The information that is housed within the Department of Defense and its many subsidiaries is highly sensitive. Due to the advancement of cybercrime across the globe and proven attempts at espionage by foreign entities, the DoD has introduced some updates to the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification.
These updates help to ensure that small businesses have a baseline ability to protect data from the most common attempts at informational hacks and are also able to easily implement and understand the guidelines.
As a small business, it is crucial to understand both how these requirements apply to your business and how to implement these policies effectively within your organizational model. Now more than ever, small businesses have the responsibility of ensuring a thorough and comprehensive cybersecurity infrastructure is in place.
Understanding Your Unique Requirements
The first step in the CMMC certification process is understanding how this protocol applies to your business and what your unique requirements are.
This can be understood first through an analysis of the materials and information that your small business houses. Depending on the scope and nature of this information, your business will have unique requirements from the CMMC’s updated requirements. The new CMMC 2.0 model that was recently introduced has narrowed the requirements into three tiers:
Level 1 – Foundational
The new CMMC updates for level 1 are similar to those found in the original level 1. Level 1 focuses on the protection of federal contract information, or FCI. Level 1 consists of basic safeguarding procedures that are outlined by the NIST in order to be deeply protected from the most common modern cyber attacks. This level applies to all small businesses that work with sensitive data in this domain.
Level 2 – Advanced
Level 2 of the updated CMMC is comparable to Level 3 in the previous iteration of the CMMC. This level addresses organizations that manage controlled unclassified information, or CUI. Similar to the previous level, this level mirrors the requirements put forth by the NIST in this regard.
Specifically, it is similar to the NIST SP 800-171 and eliminates all practices and processes that the CMMC itself had developed. This was done in order to simplify the certification process and create a united front against cybercrime.
Level 3 – Expert
The Expert requirements for the CMMC specifically address a class of cyber attacks known as advanced persistent threats, or APTs. This level is required for companies who are working with the DoD on some of their most sensitive and important programs. As you can imagine, these programs require a much deeper level of scrutiny and protection in order to safeguard from the highest level of cybercriminals out there.
Keeping in line with the nature of the 2.0 updates, this is also in line with NIST protocols in this area, although the main criterion for this level is always being developed and improved.
How the CMMC 2.0 Updates Benefits Small Businesses
Previously, the CMMC model consisted of quite a few more levels than the 2.0 update. The simplified structure of the updated model makes it more clear to small businesses what they need to do in order to achieve compliance.
Additionally, some unique CMMC requirements were different from that of the NIST. Now, all of these unique processes have been eliminated. This helps to make it clear what the latest developments are in this space while also uniting the leading researchers in this domain with the practices of the CMMC.
Finally, another main improvement is the removal of the need for third-party assessments. By removing these third-party assessments, small business DoD contractors can now perform annual self-assessments for foundational level assessments and select aspects of the more advanced protocols.
Overall, the updated CMMC model makes the process flow smoothly for small businesses and eliminates the extensive costs that were burdening businesses in the first iteration of the protocol.
Understanding the CMMC 2.0 as a Small Business
While the new CMMC updates have made it easier to understand the unique requirements for your business and to become CMMC certified, the process is still a rigorous endeavor that requires a deep dive into your cybersecurity infrastructure. These protocols are proven and up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity standards as put forth by the NIST.
Working with a team of cybersecurity and CMMC experts can help your business pinpoint the updated requirements that are specific to your needs. Having this valuable resource on your side can help you avoid the difficulties of trying to study these complex processes independently and help you save time, money and effort. For more information, contact the cybersecurity experts at SeaGlass technology today.