In this post, we’ll tell you about cybersecurity maturity model certification (CMMC).
You’ll find out:
- What is the cybersecurity maturity model?
- What are the CMMC security requirements?
- What are CMMC levels?
- How to prepare for CMMC?
So if you want to learn more about CMMC and how you may apply for a DoD contract, then this post is for you.
What is the cybersecurity maturity model certification?
Cybersecurity maturity model certification (CMMC) is a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) cybersecurity program.
At its core, CMMC ensures contractors are all meeting at least a basic security level. The goal is to keep sensitive defense information protected.
CMMC controls Defense Industrial Base (DIB) contractors. It’s a unifying standard for implementing cybersecurity across DIB.
The Department of Defense released the CMMC 1.0 framework in January 2020, and in November 2021, the DoD released CMMC 2.0, changing many compliance requirements.
Companies comply with the CMMC requirements by showing commitment to a range of practices and processes.
Practices are the technical activities required by the contractor. All in all, there are 171 practices mapped across the 5 CMMC maturity levels.
Processes measure the maturity of organizations’ cybersecurity procedures. There are 9 processes that are mapped across the 5 CMMC maturity levels.
Any defense company that does business with DoD needs to become certified with at least one of the 5 CMMC levels.
This requirement applies to not only prime contractors, but also to all of their subcontractors.
The DoD contract specifies the level of compliance an individual contractor needs to meet.
For example, some parts of the contract might require the contractor to meet CMMC level 3. In that case, other subcontractors may only have to meet level 1.
What are CMMC levels?
CMMC levels are benchmarks for an organization’s cybersecurity capabilities.
The higher the maturity level, the higher the protection of sensitive information.
Every organization that wants to work for the DoD must achieve a certain CMMC level.
The level it must achieve depends upon the sensitivity of the information it will work with.
Let’s look at the summary of processes and practices for each of CMMC’s five levels.
It will help you identify the right CMMC level for your business.
Level 1 requires that an organization performs the specified practices. The organization may be able to perform these practices only when needed.
Also, it may or may not rely on documentation. That’s why process maturity is not assessed for Level 1.
Practices: Basic Cyber Hygiene
Level 1 focuses on the protection of FCI (Federal Contract Information). It consists only of practices that correspond to the basic safeguarding requirements.
Level 2 requires an organization to document practices to guide the implementation of their CMMC efforts. The documentation of practices enables individuals to perform them in a repeatable manner.
Organizations develop mature capabilities by documenting their processes and practicing them as documented.
Practices: Intermediate Cyber Hygiene
Level 2 serves as a progression from Level 1 to Level 3. Because this level is a transitional stage, a subset of the practices reference the protection of CUI (Controlled Unclassified Information).
Level 3 requires an organization to demonstrate the management of activities for practice implementation.
Practices: Good Cyber Hygiene
Level 3 focuses on the protection of CUI. Any contractor with a DFARS clause In their contract will need to at least meet Level 3 requirements.
Level 4 requires an organization to review and measure practices for effectiveness. In addition, organizations at this level are able to take corrective action when necessary.
They can inform higher level management of status or issues on a recurring basis.
Level 4 focuses on the protection of CUI from APTs. It covers a subset of the enhanced security requirements and other cybersecurity best practices.
These practices enhance the organization’s capabilities to address and adapt to the changing tactics used by APTs.
Level 5 requires an organization to optimize process implementation across the organization.
Level 5 focuses on the protection of CUI from APTs. The additional practices increase the depth and sophistication of cybersecurity capabilities.
How to prepare for CMMC?
Is your organization interested in being considered for DoD contracts?
If so, then it’s in your best interest to make sure it can meet the CMMC 2.0 requirements.
Here’s what you can do to prepare for CMMC certification:
- Become familiar with the CMMC standard on the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification website.
- Try to identify levels your company wants to be able to achieve to get CMMC certified
- Review your current IT security and cybersecurity processes and protocols. Compare them to industry best practices.
- If your company isn’t already following critical IT security best practices, get started on them now.
Take the next step
If you want to prepare to get CMMC 2.0 certified, we’ve got you covered!
Demakis Technologies is a leading IT and cybersecurity expert that can help you get your tech stacks up to code with CMMC requirements.
If you want to learn more, please CONTACT US to get in touch with one of our Demakis experts who can answer all of your questions.
We have extensive experience in helping customers meet cybersecurity industry standards!