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With daily cybersecurity threats and risks to the United States, the Department of Defense has taken highly effective and proactive measures. The nation’s military arm has created and implemented the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, commonly referred to as CMMC.
Do you know if you’re CMMC compliant? Please view our video for further details.
If you are a government contractor, you’ve already been alerted to becoming both CMMC and NIST compliant and given deadlines. The first official version of the Department of Defense’s CMMC requirement got published on January 13, 2020. Not following the latest guidelines means it will affect your ability to bid on DoD contracts and potentially lose any current ones.
All DoD vendors and contractors conducting business with the Department of Defense, NASA, or GSA are affected and must obtain their CMMC certification. The definition of a vendor or contractor includes but is not limited to all suppliers across each tier of the DoD supply chain, including small businesses, foreign suppliers, and commercial item contractors.
The certification process handling, initiated by the CMMC Accreditation Body, coordinates the procedures directly with the DoD. They have also developed methods to accredit independent CMMC Third-Party Assessment Organizations and assessors to evaluate and certify CMMC levels.
A Department of Defense contractor’s first step is to begin learning all of the CMMC’s technical requirements. Along with certification, it is vital to understand long-term cybersecurity agility. If you are a current DoD contractor, begin evaluating each practice, procedure, and uncover any potential gaps to meet your CMMC contract requirements.
Once you understand the requirements, begin documenting all procedures and practices that currently meet or exceed CMMC guidelines. To take it a step further, plan for and implement additional techniques and approaches to obtain the highest level of DoD certification you can acquire.
Though the CMMC requirement began in 2020/2021, all DoD suppliers and contractors have plenty of time to obtain certification by the 2025 deadline. The reason for the extended deadline? Getting the CMMC certification is slow, costly, and hard to obtain.
In the beginning, the waiting period is at least six months between application and certification. Next comes the average cost of CMMC compliance. Currently, it at $3,000 a year per employee annually. There is also an initial implementation cost of $500-$1000 for each employee.
The CMMC is mandatory for all groups doing business with the Department of Defense at any level, from prime contractors to subcontractors. These two entities must demonstrate their cybersecurity standards are implemented correctly by completing validation activities.
Previously, contractors and subcontractors were responsible for monitoring, implementing, and certifying any sensitive DoD data stored on or transmitted by those systems and their IT systems’ security. Although contractors are still accountable for implementing their cybersecurity controls, CMMC requires a third-party assessment of the contractors’ compliance with mandatory procedures and practices to adapt to evolving cyber threats.
Instead of a fine or imprisonment, lack of CMMC compliance means bidding and awarding any defense contracts stops. If your business regularly operates in the government space, it will end until your organization can meet the DoD’s criteria. It also means to be fully compliant will require more resources.
These new requirements provide highly accurate and deep insight into modern cybersecurity best practices for organizations involved with DOD operations. The CMMC method of certifying the contractors’ abilities reveals if protection of the Federal Contract Information and Controlled Unclassified Information shared across the DoD supply chain is met.
Concerned your organization doesn’t meet CMMC compliance? Radius Executive IT Solutions can help. Give us a call anytime at (978) 528-0110, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.radiusits.com to chat with a live agent and book a CMMC compliance consultation.