CMMC Compliance

What does CMMC compliance mean? It is the verification mechanism the DoD is using to determine what contractors possess the resources, infrastructure, and preventative skills needed to work with CUI.

The previous version of DoD-identified certification, the NIST 800-171, relied on contractors performing their own self-assessments to determine the capability, scale, and effectiveness of their cybersecurity system. Due to the nature of the assessment, the number of contractors that qualified extended the number of actual companies with the measures, parameters, and security controls to effectively handle DIB data.

CMMC Compliance

Within recent history, the United States has experienced an increased level of threat against the DIB database. In 2016, it’s estimated that between $57 billion and $109 billion was lost due to malicious cyberattacks, a number that remains within the same degree each year. To ensure CUI is properly handled to reduce aggregate loss and risk to national security, the CMMC identifies which government contractors possess the means to responsibly safeguard any data sourced from DIB servers and databases.

Domain Technology Group has had extensive experience dealing with past NIST frameworks pertaining to cybersecurity within government contractor organizations. The level of leniency previously allowed through self-assessments with NIST SP 800-171 is no longer acceptable since the DoD took personal control over the parameters, expectations, and qualifications needed to comply with CMMC standards. One way or another, your company will have to make significant modifications to your cybersecurity policies, security plans, risk management, and more to achieve CMMC.

Determine your Level of Compliance

The CMMC introduced a sophisticated hierarchy of compliance levels, determining which qualified DoD-identified contractors have access to what type of CUI or FCI. With each level, numbered 1 through 5, the contractor in questions must prove their ability to handle all associated practices and processes required by each level, as well as having a full assessment of the company’s maturity processes.

The expectations of performance for each level of compliance are as follows:

Level 1 – Basic Cyber Hygiene

CMMC Level 1 is the most basic of standards regarding compliance. Your company has proven to exercise base safeguards, but is not expected to be responsible for CUI or FCI. Contractors at this level must demonstrate the basic controls of the NIST 800-171.

Level 2 – Intermediate Cyber Hygiene

The next level up includes companies who have demonstrated a greater degree of cybersecurity protections within their organization. To pass this level, the audit must conclude that your company implements an increased level of security controls, including new ones required by CMMC. Process maturity includes standard operating procedures, policies, and plans.

Level 3 – Good Cyber Hygiene

The NIST 800-171 previously ensured all companies would qualify for this level of compliance. Your company demonstrates an acceptable capability of cybersecurity protections, elevating your process maturity and ensuring you implement a greater number of controls.

Level 4 – Proactive Cybersecurity

Everything from here on out goes beyond what NIST 800-171 would qualify you for alone. This level demonstrates a proactive, powerful cybersecurity program that encompasses the majority of controls from both NIST 800-171 and CMMC, plus a dedicated process maturity level showing that all activities are reviewed and relegated to management based on effectiveness.

Level 5 – Advanced Proactive Cybersecurity

Only the most well-established contractors can achieve this level of CMMC compliance. Your company must prove that you can repel advanced cyberattacks, as well as actively improve your infrastructure processes and policies. With Domain Technology Group’s assistance, you’ll be able to achieve your desired compliance level. If you’re interested in a partnership, visit our contact page so we can get started.