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CMMC Consulting, Gap Analysis & Audit Readiness Assessment Services

Be Ready to Pass Your CMMC Audit & Secure More Contracts

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a new requirement for the Department of Defense (DOD) contractors. CMMC assessment is a replacement for the self-assessment model, which now requires third-party certification.

The new certification is part of a continual effort to provide more accurate results, provide more helpful insights, and reveal the best practice for DoD operations. CMMC is a valuable resource, so you want to make sure your business is up to date on anything CMMC related.

Learn more below about CMMC compliance and how a third-party consultation could help you be on your way to more government contracts.

What is the CMMC?

The CMMC is how the DoD certifies a contractor's ability to protect the Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and Federal Contract Information (FCI) within the supply chain system. 

The CMMC builds upon previous requirements outlined in:

  • NIST SP 800-53
  • NIST SP 800-171
  • DFARS 252.204-7012
  • AIA NAS9933

The DoD depends on external suppliers and contractors for a wide array of tasks and projects. During the process, the DoD and contractors exchange sensitive data, which must be protected. Inadequate safety measures in place to protect this data could result in a significant homeland security risk that puts our military members in jeopardy.

The DoD has also implemented cybersecurity controls for both contractor and subcontractor levels. Under DFARS and DoD rules and policies, to protect contractor and supplier information that transmits, stores or processes Controlled Unclassified Data (CUD), the subcontractor must also comply with the CMMC and maintain compliance. Failure for either contractor or subcontractor to comply with the guidelines are unable to bid for DoD contracts. The CMMC is how contractors can verify the appropriate measures for the DoD.

The CMMC has been in effect since January 21, 2020. As of right now, there is no definite indication for how long CMMC will last. However, the DoD indicates certification will be valid for three years. So, it is ideal for contractors to get certified as soon as possible. 

CMMC Levels

In an additional effort to completely protect all points in the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), the DoD implemented five levels of CMMC compliance designed to measure and assess cybersecurity practices, and allow contractors to prepare with a CMMC audit.

the-five-cmmc-levels-accent

The Five CMMC Levels Are as Follows:

  • Level 1: Basic Cyber Hygiene - The DoD contractor must comply with 17 controls from NIST 800-171.
  • Level 2: Intermediate Cyber Hygiene - The DoD contractor must comply with 48 additional controls from NIST 800-171.
  • Level 3: Good Cyber Hygiene - The DoD contractor must comply with the final 45 controls from NIST 800-171.
  • Level 4: Proactive - The DoD contractor must comply with 11 controls from NIST 800-172 as well as an additional 15 "Other" measures.
  • Level 5: Advanced or Progressive - The DoD contractor must comply with the final four controls from NIST 800-172 as well as an additional 11 "Other" measures.

Any contractor doing business with the DoD must attain at least Level 1 certification. The DoD judges contractors on their ability to implement technical controls and institutionalize their documentation and policies. Every contractor in the DoD supply chain requires certification. To help familiarize contractors with security controls, a consultation from an expert can help businesses prepare for certification.

CMMC Assessment Guidelines

A contractor must exhibit both the required maturity processes as well as the implementation of practices specific to a CMMC level, and the prior lower levels, to achieve that level. For instance, a level 4 certification requires a contractor to obtain all the necessary practices and processes at Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4. As in the case where a contractor exhibits different levels concerning practice implementation and maturity processes, the contractor receives certification for the lower of the two.

The assessment process includes an assessment objective and potential assessment methods. Each goal is related to a CMMC process or practice. Determination statements are the CMMC's objective to trace and assess the results. The assessment process produces assessment findings. These findings subsequently determine whether the procedure met certification standards.

The process also assesses objects that include specific specifications, mechanisms, individuals, or activities. Specifications are document-based artifacts, such as procedures, policies, security plans, security requirements, etc. Mechanisms are the software, hardware, and firmware that protect the system. Activities are protection-related supporting systems that involve people. These include backup operations, having a contingency plan, and watching network traffic. And lastly, individuals are the people applying the parameters listed above.

The methods for assessment include examining, interviewing, and testing. The examination process includes reviewing, observing, inspecting, analyzing, or studying assessment objects. The examination process is to facilitate a better understanding, obtain evidence, and achieve clarification. The interview process holds discussions with groups or individuals for the same three reasons. And lasting, the testing process puts assessment objects under specific conditions to measure its response versus its expected behavior. In all three methods, the results decide the specific determination established in the determination statement, which achieves the assessment procedure objectives.

 

How Accent Computer Solutions Can Can Help Your Business Prepare For CMMC Compliance

Although it may seem daunting, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) does not have to be a strenuous process.

At Accent, we help companies implement and maintain the controls of CMMC so they can bid on contracts with the Department of Defense and its supply chain. With over 30 years of experience helping companies with compliance requirements, so you can expect to be promptly prepared for any CMMC certification level as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The DoD recognizes that security is an utmost concern, and should never be substituted for cost, schedule, or performance. The Department is committed to keeping sensitive data safe and protecting all parties involved in the contract process. We are committed to getting your company certified and ensuring that the safety threshold is surpassed.

Need help with CMMC compliance? Let's chat and see if we're the right fit to help guide you along your journey to certification. Contact us today!