As worldwide technology becomes increasingly complex, the need for comprehensive and robust supply chain security continues to grow. Many of the organizations that house susceptible information must be thoughtfully protected through CMMC compliance using the latest and best cybersecurity techniques.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is one tool that can help organizations ensure that the security of their supply chains is able to resist the most advanced cybersecurity breach attempts.
This article will explore the importance of CMMC in relation to overall supply chain security, and discuss some of the benefits it can offer businesses.
What is the CMMC?
The CMMC is a set of voluntary cyber security standards issued by the Department of Defense (DoD) aimed at helping organizations that house sensitive data to better protect critical information and infrastructure. The CMMC was created in response to the increasing number of cyber attacks on government systems and contractors and applies to all organizations that have, or are seeking, contracts with the DoD.
The CMMC establishes baseline requirements for safeguarding data, managing risk and responding to incidents. Organizations that comply with the CMMC will be better equipped to protect themselves against cyber threats. Compliance is not mandatory, but those who do not comply may find it difficult to win contracts from the DoD.
The CMMC was first announced by the Department of Defense in October of 2018. The initial version of the CMMC was released in February of 2019, and is applicable to all DoD contractors and subcontractors. Recently, the DoD introduced CMMC 2.0, which was an updated iteration of the protocol that made it easier to follow while modernizing the compliance process.
Why The CMMC Is Important for Complex Supply Chains
The CMMC is a cybersecurity protocol that is guided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-171. The mission of the NIST is to help provide a rigorous standard of excellence for protecting the economic security infrastructure in our country.
They play a leading role in pushing the boundaries of cybersecurity and ensuring that contractors stay one step ahead of the latest cybersecurity threats. One of the main concerns regarding this security is the advancement of extremely complex supply chains within organizations that house sensitive information.
The CMMC is important for complex supply chains because it establishes a baseline set of security controls that are required for all DoD contractors and subcontractors. This helps to ensure that all parties in the supply chain are meeting a minimum level of security, which can help to reduce the risk of successful cyberattacks. Keeping these security protocols at a certain level of sophistication ensures that all of these types of supply chains keep an equal level of cybersecurity.
By doing so, contractors can take a tougher stand against cybersecurity attacks and minimize the loss of critical information.
Achieving CMMC Compliance
The CMMC consists of five levels, or tiers, which correspond to the complexity and risk associated with a contractor’s cyber security posture. The five tiers are:
- Tier 1 – Basic Cyber Hygiene
- Tier 2 – Cybersecurity Essentials
- Tier 3 – Enhanced Cybersecurity
- Tier 4 – Trusted Cybersecurity
- Tier 5 – Advanced Cybersecurity
In order to achieve certification at a particular tier, a contractor must demonstrate that they meet all of the requirements for that tier. The requirements vary depending on the tier and type of business structure, but they generally include measures such as vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, cybersecurity policy implementation and staff training.
The CMMC is not a one-time certification; contractors must recertify every year in order to maintain their certification. This ensures that contractors are constantly updating their security posture to keep up with the latest threats.
The Department of Defense has made it clear that the CMMC will be mandatory for all contractors and suppliers working with the department. In April of 2019, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing Christina England stated that “…the department expects all recipients of future contracts to be compliant with CMMC requirements.” There has been no official timeline announced for when this will go into effect, but it is expected that it will happen sometime in 2023.
Overall, the CMMC has been met with mixed reactions from industry leaders. Some see it as a much-needed step forward in improving cyber security, while others view it as an unnecessary burden that will add cost and complexity to doing business with the Department of Defense.
However, most industry leaders agree that the CMMC is here to stay which makes it important for companies to start preparing now. At SeaGlass Technology, we specialize in providing personalized advice and guidance on how you can best prepare for and achieve CMMC compliance. For more information, contact our team of experts today at 212-886-0790.