Why Your Business Needs CMMC Consulting In Philadelphia
Developed by the DoD, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) was announced on September 4, 2019, as a certification and compliance process to ensure government contractors have proper security in place at five specific levels to protect data. It’s estimated that a data breach costs an individual company an average of $3.9 million, with DoD estimates of $60 billion being lost every year to hackers. If you currently do business with state or federal agencies or are hoping to do so in the future, you’ll need to have your systems ready for the CMMC rollout in 2020. If you’re not familiar with CMMC, you’re not alone – we’ll help you learn more about what it is, what’s required and why you might want CMMC consulting in Philadelphia in this post.
Why Your Business Needs CMMC Consulting In Philadelphia
What Is CMMC and When Does it Take Effect?
Seeing the many issues with data breaches in the country, the DoD developed the CMMC as a process to certify and prove compliance of specific controls in place to protect controlled unclassified information (CUI) and federal government contract information. It provides specific clarification about the level of security that is required of contractors to engage in a range of contracts at several maturity levels, ensuring the contractors have appropriate controls in place. The CMMC 1.0 framework has come into effect for RFIs as of June 2020, replacing the cybersecurity controls in NIST 800-171, and requires all contractors working with state or federal agencies to be in compliance, with RFPs requiring the standard as of September 2020.
Why Does CMMC Matter?
Value lost to adversaries reaches an average of $60 billion every year, according to DoD estimates. That makes every contractor that does business with state and federal agencies at serious risk for a data breach, especially given the growing cybercrime this year. How much has it grown? There’s been a 273% increase in cybercrime in the first quarter of this year as hackers take advantage of circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Contractors have ready access to a lot of government data, much of which is sensitive or confidential, a fact that our adversaries are well aware of. Though the DoD has had NIST 800-171 and DFARS 252-204-7012 in place, they’re not completely secure and can be difficult to understand, leading to confusion in the industry. The unified framework of CMMC eliminates this confusion.
How is CMMC Different than NIST 800-171 or Similar Standards?
CMMC uses a range of controls found in many common standards, including NIST 800-171. However, it brings these standards into a single unified framework. Though it has aspects of NIST 800-171, NIST 800-53, ISO 27001, ISO 27032 and AIA NAS9933, the single-framework feature allows the government contractor to proceed through up to five levels of security certification, improving their processes and proving their system’s security as they go. At the same time, not every contractor will have to proceed to the highest level of the standard, with many remaining at the first level or two of certification.
What Are the 5 Levels Of CMMC Security Requirements?
The five levels of the CMMC security requirements start out at a fairly basic level and proceeds to the fifth level, which requires significantly stricter security measures to be in place:
- Performed Processes with Basic Cyber Hygiene Practices: For the first level of CMMC, basic cyber hygiene practices should be implemented, including strong passwords, anti-virus software and other standard cybersecurity measures.
- Documented Processes with Intermediate Cyber Hygiene Practices: Designed to protect controlled unclassified information against a data breach, the second level of CMMC requires more complex cybersecurity measures including access control, configuration management, awareness and training, audits and accountability, identification and authentication, incident response, maintenance, media protection, security assessments, physical protection, risk assessment, personnel security, systems and information integrity and system and communications protection.
- Managed Processes with Good Cyber Hygiene Practices: As an extension of the NIST 800-171 r2 standard, the third level implements a specific list of 47 security controls that must be in place to warrant certification at this level.
- Reviewed Processes with Proactive Practices: At the fourth level of the CMMC standard, contractors are required to proactively measure, detect and defend against threats, with some requirements that are similar to the DFARs standards. This requires contractors to be prepared for handling advanced persistent threats.
- Optimizing Processes with Advanced/Progressive Practices: For the highest level of CMMC certification, another 30 controls are put into practice beyond the fourth level. These work with auditing and managing processes to optimize systems.
How Do Companies Become CMMC Compliant?
If you’re considering working with government agencies, you’ll want to look at the process of becoming CMMC compliant. This involves a CMMC assessment with a third-party RPO to have your cybersecurity protocols, practices and processes reviewed, after which you’ll receive a Plan of Action and Milestones (POAM). Once this has been completed, your managed service provider can handle any remediation that is needed. Once this process has been completed and your company is completely compliant with the security level you’re targeting, you’ll need to schedule a C2PAO audit. Once the audit is completed, you’ll receive your level of certification based on your organizational maturity level.
Schedule Your CMMC Assessment, Remediation, and Certification
The DoD is very serious about cybersecurity, partially due to the sheer volume of data that is available on government servers. Taking the proper precautions to protect this data against loss or compromise with our adversaries can help ensure that our country remains strong and our government assets protected. With over 17 years of experience helping Philadelphia businesses stay on top of the latest trends and issues in IT, Menark has been tracking the CMMC since it came out and are happy to help you through the certification process. We’ll help you through the process of assessment, remediation and certification so that you’re ready to work with government agencies. Ready to learn more? Reach out today to get started.