP in place, they should get one and seek expert help if they are unsure where to start.
If a business does not have documentation, they should ensure that they update it regularly, including all security protocols for the CMMC compliance level.
There is new information that continually emerges concerning CMMC compliance and its associated timeline. A contractor needs to stay up-to-date with all the latest news immediately it is available. To keep tabs on the newest info, contractors should follow the data published by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment.
Although the DoD requires CMMC compliance from its contractors, its ultimate goal is to ensure that companies are ready to handle the continually evolving cyber threat landscape. What it means is that compliance is a continuous process. Companies that carry out DoD contracts need to be proactive when detecting and responding to emerging threats to maintain their status as department contractors. Suppose a contractor requires guidance on how to achieve and sustain CMMC compliant status. In that case, they should consider an experienced managed IT services provider who will offer advice at a low monthly cost.
A Managed IT Service Provider Helps DoD Contractors Figure Out The Costs Of Compliance
Many small and mid-sized organizations wonder how they could pay for the necessary cybersecurity upgrades necessary for CMMC compliance. Depending on the level of cybersecurity maturity they need, they could need to make a significant investment to ensure that they gain and maintain CMMC compliance. The DoD contractor’s readiness to meet compliance requirements will establish if they win or lose DoD projects moving forward. Advantage IT helps businesses put security protocols in place and offer third-party assessments to ensure companies remain compliant. Talk to Advantage IT if you are a defense contractor that requires CMMC compliance assistance.
Advantage Industries is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) providing practical networking and software solutions, as well as web site and application creation services. For nearly two decades, Advantage has worked collaboratively with hundreds of clients in understanding complex business processes, identifying needs, and providing recommendations tied with sound technology solutions custom-tailored to their business.