Everything You Need to Know About Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification

Updated on September 20, 2021 | by James Stone

The number of online attacks has increased dramatically over the past few years. Organizations must do whatever they can to protect themselves from such threats. And the thing which is the most concerning is that Cybercriminals are now using new and innovative ways to attack their victims. And no one is safe from them, whether it be individuals or big companies. However, some service providers have taken the step to provide free antivirus to their internet subscribers or those who even bundle it with cable-like Charter Spectrum cable. But that alone may not be enough.

Introducing CMMC

As the cases of cyber threats are at an all-time high, organizations must rethink their approaches to IT security. One thing that can help companies from such malicious threats is CMMC or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. Navigating the certification process can be a bit of a hassle. However, it doesn’t really have to be. With that said, let’s have a look at what components contribute to CMMC. 

Defining Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification 

It is a security framework created by the US Department of Defense to assess the security, resilience, and capability of its contractors and subcontractors. This framework is used to get rid of weaknesses in the supply chain. It also helps improve security practices. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is created to protect the DoD from breaches that can cause harm to its operations. 

The CMMC is designed on four different elements: capabilities, process, security domains, and control practices. A combination of this creates risk-free protection for the defense department. If the government’s software is breached, then even the slightest breach could result in a catastrophic outcome. The overall security of the country can become vulnerable. Considering this, DoD designed the CMMC with a tiered approach. This means that contractors will have to go through different testing requirements to interact with the department based on their contract. 

CMMC: The Requirements

The framework of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification has a five-tier approach. The first level is pretty basic, whereas level 5 as you would have probably guessed it, is the most advanced maturity level. The US Department of Defense assigns the levels to the contractor based on the data they are managing. If you want to achieve certification for every tier, you will be required to fulfill some specific requirements via the collaboration of various cybersecurity components

Who Requires CMMC?

If you are a contractor of DoD, then CMMC certification will be necessary for you. Most of the contractors will need at least level 3 certification to be eligible for a federal contract. These organizations can include supply chains, small businesses, manufacturers who supply the items directly to DoD, and foreign suppliers. Any contractor needs to meet the CMMC’s basic requirements to do business with the US Department of Defense. 

You have to keep in mind that the level of certification depends on the company’s access to CUI. So, contractors who have FCI but not CUI, then they will be required level 1 certification. Whereas important contractors who possess sensitive CUI will need level 4 certification. 

How to Get CMMC?

The DoD lets those assessors who are licensed perform cybersecurity audits of organizations. You will need to refer to Request for Proposal or RFP to know about the level you need to be certified to score the contract. Third-party accessors can also certify companies. The assessors will need to provide scheduled assessments. Moreover, their strengths and weaknesses will be evaluated to know if the company meets the requirements for the maturity levels or not. If any problems are encountered, the companies are given approximately three months or 90 days to fix them. 

Why is Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Important?

The US Department of Defense currently has more than 300,000 subcontractors in its database, increasing the value of contracts to above $402 billion. This is the reason why the DoD will need to take strict measures to prevent cyberattacks so that the data can remain safe. Hence, they introduced the CMMC framework, which facilitates the in-depth defense strategy, protecting the contractor base. 

You should know that you must have CMMC certification if you want to work with the DoD. There are also services like Cobalt that you can trust, which will simplify the pentesting compliance requirements for you.  

Conclusion 

Cybercriminals have gotten more ruthless than they ever were before. They are attacking their victim in new ways, causing harm to both organizations and individuals. This is why the DoD introduced CMMC to protect the sovereignty of the country. They designed the framework in a way that provides them a cushion against online threats. And if you want to work with the DoD, then you will have to have the CMMC certification.

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