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cmmc / cyber security maturity model certification
Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification: What All Long Island DoD Contractors Need to Know
In the not-so-distant future, all companies and contractors that work with the US Department of Defense will need to meet the requirements set forth by the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification if they plan to bid on contracts with the Department of Defense.
What is the CMMC and how can companies and contractors ensure that they meet the requirements? Read on to learn more about this vital information.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a standard established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to implement tightened cybersecurity measures throughout the Defense Industrial Base (DIB).
The DIB refers to industrial assets of the US government that play a part in producing equipment for the military. Recently, significant compromises of highly sensitive defense-related information within the information systems of the DIB supply chain contractors have occurred. Cybersecurity breaches have allowed highly sensitive information related to the DoD to fall into the hands of US adversaries. The CMMC is the DoDs response to these compromises. The goal of this cybersecurity assessment model and certification program is to ensure that the DIB is properly secured.
On January 31, 2020, the DoD issued the first version of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. In previous years, prime contractors and contracting authorities were in charge of executing, assessing, and certifying the security measures of the information technology systems they used and sensitive information related to the DoD that was transmitted through or stored on their systems. With the CMMC, prime contractors and contracting authorities are still responsible for executing crucial cybersecurity requirements; however, now, the standard requires that third parties assess their compliance with specific compulsory practices, procedures, and proficiencies to affirm that contractors can evolve and adapt to new and developing cyber threats.
In other words, the CMMC is meant to act as a verification system to ensure that proper cybersecurity procedures are in place and being practiced by DoD contractors to ensure that controlled unclassified information (CUI) is properly protected from adversaries. CUI refers to any and all information that the US government generates or owns, as well as information that any entity generates or owns, either for or on behalf of the US government and that a governmental policy necessitates or allows an entity to handle via protection or distribution controls.
As of June 2020, companies that contract with the DoD will begin seeing CMMC requirements as a part of Requests for Information.
What DoD Contractors Need to Do
Companies that contract with the DoD should make learning the technical requirements that are established by the CMMC a priority and make the necessary preparations to become certified. They should also make preparations for long-term agility regarding their cybersecurity practices, procedures, and policies. As stated above, as per the CMMC, companies can no longer self-certify their security measures; rather, a third-party must assess their compliance. As such, organizations that contract with the DoD will need to coordinate with an independent, accredited third-party commercial certification organization in order to request and schedule a CMMC assessment.
Upon contacting a third-party commercial certification organization, contractors will need to indicate the level of certification that they are requesting, as per the specific business requirements of their company. When a company has clearly demonstrated their competence regarding cybersecurity measures to the satisfaction of the third-party organization’s assessor, they will be granted a CMMC certification.
Upon obtaining a Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, the level of certification will be made public. However, it should be noted that specifics pertaining to the particular findings will not be public; only the DoD will see the certification level the company has been granted.
Why CMMC Certification is Important
Previous measures that have been put into place to protect DoD-related CUI have not been successful, as adversaries to the US government have managed to override these measures and obtain highly sensitive information. As such, it has been determined that self-assessment and compliance reporting is ineffective and cannot be trusted; hence why the new CMMC approach has been established. Therefore, in order for a company to continue contracting with the DoD, it must meet the CMMC requirements.
How E-Topia Technologies Can Help
E-Topia Technologies, Long Island’s most trusted cybersecurity agency, provides Cyber Security Maturity Model Certification compliance preparation services. Our team of compliance management and security experts can fully explain and help you gain a thorough understanding of the CMMC requirements, how it will affect your company and future contracts with the DoD, and how you can effectively prepare for CMMC certification.
To learn more about our CMMC services and how we can help prepare your company for the upcoming changes, please call 631.744.9400. To ensure your organization meets the newly established Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification requirements, contact us today!