The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a certification program developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure security for all contractors and subcontractors handling sensitive government data. CMMC compliance involves meeting specific standards or “maturity levels” that demonstrate how effectively an organization can protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
Organizations will be required to obtain CMMC compliance as part of their contractual obligations with the Department of Defense. Failure to meet the requirements could result in significant monetary fines or even criminal penalties. As such, it is important for organizations that are handling CUI to ensure they are compliant with the CMMC standards.
Fortunately, there are steps organizations can take to stay CMMC compliant. Here are five tips for staying CMMC compliant:
1. Implement a Cybersecurity Program:
A comprehensive cyber security program is necessary to ensure the security of CUI and meet the requirements of the CMMC standard. The cyber security program should include processes and procedures for identifying, addressing, and responding to security risks. The program should also include regular training and awareness protocols for employees, as well as updates to systems and software.
2. Use Secure File Storage:
When storing CUI, organizations must ensure that the data is stored in a secure file storage solution that meets CMMC requirements. This means using encrypted communication protocols, strong authentication measures, and the ability to audit user activities.
3. Establish Access Controls:
Organizations must establish access controls that limit which users have access to CUI and what type of access they have. This includes setting up multi-factor authentication, creating accounts with unique usernames and passwords, and regularly monitoring user activity.
4. Establish Data Security Practices:
Organizations should also establish data security practices, such as encrypting sensitive data, regularly monitoring networks and systems for vulnerabilities, and implementing incident response plans in the event of a breach. Additionally, organizations must ensure that all devices used to access or store CUI are always up-to-date and secure.
5. Monitor Third Parties:
Organizations should also monitor any third parties they are working with, ensuring that they have implemented their own security protocols and measures to protect CUI. This includes regularly conducting background checks on vendors and subcontractors, as well as reviewing the security measures being taken by cloud service providers.
Bonus Tip: Invest in a Cyber Security Consultant
To ensure that you are compliant with the CMMC standards, it is recommended to invest in a cyber security consultant. These professionals can help you assess your current security protocols and provide advice on how to best meet the requirements of the CMMC.
Protecting Customer Data
By following these five tips, organizations can ensure that they are staying CMMC compliant and taking all necessary measures to protect CUI and their customers’ data. Staying CMMC compliant is not only important for organizations contracting with the DoD, but for any organization handling sensitive customer information.
Organizations that handle CUI must ensure they are protecting their data by implementing security protocols and measures, such as access controls, secure file storage solutions, data security practices, and monitoring third parties. Organizations should take the time to understand the requirements of the CMMC standard and implement the necessary security practices to ensure that CUI is always secure.