How Do I Become CMMC Compliant?

Military IT Tech

The Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new cybersecurity framework called the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). Organizations that work with the Department of Defense (DoD) must now comply with the CMMC.  

Becoming CMMC compliant is a process that takes time, effort, and expertise. This article will provide an overview of what CMMC compliance is, the different levels of it, and what steps your organization needs to take to become compliant.

What is CMMC Compliance?

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification compliance s a program established by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to secure and protect Federal Contract Information (FCI) and Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) by requiring the certification of external contractors across 17 different domains. This framework consists of maturity processes and cybersecurity best practices from multiple cybersecurity standards, frameworks, and other references, as well as inputs from the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and (DoD) stakeholders.

CMMC replaces the previous self-attestation model and introduces third-party auditors who will verify a company’s compliance. CMMC is based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework(NIST), which provides a common language for organizations to describe their cybersecurity posture.

The framework has five core functions: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. Organizations can use these functions as a starting point to measure and asses their cybersecurity maturity and identify areas of opportunities and weaknesses within their security posture.

Three Levels of CMMC Compliance

To become CMMC compliant, contractors must first identify their CUI environment where CUI data will be processed, stored, and transmitted.  CUI is generally defined by the US Government’s contracting official as the prime contractor. 

After your CUI environment has been defined you must determine what security controls your organization must implement to comply with NIST 800-171 standards. 

The next step to meeting CMMC compliance-ready involves developing standards, policies, and security procedures to address applicable cybersecurity compliance requirements for the appropriate level of certification required. Consider all applicable regulations, laws, and contracts that the business must comply with, including domestic and international cybersecurity laws.

There are three levels of CMMC compliance: foundational, advanced, and expert. Organizations can choose the level that best meets their needs and capabilities.

Foundational Cyber Hygiene (Level 1)

The foundational level of CMMC compliance requires the implementation of basic cybersecurity measures to protect FCI and CUI. These measures include things like maintaining an inventory of authorized and unauthorized software and implementing security controls to prevent the execution of unauthorized software.

Advanced Cyber Hygiene (Level 2)

The advanced level of CMMC compliance requires the implementation of additional measures to protect FCI and CUI. These measures include things like ensuring that data is backed up and can be restored in the event of a disaster, and implementing security controls to prevent unauthorized access to systems and data.

Expert Cyber Hygiene (Level 3)

The expert level of CMMC compliance requires the implementation of comprehensive measures to protect FCI and CUI. These measures include things like implementing security controls to detect and respond to cyber threats and developing and implementing an incident response plan.

Who Needs to Be CMMC Compliant?

The CMMC Model is required for all contractors who work with the Department of Defense (DoD). This includes contractors who provide goods and services to the DoD, as well as those who subcontract to other contractors.

Steps to Becoming CMMC Compliant

There are a number of steps that contractors must take in order to become CMMC compliant. These steps include:

  1. Assessing your current security posture
  2. Identifying which CMMC level is appropriate for your organization
  3. Implementing the required security controls for your chosen CMMC level
  4. Getting certified by a third-party assessor
  5. Maintaining compliance through continuous monitoring

By taking these steps, contractors can ensure that they are meeting the necessary requirements for CMMC compliance. In doing so, they can protect themselves from potential cyber threats and safeguard the sensitive information of the DoD.

How Simple Systems Can Help You Become CMMC Compliant

At Simple Systems, we can help your organization become CMMC compliant. We offer services such as a NIST 800-171 assessment, preparing SSP and POA&M, and remediation. Our solutions are designed to streamline the compliance process and make it easier for you to meet the requirements of the CMMC Model.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today!