Cyber Security Maturity Model Certification a.k.a. CMMC certification is a comprehensive framework that protects crucial information from complex cyberattacks.  CMMC Certification is a program that has been rolled out by the Department of Defense (DoD) for standardizing the implementation of cybersecurity across the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). The CMMC enables the DIB to efficiently and effectively protect data and information stored on all DoD networks. In addition to this, it enhances the level of overall cybersecurity. The requirement for a CMMC Certification comes when the DoD system is at an extreme high-risk zone and is highly prone to external attacks.

The certification not only ensures the observation of required levels of cybersecurity controls by the contractors but also considers the capabilities, readiness, and sophistication of contracts in the cybersecurity space. If you are a DoD contractor in search of a federal contract, it is highly recommended for you to obtain a CMMC Certification by meeting the minimum prescribed requirements. This is a must to ensure all-around data and information protection in addition to fostering the integrity of the supply chain. It safeguards sensitive data such as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and Federal Contract Information (FCCI) from unauthorized use or misuse. 

Do you need a CMMC Certification?

If you are a DoD Contractor, you should consider getting it sooner than later as having a CMMC Certification can help you secure a federal contract. CMMC is a mandate for any organization which works in the defense contract supply chain. This is inclusive of direct contractors who engage with the DoD and the subcontractors who facilitate the execution of such contracts. 

The DoD claims that over 300,000 organizations will have to comply with the CMMC requirements. Most companies need to possess a certification ranging between levels 1 and 3 to attain eligibility for unequivocal government contracts. This prerequisite will affect all the suppliers along the DoD supply chain including small businesses, commercial items, and foreign suppliers. Since it is a national security and data protection matter, the requirement is unequivocal and non-negotiable. 

The CMMC Certification is regulated by the CMMC Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB). It has after coordinating with the DoD developed a procedure for certifying independent third-party assessment organizations (C3PAO) and assessors. These assessors take up the job of evaluating the CMMC levels of a company. The RFP specifies the required level of certification that a company needs to secure federal contracts. Nonetheless, all contractors looking forward to a federal contract must mandatorily secure a Level 1 CMMC requirement. 

Once the security requirements have been appropriately satisfied by an organization, it would be awarded the certification which would then make the organization eligible for federal contracts. All CMMC assessors are licensed by CMMC-AB, ensuring that the results of your cybersecurity audit remain private. Nonetheless, your level of certification will be accessible to the DoD via a database. So, how do you determine whether you need to be certified? If you operate as a contractor for the Department of Defense or as a subcontractor on DoD projects, you must be CMMC certified.