Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Explained

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification

Are you interested in working with national security organizations? DoD contracts require a Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), so you can’t work with them unless you meet all CMMC criteria.

What Is Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)?

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a system of cybersecurity compliance levels. CMMC helps the Department of Defense decide if an organization has the necessary cybersecurity to work with sensitive data.

If an organization is interested in working with the Department of Defense (DoD), it must follow CMMC guidelines and be CMMC rated. If your business is interested in CMMC, you need to create a framework that includes best practices, so your company can get certified in the future.

If a business meets CMMC requirements, you know they have high-quality cybersecurity, as they must meet strict requirements to get this certification.

Who Needs CMMC Certification?

Any organizations that host DoD information or work within the DoD supply chain must have a CMMC certification. 

If your company operates with non-classified information, you need level three CMMC clearance. If your DoD information is highly classified, you must get level four clearance.

CMMC Compliance Checklist

You can qualify for a CMMC assessment by following these steps:

  1. Adopt a safe platform for exchanging and monitoring CUI.
  2. Implement a sophisticated system security plan (SSP) to prove your organization meets level three policies.
  3. Hire a CMMC consulting partner, such as an IT expert, to recommend best practices and develop a plan for your business.
  4. Design a gap assessment that defines where you currently stand and where you need to be to get CMMC certified.
  5. Implement new processes to close that gap.
  6. Train your team on new, specialized security criteria.
  7. Get an audit from the CMMC Third Party Assessment Organization (C3PAO) to ensure you meet all the requirements.

CMMC Certification Levels

DoD changed CMMC standards in November of last year. CMMC 2.0 only includes three levels, instead of five because only levels one, three, and five are the only certifiable levels. 

The new CMMC levels are:

Level One

Every organization should already meet the requirements of a level one CMMC certification. The criteria for this level is:

  • Basic cybersecurity systems in place
  • Antivirus software
  • Password security

This level includes the basic cyber hygiene that most businesses have from standard security measures on their devices.

Any companies that host data related to Federal Contract Information (FCI) have to meet level one criteria.

Level Three

Level three requires organizations to:

  • Establish a plan regarding the management of activities and security
  • Maintain and implement that plan
  • Include their goals, projects, resources, training, and mission in their plan

By completing these steps, your business obtains good cyber hygiene. Level three CCMC protects CUI and meets all requirements of NIST SP 800-171. After the changes made last year, companies no longer need to meet the standards of the 20 delta control unique practices.

Any DoD partners with a Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clause in their contract must meet level three criteria.

One of the main differences between CMMC and CMMC 2.0 is that level three certification is now split between two types of Defense Industrial Base (DIB) contractors:

  • CMMC Formal Certification: Classify prioritized procurements that require independent assessments.
  • Self-Attest Only: Classify non-prioritized procurements that require regular self-assessment and company affirmation.  

Level Five

Level five is similar to level four in that it protects CUI from APTs, but it involves additional in-depth practices and refined cybersecurity processes. This is the highest level an organization can reach and gives DoD contractors access to classified information.

To reach level five of CMMC 2.0, you must meet NIST 800-172 controls on top of the original NIST 800-171 controls.

Level five standards are still under development and are subject to change in the near future.

Other CMMC 2.0 Updates

  • Inclusion of a time-bound and enforceable plan of action and milestone (POA&M) processes
  • Development of specific, time-bound waiver processes, if necessary
  • Allowing yearly self-assessments with affirmation by DIB company leaders for CMMC ML 1

How To Get The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification

To get your CMMC, you need assistance from an outside consultant—like an experienced, CMMC-certified IT technician. 

G6 – Military-Grade IT meets all the requirements for CMMC, HIPAA, IRS, 1075, PCI/DSS, and NIST-CSF and can assist you in your certification process.

With over 14 years in the industry and a 98% customer satisfaction rate, we’re the best option for cybersecurity maturity model certification. 

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The G6 IT Team
The G6 IT Team

G6 IT team is trained to be accountable, responsive and disciplined. Founded in 2007 by two United States Marine Corps veterans, G6 now offers enterprise-level information technology services in Fort Wayne for DoD, DOE, government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses.