5 Steps to Becoming CMMC Compliant in 2023
If you are a contractor or subcontractor working with the DOD, or Department of Defense, you must be CMMC compliant in 2023. CMMC, or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, is becoming a standard requirement for defense contractors.
CMMC certification is meant to increase the security of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). Previously cybersecurity requirements for primes and subcontractors were voluntary, but that is changing. This guide walks you through 5 steps in the process of becoming CMMC compliant. Follow this CMMC compliance checklist to get certified in 2023
Step 1: Understand CMMC Compliance
To ensure you become compliant with the CMMC standard, you should be working with a C3PAO. AC3PAO, or 3rd party assessment organization, is accredited by the Defense Cybersecurity Agency, or DCA. These organizations assist defense contractors in becoming CMMC compliant.
The C3PAO will help you attain CMMC certification from the Cyber AB. The whole process can take 12-18 months, and even up to 24 months. Once you comprehend the process and time commitment, it’s time for the next step.
Step 2: Assess Your Current State
You must now evaluate your current cybersecurity state. Look for gaps between the security controls you have, and the security controls you need to be compliant. You will need to conduct a gap assessment. This is an important step because it makes shortcomings evident.
There are self-assessment tools and automated tools you can use to complete a gap analysis. Once you have identified the gaps, you are ready to take action.
Step 3: Develop a Plan of Action
Now, you will address the gaps you found when you conducted your gap assessment. Create a POAM, or Plan of Action and Milestones. Lay out what changes need to be made and when you should make them. Work toward making the necessary changes. You cannot become CMMC compliant without bridging the gaps.
Step 4: Implement Security Controls
CMMC compliance requires that multiple security controls be in place. There are 5 levels of compliance, and you must meet the requirements of one of these levels to be certied. The level you need will depend on how sensitive the information you are protecting is.
You will implement the security controls through physical, technical, and administrative processes. Which controls you need to implement will depend on what kind of work is being done, and what information is being protected. It will be necessary to continuously monitor and improve your security controls.
Step 5: Get Certied
The final step is CMMC certification. You will work with the 3rd Party Assessment Organization to gain your varication. The C3PAO will assess your cybersecurity controls and report their findings to the Cyber AB. The Cyber AB will take this report into account, and if all is in order, grant you CMMC certification
The Future of CMMC Compliance
All defense contractors are expected to be CMMC compliant by 2025. Gaining CMMC certication is a lengthy process for a defense contractor. However, it is now a necessary part of working with the DOD due to the growing risk of cyber attacks.
For more information on getting CMMC certified, visit Cloudzen Partners. Download our CMMC compliance checklist here.