You may have thought we finished our series on the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program, but we would be remiss if we didn’t cover the consequences and penalties for not complying with the program if you’re a current Department of Defense (DoD) contractor.
You may be thinking there’s a window to wait and see while rulings proceed on version 2.0 or have seen dates such as 2025 thrown out as the goal post for when the program will be completely finalized. Or maybe you’re just hoping the whole thing goes away, we get it. Looking at all of the controls and tiers can be overwhelming if your business is new to implementing cybersecurity measures.
However, the program is here to stay, and your business will be much better equipped to meet the requirements if you begin working on them now. There is a waiting list already for those wishing to obtain their certification earlier, and we expect the wait times to only grow as nearly 40,000 businesses who must comply with this program rush to get their certification before losing eligibility for existing contracts.
Beyond existing contracts, having your CMMC certification will make your business more competitive when seeking new contracts with the DoD. Progress towards CMMC is an investment in your business’s future, and it also meet the goals of the program which is protecting businesses from cyber threats.
So, what are the consequences for not working on CMMC compliance now, or in the future?
The DoD has said that all Defense Industrial Base (DIB) contractors must be compliant by 2025. There are no direct monetary penalties or fines for not being compliant at this time, however your business will no longer be eligible for defense contracts if you have not successfully completed your accreditation by that date.
Three years may seem like a long time but when you look at the scope of what’s necessary to be compliant with CMMC, it’s really a short window to get your ducks in a row. Tier one could be accomplished relatively easily by most businesses, but if your business handles any Confidential Unclassified Information, you’re really looking at a goal of tier three moving forward (or tier two if/when version 2.0 is released).
That’s also not counting the time spent in a waiting list for a member of the CMMC Accreditation Body to actually complete your assessment, you will need to work on your self-assessment status and POAM (Plan of Action and Milestones) prior to getting on the waiting list for CMMC accreditation.
It’s also important to note that your self-assessment must be confirmed by company leadership, it’s not enough to simply have your IT person or team complete the self-assessment and submit it.
The DoD has said they will randomly test contractor compliance and see if it matches what the contractor has inputted into Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS). SPRS is a necessary requirement for being compliant with Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) which many contractors may already be aware of. They will be looking to see if your disclosures for DFARS in regards to CMMC/NIST match.
Submitting false information could make your business at risk for running afoul of the False Claims Act (FCA), which could leave you liable for civil fines and penalties. There is even a program in place to reward whistleblowers who bring to light businesses who are falsifying information about their cybersecurity practices on these forms.
This is all so much to say as there are significant risks involved with ignoring CMMC and we suggest you begin working on it now or we’re afraid you’ll be paying for it later.
If you need assistance with working on your CMMC accreditation, cybersecurity practices and compliance, DFARS forms or more – Valley Techlogic can assist you. Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can help your business meet your CMMC compliance goals for 2022.
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This article was powered by Valley TechLogic, IT service provider in Atwater, CA. You can find more information at https://www.valleytechlogic.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/valleytechlogic/ . Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/valleytechlogic.