Many businesses have critical data that needs to be protected. In fact, this sensitive data is frequently backed up and often stored on a network or hard drive, where several security measures are in place for protection. As a result, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) created a program called the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) to establish a standardized model to certify a company’s level of security compliance.
This certification is critical to those companies which work directly with the DoD. For more than 300,000 companies that are part of the federal supply chain, the CMMC certifies security levels to enable these partnerships. The CMMC ensures that these contractors secure sensitive information similarly to the United States government or other large organizations for more effective partnerships.
However, CMMC requirements are not set in stone. There is a temporary five-year phase-in period. During this time, CMMC compliance is only required for certain government contracts. Regardless, the CMMC has a significant impact on many organizations and businesses. Keep reading to learn more about how CMMC and how We Solve Problems IT can help your organization!
The Purpose of CMMC
Before understanding how the CMMC will help your business, it is important to understand its purpose. In 2017, the DoD required many contractors to complete what is known as a Plan of Actions and Milestones as well as a System Security Plan. This was meant to assess their cybersecurity per the standards NIST 800-171.
By 2019 the regulations were not being met, so the DoD commissioned new standards in response. These new standards are now known as the CMMC. Before this, contractors had to implement their own standards for storing data and generating their own protective services. Put simply, the CMMC introduced standards for data classification and security, assessed by a third-party for compliance.
Why is it Important?
The CMMC is important for two main reasons: compliance and certification. First, it establishes several security guidelines for companies to meet. Since technology is constantly evolving, IT needs to advance along with it — with that comes updates to CMMC compliance standards. IT professionals are better able to keep up with these evolving standards.
Maintaining CMMC compliance increases a company’s protection against cyber threats. The DoD continually assesses cybersecurity attack vectors in order to build the specific standards and regulations clearly outlined in the CMMC and protect all parties.
Second, CMMC allows companies to be certified as trustworthy vendors, which can remove roadblocks to DoD contracts. The federal government needs to be able to rely on its vendors to protect sensitive information regarding the government and its affairs, whether domestic or foreign.
How Does This Impact Businesses?
The CMMC helps keep compliance when it comes to cyber security. In fact, the CMMC has directly impacted contractors in two ways. The primary impact is the enforcement of regulated standards for data security. This takes the guesswork out of having to create your own structures for cybersecurity.
The second impact is financial. In order to work with the DoD, defense contractors are required to engage a third party to complete this CMMC assessment. In order to certify security compliance, businesses may face higher costs.
The CMMC can be a barrier when it comes to money. Small businesses and organizations cannot always afford to invest in the necessary technology. And without the necessary technology, companies may not have optimal security in place to compete in federal contracts.
Luckily, there are several different levels of CMMC compliance: targeting the correct level for your engagement can help reduce costs for companies with lower compliance requirements. This helps mitigate costs overall.
Preparation for Your Organization
Now that you have a better understanding of CMMC and its impact on your business, it is important to know how it can directly affect you. While the finalized guidelines are not public, contractors must be ready to deal with certain things. These things typically include:
- Ensuring the organization has a full understanding of its current cybersecurity standing. This also includes reviewing the cybersecurity in place alongside certain compliance such as NIST 800-171. This also includes completing a self-assessment so that businesses know where they can make improvements when it comes to security.
- Updating current security measures is also standard practice when meeting DoD standards. Certain CMMC requirements may have already been met, so organizations can leverage this when looking to meet CMMC requirements.
- Certain operational risk is inevitable. However, cloud-based managed services can help organizations prevent this risk and become CMMC compliant.
We Solve Problems Can Help with Compliance
At this point, you have seen the benefits of CMMC compliance. You can use it to better your organization when you understand how to prepare for implementation and how it can impact your business. However, there is one place in particular where you can begin your search for someone who can help you with full compliance.
If you’re ready to start your CMMC compliance journey, We Solve Problems IT is here to help. Simply contact them online or call 310-998-7070 to get in touch with the team!