Essential Aspects of CMMC that DoD contractors should know

Any contractor working for the Department of Defense (DoD) understands that CMMC may be difficult to manage. When done correctly, however, you may expand your business swiftly and feel more secure knowing that your data and resources are safe. 

 DoD firms will need to be CMMC accredited if it responds to DoD Information requests. Starting in 2021, the Department of Defense will gradually include CMMC criteria into its bids. By 2026, all DoD bids will incorporate CMMC security criteria, depending on the present timetable.

To accept DoD agreements that comprise Federal Contract Information, which is a more extensive classification that does not incorporate Controlled Unclassified Information, CMMC Level 1 will be required. For contracts including CUI, CMMC Level 3 is the minimum requirement.

CMMC certification process

Each CMMC Level requires an organization to show that it is following the appropriate practices and procedures. Furthermore, the business must demonstrate that it has reached the requisite process maturity over time. If your organization is dealing with CUI, you’ll need at least a CMMC Level 3 accreditation, so get started today. 

 Who provides CMMC certification?

 Corporations cannot self-assess under the Federal Acquisition Regulation or the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, which is a shift from previous standards. The CMMC Accreditation Board was established as a non-profit organization in conjunction with the Department of Defense and industry. The Department of Defense has given the CMMC-AB sole responsibility for CMMC accreditation.

 Are SSP and POAM enough for CMMC certification?

 The CMMC regulation is a developmental model, which means that businesses must have followed the practices and methods of each CMMC level over time. At Level 3, businesses must have recorded guidelines and protocols controlling each of the necessary practices, equipped plans to assist their execution, and the ability to demonstrate that they perform the practices in a reproducible manner through an evidence-based, unbiased third evaluation.

To get the certification, all CMMC Level criteria must be met. There must be no unfilled items; therefore, a POAM, which indicates unfinished things by definition, is not allowed.

There are 130 practices required at Level 3, 110 of which correspond to the practices defined in NIST SP 800-171 and an additional 20 more.

 How does business size change CMMC obligations?

  The CMMC Levels and Requirements are based on data vulnerability rather than the size of the business. If they are managing CUI, a two-person firm and a Fortune 500 corporation are both subject to the same CMMC Level 3 standards, albeit the two-person company would meet the standards differently due to the difference in complexity of the project.

Organizations that have attained CMMC Level 3 are said to have “excellent cyber hygiene.” That isn’t to suggest that more can’t be done to improve your overall security for the sake of your company’s general health.

 If the examiner identifies any concerns that preclude certification, you have 90 days to fill in any small gaps to the assessor’s approval. The CMMC-AB has also established an appeals mechanism via which a certification applicant can register a challenge if they think the assessor’s decision is wrong.

Failure to pass accreditation does not essentially mean they will lose current agreements; instead, it will prohibit them from acquiring new or extending contracts that include CMMC criteria unless they retake and pass a new evaluation.