Understanding CMMC Levels and Domains

CMMC Level

Did you know that over 60% of small businesses experience a cyberattack each year? With the growing number of threats, the Department of Defense (DoD) has introduced the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) to ensure the protection of sensitive information.

In this article, we’ll dive into the details of CMMC levels and domains to help you better understand their importance in securing your business.

Overview of CMMC Domains

CMMC domains are different areas of cybersecurity that the CMMC focuses on. They help to create a clear structure for improving the security of companies working with the DoD.

There are 17 domains in total, each covering a specific aspect of cybersecurity. These domains play a crucial role in assessing a company’s security measures and ensuring that they are strong enough to protect important information.

The 17 CMMC Domains are:

  • Asset Management (AM)
  • Access Control (AC)
  • Awareness and Training (AT)
  • Audit and Accountability (AU)
  • Security Assessment (CA)
  • Configuration Management (CM)
  • Identification and Authentication (IA)
  • Incident Response (IR)
  • Maintenance (MA)
  • Media Protection (MP)
  • Physical Protection (PE)
  • Personnel Security (PS)
  • Risk Management (RM)
  • Recovery (RE)
  • Situational Awareness (SA)
  • System and Communications Protection (SC)
  • System and Information Integrity (SI)

In-depth Look at CMMC Domains

Let’s explore some of the domains in detail:

Asset Management (AM) focuses on keeping track of devices, software, and data that a company uses. This helps to make sure that everything is accounted for and protected.

Access Control (AC) is about making sure that only the right people can access important information. This includes setting up passwords, permission settings, and other methods to keep data safe.

Awareness and Training (AT) involves teaching employees about cybersecurity. As well as their role in keeping the company’s information safe. This training helps everyone understand the risks and how to avoid them.

Incident Response (IR) deals with how a company reacts when a security breach happens. This includes having a plan in place to handle the situation and making sure that everyone knows what to do.

These are just a few examples of the domains covered by CMMC. Each one plays an important part in ensuring the overall security of a company’s information.

CMMC Levels: A Gradual Approach to Cybersecurity Maturity

CMMC includes five levels of security, with each one building on the previous level. This approach allows companies to grow their cybersecurity measures over time. It also helps the DoD understand how well a company is protecting sensitive information.

The five CMMC levels are:

  • Level 1: Basic Cyber Hygiene
  • Level 2: Intermediate Cyber Hygiene
  • Level 3: Good Cyber Hygiene
  • Level 4: Proactive Cybersecurity
  • Level 5: Advanced/Progressive Cybersecurity

Each level has specific requirements that a company must meet in order to achieve certification. Companies might work with a Los Angeles managed service provider or an IT support LA company to help them meet these requirements.

Breakdown of CMMC Levels

In this section, we’ll discuss each CMMC level in more detail. Here are the requirements and focus areas for each level:

Level 1: Basic Cyber Hygiene

At Level 1, companies are expected to have basic security measures in place. This means they’re taking some steps to protect their information and systems from common threats.

Some examples of practices at this level include using antivirus software and making sure that employees have strong passwords. Companies might rely on local IT support to help set up these basic security measures.

Level 2: Intermediate Cyber Hygiene

When a company reaches Level 2, it should have stronger security practices in place. The focus at this level is on documenting security measures and making sure they are followed consistently.

Companies might work with IT services in Los Angeles to review their security practices regularly and make improvements as needed. This level also helps companies prepare for handling controlled unclassified information in the future.

Level 3: Good Cyber Hygiene

Level 3 is the minimum level required for companies that handle sensitive information. At this stage, organizations must have a solid security foundation in place. This includes having policies and procedures to protect controlled unclassified information.

Companies may continue to work with IT services in Los Angeles to ensure their security measures are strong enough to protect this type of information.

Level 4: Proactive Cybersecurity

At Level 4, companies are expected to actively monitor and improve their security measures. This means staying ahead of potential threats by keeping up with the latest security trends and technologies.

Organizations at this level may work closely with cybersecurity experts and invest in advanced security tools to protect their information. The goal is to reduce the risk of advanced threats and be prepared to respond to incidents quickly.

Level 5: Advanced/Progressive Cybersecurity

Level 5 is the highest level of CMMC.  It’s designed for organizations that face advanced threats. Companies at this level must have cutting-edge security measures in place and be continuously innovating to stay ahead of potential risks.

This might involve working with cybersecurity experts or specialized IT services Los Angeles to develop new security strategies and tools. Organizations at Level 5 are committed to the highest level of cybersecurity. Often leading the way in protecting sensitive information.

Assessing and Achieving CMMC Compliance

To achieve CMMC compliance, companies must go through an assessment process. This involves working with a certified assessor who will review the organization’s security practices. They will determine if your company meet the requirements for a specific CMMC level.

The Assessment Process

During the assessment, the assessor will review documentation and evidence provided by the company. This might include security policies, procedures, and records of security activities. The assessor will also verify that the company is following the practices required for their desired CMMC level.

Importance of Documentation and Evidence

Having clear and accurate documentation is crucial for achieving CMMC compliance. Companies should keep records of their security activities. These can include employee training sessions and incident response plans.

This documentation will help the assessor understand how the company is working to improve its cybersecurity measures. Plus, whether it meets the requirements for a specific CMMC level.

CMMC 2.0: The Next Evolution in Cybersecurity

In response to feedback from stakeholders, the DoD has introduced CMMC 2.0, an updated version of the CMMC. This new version is currently being implemented and it aims to simplify the certification process.

CMMC 2.0 consolidates the original five levels of certification into a more manageable three-tier system. This should reduce the complexity and cost for small and medium-sized businesses seeking certification. The updated model also focuses on refining the assessment process and providing better guidance for companies on their journey to achieving compliance.

Secure Your Business with CMMC Compliance

Understanding CMMC levels and domains is essential for companies that work with the DoD and want to protect sensitive information. If you’re looking to enhance your cybersecurity measures and achieve CMMC compliance, Be Structured Technology Group is here to help.

As a leading managed service provider in Los Angeles, Be Structured Technology Group has the expertise to guide you through the process and tailor solutions to meet your needs. Contact us today to see how we can help you strengthen your cybersecurity posture and reach your desired CMMC level.

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.