What Do Small Manufacturers Need To Know About CMMC 2.0?

What is the CMMC?

The CMMC, fully known as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, is a security evaluation and verification benchmark for defense companies working for the Department of Defense (DoD). Several bodies created the CMMC, which was targeted at many businesses that make up the Defense Industrial Base (DIB).

The CMMC was first introduced in January 2020.

The goal is to evaluate each DIB company’s security posture to safeguard them from cyberattacks and prevent sensitive information from being stolen by foreign adversaries or cybercriminals.

How Is CMMC 2.0 Different From CMMC 1.0?

The first version of CMMC (V1) featured five degrees of security compliance:

  1. Basic (Level 1),
  2. Intermediate (Level 2),
  3. Good (Level 3),
  4. Proactive (Level 4), and
  5. Advanced (Level 5).

Over time, all five levels proved very costly for most small organizations, which is how CMMC Version 2 came to be.

With the launch of CMMC 2.0 at the end of 2021 in November, the prior standard was updated and consolidated into just three levels of security:

  1. Foundational (Level 1),
  2. Expert (Level 2), and
  3. Advanced (Level 3).

The ability of an organization to defend itself against cyberattacks is evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with level 5 in the older CMMC version or level 3 constituting the highest in the new CMMC version.

CMMC 2.0 Objectives

Like CMMC 1.0, the main objectives of the new CMMC version are to secure sensitive data and assess your institution’s security procedures.

In contrast to CMMC 1.0, CMMC 2.0 aims to:

  • Clarify cybersecurity legislative, policy, and contractual obligations and streamline CMMC.
  • Urge DoD to increase monitoring of the standards of conduct for third-party evaluations.
  • Urge organizations that assist crucial initiatives in the aviation and defense industries to emphasize third-party audit regulations and the most effective cybersecurity safeguards.

CMMC 2.0 Levels

Level 1: Foundational

This fundamental certification level entails several procedures that closely correlate to the essential safety requirements established in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

The 17 fundamental cybersecurity procedures that comprise Level One include establishing access control, identification, and authentication.

Anyone wishing to secure a DoD contract must comply with the requirement, whose primary goal is to safeguard federal contract data.

Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) suppliers who do not acquire intelligence about federal contracts are the only ones who will not be required to reach Level 1.

Level 2: Advanced

In level 2, you need to offer documented guidelines for every one of the 17 procedures included by the accreditation in the first level. It also requires proof that the guidelines have been completed for every practice.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST SP 800-171 prerequisites, a subsection of this complete set of security procedures, safeguard government classified data in the information technology of federal subcontractors and suppliers with 55 additional security practices.

For any institution with CUI, which necessitates better security levels than a company having only FCI, the objective is to create a fundamental understanding of internet security.

Level 3: Expert

The last level requires a company to create and sustain a strategy to implement CMMC’s standards.

All of the processes from the prior levels are included in Level 3, along with 58 more practices. They are specifications from NISA SP 800-172 and NISA SP 800-171.

The main goal is to strengthen the security procedures set up in the first two levels and increase a company’s core security.

What Makes CMMC 2.0 Better?

Here are some notable features that make CMMC 2.0 better for small manufacturers.

  • There is increased accountability with increased oversight of third-party assessors’ professional and ethical standards. Companies at the first two levels can show that they are compliant through self-evaluations, lowering evaluation prices for independent assessment organizations.
  • It has a streamlined model that focuses on the most critical requirements. It reduces the levels from five to three. It also goes hand-in-hand with vastly allowed conditions, adhering to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cybersecurity standards.
  • Companies with limited  circumstances can formulate Plans of Action and Milestones (POA&Ms) to attain accreditation. This encourages partnering among team members.
  • CMMC 2.0 also permits waivers to CMMC terms under certain situations, adding variations and hastening the accreditation procedure.

How Small Manufacturers Need To Get Ready For CMMC 2.0

Businesses that have already developed their Security Systems Plans (SSP), Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS) score, and POA&Ms are in an excellent position to make the transition to CMMC 2.0.

Here are some steps smaller businesses may follow to get ready and strengthen their cybersecurity framework:

  • Create a technical perimeter around the receiving, processing, and storing of managed unclassified data.
  • Specify how CUI data will be distributed with collaborators and partners in the government.
  • Record your firm’s security posture complying with the most recent DFARS regulations.
  • Implementations of document control.
  • Identify gaps and potential solutions in your Plans of Action and Milestones.
  • Create and submit a DoD evaluation score to the SPRS.
  • Consistently update and evaluate the Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan (CIRP).

Until the implementation of CMMC 2.0, keep advancing in each of the categories mentioned above.

Who can Help You Get Ready for CMMC 2.0?

White Mountain Computer Consulting is one of New England’s leading computer consultants, specializing in outsourced computer help, IT consulting, skilled network support, Virtual CIO Services, and even getting ready for CMMC 2.0. We offer our services throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Contact our IT help service that has been surpassing expectations for over 35 years. Whether your organization needs tech support or a Managed IT Service plan: we do it all!

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