Cyber crime poses a very real threat, one that continues to plague businesses and governments across the globe. Cyber attacks are varied and constantly evolving, and they can have a significant negative impact on local and national security.
This is why the Department of Defense (DoD) has taken steps to ensure that companies and contractors in their supply chain are taking the very best security measures to protect the sensitive data they have access to. These security measures currently include the development and implementation of CMMC, which serves to protect controlled unclassified information (CUI) on DoD contractor systems.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is a standard of security that DoD contractors must comply with. It is used to implement cybersecurity methods across the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), which includes more than 300,000 companies.
The CMMC includes five levels of maturity, and organizations must comply with more advanced maturity levels depending on the requirements and level of confidentiality of the jobs they bid on. To prove compliance, before bidding on DoD contracts, businesses will be required to be certified by a CMMC third-party assessment organization (C3PAO).
The DoD is looking to expand its use of pilot programs as CMMC is rolled out in order to test its efficacy and ensure security will be as comprehensive as possible. CMMC is not completely implemented yet, as organizations are still in the process of being certified as C3PAOs which can then certify other businesses; but, the program is well under way, and several new CMMC updates have been announced in recent months.
Certifications and C3PAOs
Under previous cybersecurity requirements, including NIST, contractors have typically been responsible for independently assessing their own security procedures; standards were in place, but companies could self-assess their own compliance without any third-party involvement.
However, the CMMC has changed this standard, now making certification by a C3PAO necessary. C3PAOs will provide compliance assessments and help contractors to ensure that they meet the appropriate levels of compliance. This will aid in ensuring that the DoD supply chain is secure when it comes to involving contracting businesses.
The CMMC Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB) directly coordinates with the DoD to develop procedures with C3PAOs and continually develop compliance standards that will be used moving forward.
Protecting National Security
The US defense system requires comprehensive cybersecurity for all endpoints and business partners in order to protect the national security of the US. That is why, to protect sensitive government assets from cyber attacks, not only the DoD itself but the entire DoD supply chain must be certified to the necessary level of CMMC.
Private businesses can also learn about supply chain security from the care the DoD is taking to secure suppliers through CMMC. In a world with increasingly advanced technological dangers, enforcing cybersecurity on all fronts is more important than ever.