The US Department of Defense (DoD) recently updated cybersecurity compliance requirements for aerospace and defense (A&D) contractors. Alignment with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) process is a crucial need for all A&D contractors.
Your company may be wondering how they can begin the transition to the new standards to achieve compliance, year over year.
Cre8tive Technology & Design offers guidance and services to support consistent compliance, via self-sufficient enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Let’s take a look at what you will need to be compliant and why you need to meet those standards.
What is CMMC Certification?
CMMC certification requirements ensure a standard for cybersecurity implementation throughout the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and safeguard Federal Contract Information (FCI), or Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), within their unclassified networks.
CUIs are any information the government possesses that requires safeguarding or dissemination controls. The CUI Registry clarifies what categories of information the executive branch protects. These categories include critical infrastructure, defense, immigration, intelligence, international agreements, NATO, and nuclear, among others.
The CMMC framework consists of a scalable certification system that verifies a company’s implementation of processes and practices in accordance with a cybersecurity maturity level.
There are five levels of cybersecurity maturity associated with the CMMC. The five maturity levels comprise of basic cyber hygiene, intermediate cyber hygiene, good cyber hygiene, proactive cyber hygiene, and the fifth involves advanced security measures.
CMMC certification levels are likely to change in the future. While the current model, CMMC 1.0, has five levels, CMMC 2.0 looks to streamline this concept.
The rulemaking process for CMMC 2.0 was in process as of late 2023. However, it appears the new CMMC model will include three levels as opposed to the current five.
The major change is eliminating levels two (intermediate cyber hygiene) and four (proactive cyber hygiene) from the current CMMC certification model. Those two stages currently function as transitional periods between the three major levels.
Under CMMC 2.0:
- The current level one remains as level one.
- The current level three will become level two.
- The current level five will become level three.
Regardless of the specifics of the model, CMMC certification training is a valuable process. Establishing a higher level of cybersecurity maturity opens a company up to bidding on a wider range of contracts with a wider array of security requirements.
Why You Need CMMC Certification
Prior to CMMC’s inception, contractors were allowed to self-attest that they were meeting the DoD’s standards, along with a Plan of Actions and Milestones (POAM) to overcome any security shortfalls. With CMMC, this is no longer the case.
Contractors must be verified through an audit by an authorized CMMC Third Party Assessment Organization (C3PAO) before being permitted to engage in any contracts with the DoD.
CMMC certification cost is a significant concern for many contractors. Thankfully, the DoD has taken this cost into account.
The DoD recognizes the monetary strain that requiring every defense contractor to have at least a basic level of security may create. To compensate, they have dictated that contractors are allowed to demand higher prices for their more secure services.
Ultimately, every company should evaluate what level of compliance suits their current security level and fiscal capability.
How to Get CMMC Certification
Attaining CMMC certification is not necessarily an easy process. However, the workflow is relatively straightforward. First, your company needs to choose a C3PAO from the CMMC Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB) marketplace website.
The CMMC-AB is in charge of accrediting C3PAOs and ensuring they act in accordance with the requirements. By selecting a C3PAO from their site, you can verify the organization is qualified to assess your compliance.
Once a C3PAO has been contacted, you will work together to plan the CMMC assessment and that all the required cybersecurity maturity measures are implemented beforehand. After the assessment has been completed, the C3PAO will create an assessment report and issue the CMMC certificate for the specified maturity level that will be submitted to your company, and the DoD.
Prior to any of those steps, though, you need to establish the needed security measures. That is where Cre8tive Technology & Design (CTND) comes in. CTND can guide you through the process of deciding what level of maturity will benefit your company the most, and put those measures into effect.
How Cre8tive Technology & Design Can Help
We can provide you with cybersecurity services and solutions that are cost effective and efficient, including:
- NIST SP800-171/DFARS Compliance Based Services
- Assessment remediation and management that prepares companies for DOD Service/DSS/DCMA inspections
- System Security Engineering Services & System Administration
- Cyber Forensics Support and Cybersecurity for A&D Manufacturing, Build to Print, etc.
- Managed Hosting Services (Private, Government, and Public Hosting)
- Managed Epicor Solutions
CTND has deep experience in supporting the cybersecurity goals of A&D contractors, along with strong knowledge of this complex regulatory environment. To learn more about how we can help set the stage for CMMC certification, get in touch by clicking the “Get Started Today” button below.