CMMC Compliance and What You Need to Know

The Department of Defense is moving forward with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) 2.0 program as a way to protect information across the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). The business impact will be felt by DOD contractors who will not be able to receive a contract award if they are not meeting the standards of data protection within their CMMC level. If your organization has not yet engaged in CMMC readiness activities, you are falling behind. But don’t fret – Qmulos has you covered!

Why Should I Care?

One of the biggest takeaways around the new certification is that any companies within the defense industrial supply chain must now show compliance with the practices and processes set forth by the CMMC program. Therefore, it is conservatively estimated that 200,000-350,000 contractors, including custodial companies, bookkeepers, caterers, and small IT firms, will need to hold a CMMC certification.

This new model follows the Pentagon’s conclusion that one of their greatest cybersecurity risks comes from the second and third-tier DOD contractors. Now, when it comes to awarding contracts, cybersecurity will be the “fourth critical measurement,” along with quality, cost, and schedule.

So, what exactly is the CMMC and what are the certification requirements?

The CMMC measures an organization’s cybersecurity processes and practices across three maturity levels as shown in Figure 1, below. The CMMC covers 14 domains that are broad categories of critical security functions such as Access Control, Identification and Authentication, Incident Response, etc. These should sound familiar, as they come directly from the NIST 800-53 control families. The 14 domains are further broken down into over 110 best practices.


Figure 1 Source: The Cyber AB

Each level specifies a set of practices that must be implemented across the domains. Furthermore, the levels build on each other. Thus, in order to achieve a higher CMMC level, your organization must demonstrate compliance in the lower levels first. The levels range from very basic safeguarding of Federal Contract Information (FCI) to continuous monitoring with optimized practices to protect Confidential Unclassified Information (CUI). In short, CMMC covers a broad set of domains, including a comprehensive set of policy, procedure, management, and technical controls. These controls must be implemented and assessed regularly.

So, How Can Qmulos Help?

Understandably, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed after seeing all of those detailed requirements. However, there is no need to worry. Qmulos solutions, Q-Compliance and Q-Audit, are purpose-built to streamline and automate compliance with complex cybersecurity requirements like CMMC. Q-Compliance is built upon NIST 800-53, with organic support for 800-171 and 800-172, the very standards and best practices CMMC is designed to validate. We further enhanced it with features designed specifically to streamline CMMC assessment and remediation workflows. Our insider threat management solution, Q-Audit, provides prescriptive, out-of-the-box auditing capabilities to meet ICS 500-27. The ICS 500-27 standard will satisfy many of the practice requirements from the CMMC Audit and Accountability domain.

Additionally, we align specific security controls with the domains, capabilities, and practices from CMMC. We leverage real-time log and event data from Splunk to automate the assessment and scoring of your organization’s practices against the CMMC maturity levels. Furthermore, we codified industry best practices into the application workflow, enabling your organization to institutionalize and optimize processes to improve your cyber posture and the ability to protect sensitive information such as Federal Contract Information and Controlled Unclassified Information.

Visit our CMMC Hub for the latest CMMC resources and download our white paper on Rethinking Compliance to understand how CMMC is just the first step in the new age of compliance accountability.

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