The military contracting industry is worth trillions of dollars. This means that it could be incredibly profitable to work as a contractor for a military organization.
With that said, there’s risk as well as opportunity. Those working with military secrets could find their company targeted by advanced persistent threat groups or other cybercriminals.
Due to these kinds of threats, most military contracts will require that your company displays cybersecurity competence. If you want to work with the United States Department of Defence (DoD), you’ll likely need to demonstrate CMMC compliance.
So what exactly does this entail and what are some of the main benefits of getting this kind of certification for your company? This article lists everything you need to know about this kind of certification.
What is CMCC Compliance?
Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the defense industrial base sector. This is a broad collection of companies that work with the DoD responsible for military research and development.
Many of these companies are responsible for designing, producing, delivering, and maintaining critical weapons systems. This means these companies make an attractive target for cybercriminals.
Often, these kinds of contracts require the DoD to share sensitive but unclassified information with contractors and subcontractors. To help ensure these companies adequately safeguard national security by protecting such sensitive information from cybercriminals and US adversaries, the DOD developed the CMCC system.
Cybersecurity providers in Los Angeles where many military bases are located, understand that the intention here is to create a formalized system that reassures the DoD that these contractors are correctly storing and safeguarding sensitive documents.
CMCC 1.0 vs. 2.0
Presently, there are two iterations of the CMCC, versions 1.0 and 2.0. In version 1.0, there are five different levels of certification.
The first level represents the most basic level of compliance which may be suitable for less sensitive information. To achieve this certification level, a contractor must show basic cyber hygiene. Level five requires that the contractor demonstrates the capacity to protect sensitive data from advanced persistent threats.
Most companies working with the DoD only require between levels one to three. Levels four to five are generally only necessary for contractors dealing with sensitive information that a foreign adversary may try to acquire.
In November 2021, the DoD announced version 2.0 of CMCC. The DoD has streamlined the CMCC process using feedback from the previous version. The intention behind this new model was to create a more streamlined, reliable, and flexible system.
The most noticeable change in this new model is that the system now has only three levels of compliance instead of five. At the time of writing, the 2.0 version has yet to be a contractual requirement for companies working with the DoD, but that will likely change once the DoD fully implements the new standards.
Advantages of CMCC
While some may consider cybersecurity compliance rules to be a hindrance, there are actually many formal and informal benefits to your company getting CMMC compliance along with normal business IT services and security.
Opportunity for Defense Contracting
Of course, one of the main advantages of getting CMMC is that it allows your company to work on contracts for the DoD. CMMC is quickly becoming a mandatory prerequisite for doing any work for the DoD involving sensitive information. If your company is involved in any defense contract, you won’t be able to avoid having this kind of certificate.
Given that military contacts account for around $3.4 Trillion of government spending per decade, you can’t afford for your company to miss out on these kinds of contracts.
Another advantage of CMMC is that it facilitates long-term organizational security. By having a standardized security system, you ensure your company’s security doesn’t depend on any specific employee. For example, let’s say you have someone working for your internal local IT support services who manages your company’s security systems.
If that individual bases his work around CMMC standards, this ensures you could easily replace the employee with another worker trained in the same standards.
Based on Widely Accepted Standards
While it may seem like CMMC is only suited to military-based projects, the certification has a much broader scope. The DoD has based the certification on widely accepted National Institute of Standards and Technology cybersecurity standards.
This means that by complying with the DoD standards, you might also make your company compliant with various other non-military cybersecurity standards. In some situations, you might be able to work on both civilian and military projects using only one set of CMMC standards.
Reduced Assessment Costs
One significant downside to many cybersecurity certification standards is the high assessment costs. The good news is that CMMC can significantly reduce those costs. Under the CMMC 2.0 system, companies operating at level one (and a subset of companies operating at level two) can demonstrate compliance through a self-assessment. Not only does this help to save your company money, but it also reduces how much your company needs to rely on external actors.
Flexibility and Speed When You Need It
Finally, CMMC can give your company flexibility and speed when you need it the most. If you’re in a situation where compliance is difficult or impossible, you may be able to contact the government and waive some of the CMMC requirements. While this is only applicable in a limited number of situations, this aspect of CMMC could potentially help prevent your project from going off the rails.
Make CMMC Compliance Work for Your Company
While implementing a CMMC compliance system could streamline your company and make it more secure, that initial adoption period often poses a challenge. It makes a lot of sense to work with a professional IT support service to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
Are you looking for Los Angeles IT support that can help you make your CMMC vision into reality?
Contact Be Structured today and we can work with you to devise a plan to make your whole company CMMC compliant.