Is your company prepared for the new CMMC requirements from the US Department of Defense (DoD)?
It’s a daunting task.
But if your work falls within the Defense Industrial Base, you must take action. These new compliance rules will have significant implications on your ability to hold and bid on DoD contracts.
In basic terms: any company within the DoD supply chain must meet certain CMMC regulations.
So, what does CMMC mean for manufacturers and distributors? It means many changes are coming down the pipeline, and you need to prepare your company.
And unfortunately, if you haven’t begun the certification process, you are falling behind your competitors.
Today, we’re going to answer specific manufacturing and distribution CMMC questions. You can consider this blog your 101 for all things CMMC. So, let’s get started.
What does CMMC stand for?
Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification.
And CMMC is a part of the DoD efforts to secure the Defense Industrial Base. At its core, CMMC is a cybersecurity assessment model and certification program.
Who needs to be CMMC compliant?
First, all federal contractors (prime and subcontractors) will need a form of CMMC certification. This also includes suppliers and firms at all levels of the DIB supply chain.
That means the 300,000 + organizations registered to bid on RFP’s for the DoD must have a CMMC certification beforehand.
How will CMMC work?
Before a contractor receives a government bid, they must have a CMMC certification.
All Federal contractors can attain a CMMC certification through passing an audit by a Third-Party Assessment Organization (C3PAO).
The C3PAO auditor will assess the contractor’s technical controls, documentation, and security policies. Their assessment will also check compliance with certain mandatory practices, procedures, and capabilities.
After the evaluation, the contractor will receive a level of certification of 1 to 5.
What are the CMMC Levels? And why are they important?
Currently, there are five levels of CMMC certification. The scope of work your organization provides will determine which level of compliance you’ll need.
Each of the levels builds upon the last. In other words, to achieve compliance level 2, you must be compliant with level 1.
What should manufacturers & distributors do next?
It is crucial to mention that gaining CMMC compliance is not a walk in the park. Compliance work is a full-time job. The CMMC is one of the most complex cybersecurity frameworks.
With that in mind, I have a couple of CMMC recommendations for manufacturers and distributors.
First, do not presume you are compliant just because your IT managed service provider said so.
With that in mind, some organizations may be able to achieve CMMC compliance with an in-house team. Others will need to outsource this process. Those who have to outsource will most likely be smaller manufacturers and distributors.
My final recommendation is to work with a CMMC Registered Provider Organization (RPO) before your CMMC audit.
How RPOs will make your Life Easier
To get CMMC certified, the majority of contractors will partner with an RPO, like us.
The RPO will conduct a cybersecurity review to see what security controls the contractor has in place. Then, the RPO will run a gap analysis to show what needs to happen to gain the desired CMMC certification.
Once the organization has a good handle on its cybersecurity, it will then move forward with a CMMC audit.
To put it in basic terms, an RPO helps prepare your company for a CMMC audit. You could compare it to taking a driver’s education class before taking your driver’s test.
Why work with a RPO over another CMMC-related Service Provider?
What sets RPOs apart from other companies claiming to offer CMMC-related services is their certification, training, and relations with the CMMC-AB.
Suppliers can rest assure that an RPO is ethical, prepared, and motivated to meet their CMMC needs. So, when you work with an RPO, you know they’ve had adequate training in CMMC compliance.
Ready to tackle CMMC? You can start with us.
So, how do you find an RPO?
Well, easier. You are already in the right place.
We, MRW Systems, were one of the first Registered Provider Organizations. And we would be happy to assist you in any CMMC compliance needs.
Every single day, we’re helping organizations work towards better compliance. And unlike our competitors, we don’t believe in out-of-the-box solutions.
Instead, we tailor our services to your organization’s needs. This way, you receive the level of care you need – and nothing more or less. To learn more about what we can do for you, please click here.