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The value and importance of obtaining CMMC audit certification

CMMC is known as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (framework.) It represents a unified standard and mandate for implementing cybersecurity across the Department of Defense (DoD) Industrial Base (DIB) as a verification component for ensuring appropriate levels of cybersecurity controls. CMMC also assures processes are adequate and in place to protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) on DoD contractor systems. The CMMC model is based upon cybersecurity requirements as presented within the National Institute of Standards Technology, NIST Special Publication (NIST SP 800-171,) protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Non-Federal Information Systems and Organizations.

The CMMC Model consists of three maturity levels ranging from basic Cybersecurity Hygiene to a proven ability to optimize capabilities in an effort to repel advanced persistent threats. The overall intent of the CMMC Model is to evaluate and determine if cybersecurity processes and practices are being performed. As a result, most contractors who work with the DoD will need to be evaluated by a third-party auditor to become CMMC certified. Upon receiving the certification, contracting companies will be able to demonstrate that their newly developed processes implement the appropriate level of cybersecurity measures for protecting CUI information. With the mandate looming, many DoD contracting companies will need to outsource this task of preparing for CMMC certification to a company that specializes in it. It's important to remember that, ultimately, the DoD is responsible for ensuring the company meets the appropriate cybersecurity requirements. By outsourcing this task, many contracting companies will essentially save money in the long term by getting and staying compliant with CMMC.

The outsourced assessment company will perform a gap analysis, create a System Security Plan (SSP), and document all outstanding issues that need to be addressed through a Plan of Action & Milestones (POAM). Essentially, the CMMC readiness assessment conducted by the third-party vendor should expose the following items:

  • How access to information systems is controlled and monitored

  • How managers and information system administrators are trained

  • How data records are stored

  • How security controls and measures are implemented and maintained

  • How incident response plans are developed, implemented, and maintained

Without a gap analysis being performed by the assessment vendor, it would be impossible to know exactly what changes a contracted vendor with the DoD needs to make before it's granted CMMC certification. This certification will play a vital role in contracting companies being able to bid and be awarded future business endeavors with the US Federal Government. Therefore, as a result, it is extremely vital to the contracting company and in their best interests to obtain CMMC audit certification.

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