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Who Needs to Be CMMC Compliant?

Every industry has codes they need to stick by—and the Department of Defense is no different. In order to ensure the safety and security of all information that could potentially fall into enemy hands, the DoD requires certain businesses to follow the guidelines in the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, or CMMC.

What Is CMMC?

The CMMC is a tiered certification system that rates a company’s cybersecurity infrastructure on a scale from 1 to 3, with 3 being the most secure. The level that a company needs to be certified at is determined by the type of information they will be handling—the more sensitive the data, the higher the required CMMC level.

CMMC 2.0 was recently released and loosens the requirements a little bit, letting certain companies conduct their own audits and showing their intent to follow the security guidelines.

NIST frameworks (like NIST 800-171 or NIST 800-53) were required of all companies handling government data, but CMMC goes a step further by adding additional security measures, such as physical security and employee training.

The CMMC was created in order to protect Controlled Unclassified Information, or CUI. This is any information that could potentially damage national security if it fell into the wrong hands. Examples of CUI include:

  • PII (personally identifiable information)
  • CBI (critical business information)
  • ITAR (international traffic in arms regulations) data

Benefits of CMMC Compliance

There are several reasons why it’s beneficial for companies to be CMMC compliant, even if they aren’t required to. First and foremost, it builds trust with customers—especially important for companies handling sensitive data. Secondly, it establishes the company as a reliable and safe vendor that other businesses will want to work with. Finally, it gives the company a competitive edge, as more and more businesses are looking for CMMC-certified partners.

There are some drawbacks to becoming CMMC compliant—namely, the effort! It can be time-consuming and expensive to implement all the required security measures. However, the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs.

Should My Business Be CMMC Compliant?

If you’re doing business with the Department of Defense, then you need to be CMMC compliant. Other businesses may choose to become certified even if they aren’t required to—it depends on the type of data your company handles and how important it is to maintain a good reputation in the eyes of your customers.

DoD contractors are not the only ones who need to be CMMC compliant—any company that works with a DoD contractor, even if they never come into direct contact with CUI, needs to be compliant as well. This is to prevent any chance of the CUI being leaked through a third-party company.

If you’re not sure whether or not becoming CMMC compliant is right for your business, reach out to a certified third-party assessor (CMMC consultant) for help. They can guide you through the process and help you make the best decision for your company.

Crush Your Compliance Goals with Brightline IT

Whether you need CMMC compliance because you’re a government contractor or just want the extra layers of protection, we can help. Our team of CMMC consultants will help you assess your current security posture, identify gaps, and develop a roadmap to compliance. We’ll also be there every step of the way to ensure that you’re meeting all the requirements—on time and on budget. Contact us today to get started!