Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)

Have you heard about the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification or CMMC? If you work with the Department of Defense, it’s something you need to know about. The CMMC is the DoD’s way to make sure companies that handle sensitive government information have strong enough security controls and processes in place. As cyber threats become more advanced, the DoD wants to ensure your systems are adequately protected. The CMMC establishes cybersecurity standards and an auditing process for DoD contractors and subcontractors. To continue working with the DoD, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate CMMC level certification for your organization. 

What Is the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)?

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) verification system to ensure cybersecurity controls and processes adequately protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) on Defense Industrial Base (DIB) systems.

The CMMC provides a certification process for contractors to assess their cybersecurity maturity. The model consists of three maturity levels. Each level has a set of standards and best practices contractors must meet to achieve certification.

The CMMC aims to reduce cyber threats targeting the supply chain for DoD programs. Requiring CMMC certification for contractors helps ensure sensitive government information and intellectual property are protected.


What is the Difference Between CMMC and CMMC 2.0?

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) was begun in January 2020 and subsequently updated to CMMC 2.0 in November 2021. It’s essential for contractors to work towards compliance promptly and understand the new model’s changes. The revised CMMC has three levels, down from five, and includes both technical and non-technical requirements to secure federal contract information and controlled unclassified data within the DoD supply chain.

Preparing for CMMC Compliance and Certification

So your organization wants to become CMMC compliant and certified, huh? That’s a big step, but an important one to secure sensitive data and strengthen your cybersecurity posture. Becoming CMMC certified will allow you to continue working with the Department of Defense and compete for new contracts.

To prepare for CMMC, you’ll need to determine your target maturity level. The CMMC framework establishes three levels of cybersecurity maturity, from Level 1 to Level 3. Work with leadership to decide which level is right for your business based on the sensitivity of information you handle and your organizational risk tolerance.

Next, conduct a self-assessment to identify any gaps between your current cybersecurity practices and the requirements of your target CMMC level. You may need to implement or upgrade controls around access control, network defense, risk management, and more. Develop a plan to close those gaps, whether through new technology solutions, policy updates, or staff training.

You’ll also want to get familiar with the CMMC assessment process. CMMC-certified assessors will examine your cybersecurity controls and processes to verify you meet the requirements of your target level. Be prepared to provide evidence like system security plans, configuration baselines, incident response plans, and more.

Achieving CMMC certification will likely require support from leadership, budget, and a commitment to ongoing improvement. But becoming certified demonstrates your organization’s dedication to cybersecurity and allows continued partnership with the DoD. 

So now you’re in the know about the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification or CMMC as it’s commonly called. As a defense contractor, you’ll want to make sure your systems and processes are up to snuff to meet the required CMMC level to continue working with the DoD.