Why DoD Contractors Shouldn’t Procrastinate on obtaining CMMC Certification!

If you’re a Department of Defense (DoD) contractor or subcontractor wondering about the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), here’s the bottom line: Get. The. Certification.

Although you might be tempted to put CMMC certification off until you absolutely have to, that might translate to diminished opportunities and revenue for you.

Why exact is achieving CMMC certification so critical? Consider your old friend NIST SP 800-171

NIST SP 800-171 are the cybersecurity requirements that government contractors and their subcontractors have been following since 2003. The CMMC was recently created to enhance this already existing compliance, in conjunction with the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) requirements.

Why? The government relies on you to keep their Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) secure. Unfortunately, you could be among the 9 out of 10 DoD contractors who fail compliance.

If you don’t get certified, your organization’s DoD contract work is on the line. The CMMC is drastically changing RFI and RFP requirements, thus impacting which companies, contractors, and subcontractors can be awarded contracts. This is why, although you might be tempted to put off certification until you absolutely have to, it might translate to diminished opportunities and revenue for you.

Think of the CMMC as the ultimate Cybersecurity update

Similar to smartphone software updates, CMMC is an update that will have long-term repercussions if you don’t follow through. This upgraded model is a 5-level certification program required for all personnel handling sensitive federal information like Federal Contract Information (FCI) and CUI.

By 2026, the DoD expects all contracts to contain CMMC requirements. While right now the CMMC model is only applicable within the DoD, many speculate that it will eventually expand to the Federal sector.

Getting the CMMC helps to ensure your company’s success and longevity. Needless to say, it’s worth the investment.

Make or Break Conditions:

  • DIY is a no-go. Unlike other compliance assessments, there is no self-assess option for the CMMC. Each CMMC award must be provided through the CMMC Accreditation Body (AB) which will oversee the training, quality, and administration of the C3PAOs.
  • All hands must be on deck. Anyone employed by your company, including other contractors and/or subcontractors, must also be certified. Subcontractors, however, do not need to obtain the same level of clearance.
  • It only applies to unclassified networks. This certification is only relevant to those that handle, process, and/or store FCI or CUI. What the heck is considered CUI? Truthfully, no one knows, so it’s best to assume your work falls in this category. The handling of classified information falls under different safeguards.
  • It’s not necessarily one-and-done. Each certification is valid for 3 years. However, even after you get certified, if your company experiences a security breach during a contract, then you may run the risk of a CMMC re-assessment. Only under exceptional circumstances will you lose the CMMC certification; but be prepared to use this methodology throughout your contract.
  • One size does not fit all. The CMMC accounts for varying security levels as not all DoD contracts are the same. Each RFP will reflect one of five levels of clearance needed to obtain the contract:

Five Levels Of Clearance Cmmc Certification

So, how do you know if your company is prepared for the appropriate level?

The certification process, consisting of cyber audits and risk assessments, can advance over the five security maturity levels. Speak with a CMMC accreditation body to learn the type of security clearance that you require so that you can move forward without any business disruptions.

Get ready, get set, get certified!

After you’ve determined the level of security clearance you’ll need, a self-assessment test will highlight any areas in a cybersecurity program that need to be addressed before the actual audit. While an analysis could be done by an in-house IT team, bringing in a third-party consultant to conduct it can be more effective. A consultant can also help create a GAP analysis plan to address the problems.

Once you’re confident you have adequate cybersecurity protocols in place, along with the necessary documentation, you’re ready to be assessed by the CMMC Accreditation Body.

Need guidance? RPG CompleteIT is here to assist.

This is a lot of information to take in and it may seem daunting, so let’s end with some good news. RPG CompleteIT has a tried and true plan in place to get you CMMC certified as quickly as possible. Our Platform allows DoD contractors and subcontractors to get Level-3-compliant in just 30 days. We’re even working with approved auditors to secure an economy of scale package for our clients.

All this to say, don’t worry; success is accessible to all and we want to help you get there. With RPG Cby your side, you’ve got this! Emailto begin CMMC assessment preparation today.