Current DoD Efforts to Implement CMMC

The United States faces cybersecurity threats on a daily basis. Attacks from online hackers and cyber criminals can have a devastating impact on US national security. This has led the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program in a bid to reduce cybersecurity risks at every level of the supply chain.

What Is CMMC?

The CMMC is a compliance process developed by the DoD and designed to ensure that government contractors have the right procedures in place to protect sensitive data and information. The CMMC has been implemented to replace the original Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, or DFARS, which put some security measures in place but did not enforce all regulations to the standard necessary for optimal security.

The main aim of developing the CMMC is to improve the processes which DoD contractors must follow to protect and secure the sensitive information within the supply chain.

Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, talked about the need for the DoD to measure the ability of companies to securely protect and look after their supply chain. Tightening security requirements will allow the Department of Defense to look after the company and ensure a safe and secure digital environment.

Trying to support the DFARS rulemaking process within the framework of the new CMMC model is the focal point for the DoD. It is also important to ensure that CMMC training and compliance procedures are in place, as well as risk reduction assessments and the development of CMMC infrastructure.

The Accreditation Process

A big part of the accreditation process for DoD contractors, in which they become accredited to fulfilling a certain level of the cybersecurity measures, involves the use of CMMC third-party assessment organizations (C3PAOs).

These are organizations or individuals that are certified to evaluate a company’s compliance with CMMC standards. According to Matt Brennan of SysArc, a service provider that provides CMMC consulting services, “Under DFARS, companies were previously allowed to self-certify to prove their compliance. However, under CMMC, these C3PAOs will enact equal standards across the board to ensure that the correct level of compliance is being met.”

CMMC pathfinders are essential for evaluating business compliance. The goal of a pathfinder is to gather all of the most useful, relevant, and reliable information in order to get the best possible outcome. A lot of this involves things like mock assessments of the contractor and the business, so that companies can understand what risks are presented to them, as well as what they need to be doing in order to check off the right compliance boxes.

Due to the scale of assessment that is involved in this, there is a need for different programs to get CMMC off the ground. The CMMC pilot program, for one, is the provisional program rolled out that sets the groundwork for the more detailed programs to come.

The way these pilot programs work is that they are used to test out methodologies, documentation, and practices that are necessary for helping to protect the sensitive information heading in and out of businesses on a daily basis.

It is crucial that contractors take steps to help ensure that they are as compliant as possible when it comes to CMMC and cyber security directives. The DoD has gone to great lengths to implement these new measures to better enforce security standards.

Chris Turn