<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/4CagHYMZMRWAjWFEK36G" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">
Request Demo

DFARS

What is the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification

down-arrow

Created In Response to the Evolving Threat Landscape

The United States’ Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain is one of the most critical to both national security as well as the protection of the individuals in the armed forces. Regardless of where contractors sit in that supply chain, security is critical to avoid intellectual property theft or worse sabotage from bad actors.

With the rise of digital technologies and information systems that many contractors have embraced to increase efficiency and enable business growth has come new cyber threats. The DFARS clause that went into effect in 2018 was the DoD’s first stake in the ground, indicating that members of the defense industrial base (DIB) must be held to a standard of security to protect the nation. The self-certification process proved too unwieldy to track and verify.

Recognizing that there needed to be more structure than the self-certification of compliance with NIST SP 800-171, the Department of Defense began developing what would become the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).

What Is CMMC Compliance?

In developing the CMMC, the DoD recognized that not all contractors have the bandwidth to develop security programs on par with a prime and nor should they have to. Recognizing that contractors’ security should be dependant on the form and caliber of controlled unclassified information (CUI) that they are working with, the CMMC is a tiered model. Ranging from Tier 1 (Basic Cyber Hygiene) to Tier 5 (Advanced/Progressive), these maturity levels are designed to enable vendors to meet the requirements necessary for good cyber hygiene with the dod contracts they are bidding for rather than having to invest in unnecessary requirements meant for a higher bid.

The CMMC has been developed in partnership with academia (Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon) and industry leaders in the form of a listening tour and draws from a library of standards and frameworks, including NIST SP 800-171 and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification introduces new terminology to classify what most information security practitioners will recognize as categories, control families, and security controls. In the CMMC, one will recognize what are called “Domains” as categories and subcategories from NIST SP 800-53 for protecting CUI:

From there, each Domain has a collection of “Capabilities” that bear resemblance to control families in other frameworks like SP 800-171 and the CSF. Finally, the capabilities have specific “Practices and Processes” associated with them and security leaders can see these as more granular controls.

Tips to Proactively Meet The CMMC

For most vendors, the CMMC levels are the biggest concern. Given that they are the heart of the certification, the tiers are critical to proactively meeting the CMMC requirements. The Tier-level certification requirements for a given contract will be included in the RFI and subsequent RFP.

 

CMMC Model Certification 0.6 Practices per Reference

CMMC Level Total 48 CFR 52.204-21 NIST SP 800-171r1 Draft NIST SP 800-171B
Level 1 17 15 17 -
Level 2 58 - 51 -
Level 3 56 - 42 -
Level 4 62 - - 17
Level 5 26 - - 9
N/A Excluded - - - 7
Total 219 15 110 33

From our intel in the field, we have been able to glean that most contract requirements in the supply chain will fall in Tier 3 and below. Primes will be responsible for achieving Tier 4 and 5 certification levels and cybersecurity practices.

Our recommendation to proactive defense contractors is to start working towards Tier 3 compliance. Based on the timeline given Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for

Acquisition & Sustainment, we anticipate that Tier 3 and below are at least in their semi-final (if not final) stages and contractors can start working towards the requirements.

We have good news if you are pursuing Tier 3 compliance - if you have used CyberStrong to achieve DFARS compliance, we have identified only 19 Processes/Practices (controls) that are referenced from frameworks outside of NIST SP 800-171. We also support Tier 3 Processes and Practices in CyberStrong and cmmc audits.

Why leading DoD contractors and prime contractors are choosing CyberStrong:

 

 

 

You may also like

New Gartner Report Identifies ...
on September 15, 2021

With a variety of risks growing out of the pandemic, cybersecurity control failures was listed as the top executive concern during Q1 2021. According to the Gartner Emerging Risks ...

Why IOT in the Commercial ...
on September 14, 2021

Every month there seems to be a new device that changes the way we travel, communicate, conduct business, and live our personal lives. The transformation promises efficiency and ...

Why the Chemical Sector is ...
on September 1, 2021

The chemical sector encompasses more than 70,000 diverse products that are critical to the modern global infrastructure. Several thousand chemical facilities ship, manufacture, ...

Kyndall Elliott
What Does the Future of Risk ...
on August 31, 2021

Cyber risk is the top concern for water and wastewater systems. With government intelligence confirming cyber attacks staged by Russia and Iran, utilities need strong risk ...

What Threatens Other Critical ...
on August 24, 2021

Everyone knows that one person that likes to say that they’re not addicted to their phone. In 2021, it’s difficult to find a way to socialize, work, access vital services, and be ...

Is the Energy Sector Paving the ...
on August 13, 2021

It’s difficult to imagine a day in which the products and services we use are not connected back to the energy sector. How we heat or cool our homes to how we remotely work are ...