For some Department of Defense (DoD) contractors, CMMC or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification compliance may be a looming figure that they’ve yet to address. If you’re one of the ones currently making headway on it, you may not be certain which level you need to reach for your business.
CMMC version 2.0 was announced last November, and it seems as if that’s going to be the de facto model going forward. In version one there were 5 levels of CMMC compliance, which have now been reduced to 3. To put it simply, level 1 of the program remained the same, levels 2 and 3 were combined and levels 4 and 5 were also combined.
This means if you were previously aiming for level 2 in the previous version of the program, you will now need to address topics in level 3 to be compliant.
Level one or the Foundational Level is meant for who do not handle Federal Contract Information (FCI) data. The checklist features just 17 items, and your compliance is self-attested which means you do not need to have a formal CMMC testing done to be compliant with the program.
Many DoD contractors though will fall into level 2 or the Advanced Level due to their handling of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), level 2 features 110 controls. All of CMMCs level 2 controls originate from NIST SP 800-171.
With the announcement of version 2.0 it was also announced the additional CMMC specific controls would be removed. If your business has already been working towards compliance with NIST before CMMC was announced you’re in a perfect position to work towards your CMMC compliance goals.
While 2.0 has not yet been signed into law, it was announced by the Pentagon last April that CMMC language would begin to start showing up in DoD contractors starting July 2023 – so the clock is definitely ticking if your business will be vying for those contracts.
A small portion of businesses will be required to undertake the rigorous task of being compliant with level 3 of CMMC, or the Expert Level. It’s based on NIST-800-171 and 172 and has 134 requirements at the time of writing, many of which require specialized equipment and software.
For both levels 2 and 3, audits will be required through the CMMC Accreditation Body (recently renamed Cyber-AB). Cyber-AB is an independent auditing body and we’ve been told the wait times to be audited are lengthy, though this will get a little better as the program gains more auditors. It’s still a good idea to make sure your business is ready and meets the compliance standards though especially as CMMC regulations continue to be rolled out ahead of the official release. You don’t want to be caught needing that proof of compliance to meet your contract requirements and not having it.
The DoD has also indicated it would take a contractors level of CMMC compliance into consideration when choosing for their contracts – so not being compliant may not just put your existing contracts at risk it could cost you new ones as well.
We have several articles explaining the levels and controls in more detail, here are our articles on levels one, two and three.
If you’ve barely scratched the surface in your organization, you can still make changes that will put you in a better position when you begin to tackle it in earnest. Many of the requirements, especially those found in level one, is common sense advice for being safer online. You (and your employees) can work on these five items first:
If after reviewing the information, you feel like you just need a hand to either cement cybersecurity processes you already have in place or have a partner in your CMMC goals, Valley Techlogic can help.
We have firsthand knowledge of the CMMC program and helping clients become CMMC certified. Our tools will help you meet the requirements necessary and quickly get your business ready for the audit process.
Make an appointment today for a free consultation to learn more.
Looking for more to read? We suggest these other articles from our site.
CMMC Series: Preparing for your assessment
CMMC Series: The Consequences for CMMC Non-Compliance
5 of the Most Important Cybersecurity Training Topics to Cover with Your Employees
Our UPDATED Guide to MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
10 things you can do today (yes today) to make your business’s network safer
This article was powered by Valley Techlogic, an 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.
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