Article Rich Small Business Does My Organization Need to Be CMMC Certified?

Does My Organization Need to Be CMMC Certified?

CMMC stands for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. This is a newly rolled out standard for updating and strengthening cybersecurity across the DIB, which stands for the Defense Industrial Base. This incorporates more than 300,000 businesses within the supply chain.

The CMMC is the DoD’s response to the substantial compromises of sensitive defense data and information that is stored on the information systems of contractors. 

Back in January of last year, the first version of the CMMC was released after much anticipation. However, some contractors and subcontractors may still wonder whether or not this is applicable to them and if certification is going to be required. 

Who Needs to Be CMMC Certified?

So, should you be CMMC certified? Well, if you are in the defense contract supply chain, then yes, you should make sure you get CMMC certification. Specifically, if you work with contracts with a CMMC requirement clause, or you’re part of a supply chain that does, you will need to be compliant. Contractors are responsible for notifying their subcontractors of this requirement.

The level of maturity required will depend on the specific project requirements, but the vast majority of contracts are going to need between Level 1 and Level 3 certification.

5 Maturity Levels

Understanding the different maturity levels is key when it comes to attaining CMMC certification. The first level, Level 1, requires that a business carries out specific practices. This is basic cyber hygiene, and it is a basic level of cybersecurity. 

Levels 2 and 3 involve the management of activities for cybersecurity. This concentrates on CUI protection and involves all security requirements outlined in NIST SP 800-171. If you require level 4 certification, all practices must be reviewed and measured. This involves implementing even greater proactive measures. 

The highest level that is attainable is level 5. This requires businesses to standardize and optimize their processes for the highest level of proactive cybersecurity. To achieve this certification, you need to have sophisticated and advanced cybersecurity measures in place.

The CMMC level required for each contract will be specified in the Requests for Information (RFIs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) so that your organization can be prepared and aware of which contracts you are eligible for with your current maturity level certification.

Achieving CMMC Compliance & Certification

You may be wondering how much it is going to cost you to attain CMMC certification. The expense will depend on a number of different factors. Examples include the complexity of the DIB business’s unclassified network for the certification boundary, the CMMC level, and additional market forces. A rough order of magnitude cost estimates has been supplied by the Department of Defense for CMMC assessments. 

Because of the strict measures required to achieve compliance, many organizations choose to begin the process by receiving a CMMC compliance assessment from an organization specializing in CMMC compliance to identify areas that need to be addressed.

Please note that once you achieve your certification, the process doesn’t end there. You will need to keep up your cybersecurity efforts. In most cases, the CMMC certificate you attain will be valid for three years, after which your company will need to be assessed again.

To conclude, there is no denying that CMMC certification is imperative for any business that is within the defense contract supply chain or desires to win a contract for the Department of Defense.