How can your Business Prepare for CMMC?

In order to strengthen the security around Defense Industrial Base, the inaugural version of CMMC was released in early January 2020 by the U.S. Defense Department. CMMC or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification defines cyber maturity at five different levels.

CMMC levels range from Basic Cyber Hygiene to Progressive or Advanced Cyber Hygiene. The Defense Industrial Base is made up of about 350,000 entities and this poses a huge challenge when it comes to complying with the requirements of cyber maturity which requires an accredited C3PAO (CMMC Third Party Assessment Organization) to validate it.

How can your business prepare for CMMC?
How can your business prepare for CMMC

This compliance may be challenging but you can make your business be ready. If you find it difficult to manage compliance adherence, you can always hire a qualified CMMC compliance advisor for your business. A third-party must always be a choice as it proves to be economical. 

If your business organization falls within the Defense Industrial Base, you can follow the below practices to be prepared for achieving CMMC maturity.

Select the ideal CMMC level

If your business is in contact with DoD or Department of Defense, it is necessary that you comply with any of the CMMC maturity levels. You need to pick a CMMC level that would be perfect for your company now and also in the future.

Each CMMC level requires a different investment level, security controls, and policy development. This is why it is important for you to analyze which CMMC maturity level is best for your company. 

You can do this by assessing your current DoD contract’s portfolio. If the contracts do not need your company to maintain CUI (Controlled Unclassified Information), you can select CMMC maturity level 1 or 2.

However, in case you do hold any other sensitive data or CUI, you need to select CMMC maturity level 3 or higher. When you are making CMMC maturity compliance decisions, you need to consider your company’s business strategies as well.

If you plan to move your business into the CUI environment in the future, you must invest in CMMC maturity level 3 or higher as that may provide competitive advantages to your business and will also open doors for DoD opportunities in the future.

Analyze your business’s relationship with subcontractors

As a prime contractor, you need to ensure that all your subcontractors achieve the ideal CMMC compliance level. In order to do this, all your subcontractor agreements need to be evaluated and the other agreements with potential buyers also need to be included.

You will need to request the members of your business supply chain for compliance certification. If any of your subcontractors are not certified, make sure that they are working with only the equipment and data that comes under the CMMC enclave.

Set defined system boundaries

Properly segmented and defined system boundaries of your business are very important. Just like the other mandatory requirements of CMMC compliance, your main goal should be minimizing the surface for threat and designating a defined enclave with capabilities to hold relevant CMMC data.

You need to also establish and enforce a stringent Data Management and Classification Policy that makes sure that all the new data is appropriately routed to the IT environment segment. The outbound and inbound CMMC enclave connections also need to be identified, defined, and documented along with the security protocols associated with the interface.

Do not approach CMMC as just a security challenge

When you are preparing to achieve CMMC maturity compliance, it will require the attention of all the leaders present at different levels in your company’s organizational structure including the CEO, Privacy Officer, CIO, etc.

Some controls can surely be addressed by incorporating certain minor changes to procedures and policies, or even with minor configurational adjustments, other controls would need technological investment or a significant change in the existing business protocols.

A few bigger challenges for which your company needs to prepare include data encryption, multi-factor authentication, CUI marking procedure, activity reviews, audit logging, continuous monitoring, training, awareness, mobile device policies, and threat intelligence, among other things.

Since such initiatives will need a significant amount of investment and will also cause a significant impact on your business, it is important that you get stakeholder buy-in. You must also continue engaging the decision-makers of your company as you prepare for CMMC compliance.

If your organization falls under the Defense Industrial Base, you must be thinking about how to implement certain changes to achieve CMMC compliance. If this is something which seems too complicated for you, you can hire an expert for the same.

Cost is a well-known organization that can provide you with a highly experienced and qualified CMMC compliance advisor for your business. This way the task of your business falling under the CMMC complaint companies can be taken care of professionally in the most efficient way.