Cybersecurity threats are becoming more common in the defense sector, putting defense industrial base (DIB) contractors at risk for lost or stolen information. In response to rising cybersecurity concerns, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has been working to establish a process that ensures that all DIB contractors meet specific cybersecurity requirements before entering into contracts that require them to handle controlled unclassified information (CUI).
CMMC was created to subject all DoD contractors to third-party assessments conducted by the CMMC Accreditation Body, a nonprofit organization tasked with assessing defense contractors’ cybersecurity. There are five levels in the CMMC model in which each level contains a series of practices and processes. These processes range from level 1 (basic cyber hygiene) to level 5 (advanced/progressive).
Level 3 of the CMMC framework builds upon level 2 and includes NIST SP 800-171 Rev 1 controls and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) practices. It also includes an additional 20 other practices designed to support proper cyber hygiene. CMMC level 3 places greater focus on the importance of planning and maintaining a company’s cybersecurity efforts and is required by all defense contractors who store or access CUI.
Meeting CMMC Level 3 Requirements
CMMC level 3 indicates overall good cyber hygiene. However, it does have its limitations when compared with higher levels. Companies that become CMMC level 3 certified may still encounter challenges when trying to defend against advanced persistent threats (APTs). The biggest difference between level 2 and level 3 relates to the process maturity of these levels.
CMMC level 2 requires defense contractors to establish practices, policies and a plan to implement required security controls. Level 3 takes these requirements one step further by requiring contractors to provide a detailed review of all practices and policies, as well as resources necessary to meet the activities and plan as outlined. Requiring these extra measures helps ensure that cybersecurity solutions are properly implemented and fully effective. Level 3 certification also requires companies to actively monitor solutions.
Level 3 is one of the most difficult levels to achieve as a large percentage of defense contracts fall into this category. This level builds on the preparatory work of the previous two levels with a primary focus of achieving total protection for CUI by incorporating NIST SP 800-171 and other protections. A total of 45 out of the additional 58 practices in CMMC level 3 originate from NIST SP 800-171.
Reach Out To Learn More About Our CMMC Level 3 Compliance Services
There has been an ongoing release of new and modified cybersecurity mandates over the past several years in the defense industry. Version 1.0 of the CMMC model was released in late January 2020 and updates have been made since its release. At SeaGlass Technology, we understand the challenges that many defense contractors face when seeking CMMC compliance.
Our team of experienced NYC managed IT service providers are here to help manage your IT system to help you protect against cybersecurity risks and remain compliant. For more information about CMMC level 3 compliance or to speak with an IT security expert, contact SeaGlass Technology by calling 212.886.0790 or by scheduling a consultation online.