CMMC Compliance Overview

By Scott Dawson
September 18, 2023

CMMC for Small Business

As small businesses face the requirements of the CMMC, they’ll quickly realize the need for careful,  planning to meet the latest benchmarks. CMMC introduces a major shift in cybersecurity that will strengthen American businesses’ infrastructure, but not without considerable work.

Improving Cybersecurity Protection

The Department of Defense has developed the framework to better equip Defense Industrial Base (DIB) contractors as they pursue contracts with both government and non-government agencies. The specifics of the requirements aim to majorly amp up cyber protection practices, embracing not only NIST SP 800-171 compliance standards, but the requirements of ISO 27001, AIA MAS 9933, FIPS, and others.  Additionally, the program acknowledges the need for security levels based on business practices.

CMMC Requirements Meeting

Those dealing with low-risk industries will be subject to fewer compliance requirements than high-risk organizations.

Businesses will be subject to independent audits to certify compliance to CMMC levels. Further, contract requests will be required to list compliance levels at the RFP stage, and only companies who qualify for the lowest acceptable level or higher will be able to bid for those projects.

The Time is Now for CMMC Compliance

There’s no doubt that small businesses need to be diligent in planning to achieve early certification. Despite the lack of exact details, companies can get a jump start on the program by following a few preliminary recommendations.

What are the Recommendations for Preparing for CMMC Compliance?

Understand your Company’s Security Needs

As expressed above, companies will only need to comply with the level of security necessary for their business network. Keep in mind, however, that failing to meet the minimum requirements of your potential customers may mean loss of contracts.

Determine exactly what information in your organization, if compromised, could put you or your stakeholders at risk. If you’re not dealing with classified or other sensitive information, CMMC levels one or two may satisfy your needs. Take a holistic look at the information you work with and make a preliminary determination of the work you will need to do.

CMMC Compliance Meeting

Perform an Assessment

Examining the information you use and store will give you a jump start on the exploration of your existing security programs and protocol. Use the momentum of your first task (determining your security needs) to dig into the processes you have in place. With help from a third-party CMMC Consultant, you can complete an assessment. This will help you to identify potential inconsistencies and lapses in your current security systems and practices. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Handbook 171 is a great resource for any company certifying to CMMC up to level three.

Partner with a CMMC Expert

CMMC consultants (like us) are experts in the current CMMC requirements. CMMC consultants can help you whether you need a full program overhaul or just a handful of calculated adjustments.  By allowing a third-party organization to help you formally evaluate and perfect your cybersecurity systems, you’ll get an objective view of your system’s faults as well as professional and experienced recommendations for correction and enhancement.
CMMC Expert

Financial Assistance for CMMC Compliance

It can be intimidating for small businesses to approach requirements for CMMC. Time, resources, and, especially cost come into question as you determine the next best steps to take toward CCMC compliance.  Rest assured that the DoD does not want cost to be a barrier – financial assistance is available to help with initial certification, and any remaining expense can be rolled into each company’s billable rate.

Change is inevitable – the only constant. With increasing cybersecurity threats to our businesses and our nation, the adoption of CMMC requirements will ensure the safety and longevity of our American small businesses far into the future.

Contact us today about working toward compliance with NIST 800-171/CMMC.

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