The CMMC certification is an important aspect of the ability of the Department of Defense (DoD) to protect itself and the sensitive data it safely houses from cybercriminals. The CMMC framework assesses a contracting company’s ability to protect its networks and data from cyber threats.
To receive the CMMC certification, a company must demonstrate that it meets all of the requirements of the cybersecurity maturity model. Sometimes, however, this process can be difficult for a company to achieve on its own. This is where a third-party assessment organization, or C3PAO, can help.
What is the CMMC?
The CMMC is a cybersecurity compliance model developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) to help organizations protect their data and systems. The CMMC replaces the DoD Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP) and provides a more comprehensive and streamlined framework for assessing and improving cybersecurity posture.
This set of compliance standards was created in response to the increasing number of cyber threats facing the DoD, as well as the need for a more standardized approach to cybersecurity assessment and compliance. The CMMC 2.0 provides a more holistic view of an organization’s cybersecurity posture and helps identify areas that may need improvement.
The CMMC and the recent CMMC 2.0 updates are based on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, which has five maturity levels: foundational, operational, intermediate, advanced and expert.
Organizations are required to comply with the CMMC standards and assess their own cybersecurity framework in order to achieve higher maturity levels based on the type of data they are storing.
The protocol is still in development and even recently added a CMMC 2.0 framework, however it is not yet “mandatory” for all DoD contractors. It is expected that the CMMC will become mandatory for all contractors in the near future.
The CMMC certification shows that a company is compliant with DoD’s cybersecurity requirements which ensure networks and data are being protected as necessary.
What is a C3PAO?
A CMMC Third Party Assessment Organization, or C3PAO, is an organization that is accredited by the Defense Cybersecurity Agency to assess and report on a company’s cybersecurity maturity. They can help companies become CMMC compliant and improve their cybersecurity posture.
The history of the C3PAO can be traced back to the early days of cybersecurity:
In order to ensure that organizations were properly protecting their networks and data, the United States Department of Defense created the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria,
(TCSEC). These criteria set the standard for what constituted a secure computer system and served as the foundation for most modern cybersecurity practices.
As the technology being used by cybercriminals progressed, it became increasingly important to have a standardized way to measure an organization’s cybersecurity defenses. In response, the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) released the Cybersecurity Framework in 2013. This framework outlined five cybersecurity maturity levels, known as tiers, and provided guidance on how to achieve each tier.
In order to help organizations assess their cybersecurity posture and compliance with the Cybersecurity Framework, the CMMC was created. To assist those organizations with achieving CMMC certification, CNSS created the C3PAO program. C3PAOs are third-party assessors who evaluate an organization’s security posture against the CMMC’s compliance checklist.
How C3PAOs Help Companies Achieve Compliance
In order to ensure a smooth and in-depth process of getting certified, many organizations need to utilize the help of C3PAOs in order to achieve compliance.
C3PAOs can play an important role in helping companies achieve CMMC compliance. These organizations help companies to identify their cybersecurity weaknesses and develop a plan of action to address them. C3PAOs can also provide guidance on how to implement CMMC requirements into day-to-day operations.
Overall, C3PAOs can be a valuable resource for companies looking to improve their cybersecurity posture and achieve CMMC compliance.
- The benefits of utilizing a C3PAO for CMMC compliance include, but are not limited to:
- Independent verification and validation of your cybersecurity maturity level
- Objective assessment of your organization’s cybersecurity posture
- Access to the latest cybersecurity tools, techniques and best practices
- Help to better manage risk exposure
- Assistance with developing and implementing a cybersecurity strategy
Another benefit of using a C3PAO is that it can help organizations save money. Many C3PAOs offer a variety of services, such as assessment, consultation and training, allowing organizations to get everything they need from one source. This can save time and money compared to working with multiple vendors or contracting with an individual consultant for each service.
Using C3PAOs To Achieve CMMC 2.0 Compliance
C3PAOs are experts in cybersecurity and have the knowledge and experience to help organizations implement the CMMC requirements quickly and effectively. Using a C3PAO can help organizations demonstrate their commitment to achieving a rigorous cybersecurity infrastructure.
By achieving CMMC 2.0 compliance, an organization can show that it takes cybersecurity seriously and is doing everything possible to protect its data. This can help boost trust with customers and partners, and may even lead to increased business opportunities. For more information on the role of C3PAOs, contact the cybersecurity experts at SeaGlass Technology today.