Cybersecurity Standards: Why CMMC Compliance is Good for Business

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CMMC compliance is an important standard for companies and not just those that are IT-based either. CSO Online defines the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) as a unified standard for implementing cybersecurity across the defense industrial base. The news has been covering the Coronavirus a lot, so it’s no surprise that the CMMC isn’t getting the attention it deserves. With more defense contractors offering employees to work from home, the standard becomes even more critical.

Useful For Keeping Business Data Safe

As any cybersecurity expert will tell you, having remote workers is a double-edged sword. Yes, you are likely to get higher productivity levels, but if your employee uses their own hardware, it presents a direct threat to business security. Even in regular remote working that doesn’t involve CUI data, workers can be a potential backdoor into the company’s network. Implementing CMMC compliance ensures that a business follows the industry best-practice when it comes to network access. If your company intends to go down this route, your employees might find that their ability to access company resources remotely would have diminished.

The 5-tiered CMMC system is based on the NIST 801-171 standard but takes it to a much more stringent implementation at higher levels. If a business already complies with the NIST 800-171, it should achieve a level-3 certification for the CMMC without much more effort. The CMMC system was designed to incorporate five levels because of progression. Still, even at lower levels, it was understood that the steps that a business was taking would benefit it. At level 1, it was assumed, most defense contractors would already be obeying the protocols put in place. They were just set forth as a formality. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true for all of them.

Moving to CMMC

According to the Federal Registry, the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) supports the existing Federal Acquisition Regulations regarding how the government does business with contractors. Before the CMMC was implemented, DFARS was the standard for data security that contractors within the industry. The government moves from DFARS to CMMC for a single, critical reason. On audit, the DOD found that many contractors claiming compliance during the Request for Proposal (RFP) process were not honest about their level of compliance. However, since the DFARS was based on an honor system, there was little the DOD could do aside from revamping the system. The CMMC incorporates third-party appraisals to move away from an honor-based system and guarantee the certification’s integrity.

The “Culture of Security”

When developing the CMMC, the DOD realized that many of a contractor’s problems could be quickly dealt with if there was a pervading “culture of security” among the workforce. CMMC compliance, therefore, seeks to incorporate this into every company adopting the standard. The culture of security starts at level 1 compliance, but at levels three to five, it ramps up intensely. The two significant components a lot of businesses overlook when seeking CMMC compliance are almost the same across the board:

  • Buying unnecessary solutions: Businesses can afford a lot of high-tech cybersecurity equipment, but just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s what the business needs
  • No contingency plans: When disaster strikes (as it almost always does), a business must have a plan in place to deal with the fallout and keep systems running, even while dealing with the issue.

When businesses implement CMMC standards, these are the critical issues they need to address to institute the culture of security the standard calls for.

Not Just for IT Companies

A common misconception for businesses is that CMMC compliance doesn’t apply to them. Because of how it was designed, CMMC standards may be applied to any company in any industry. It was intended as a comprehensive security framework to keep business data assets safe. If you’re not in the defense industry, you can still benefit from implementing the standard. Contact Sync Resource to learn how to adapt this standard to your own business today.

Title: Cybersecurity Standards: Why CMMC Compliance Is Good for Business

Description: CMMC compliance helps businesses that want to qualify for Department of Defense contracts, but they can be used anywhere. Learn how they could be adapted here.

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