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CMMC Certification Levels

CMMC Certification

CMMC Certification Levels

Certification by the Contract Management Management Center (CMMC) is often necessary for defense industrial base (DIB) contractors, opening up access to DoD contracts and subcontracting opportunities.

Companies failing to meet a designated CMMC level will miss out on contract opportunities with government and could even be barred from doing business again. To prevent yourself from missing out, prepare now for CMMC assessments!

Level 1

Level 1 represents an intermediate step between basic cybersecurity measures and protecting controlled unclassified information (CUI). At this stage, your company should document and practice CMMC processes while initiating long-term systems development efforts.

At CMMC Level 1, six domains, 17 capabilities and nine practices must be fulfilled to reach success. Capabilities like identification and authentication ensure employees can securely access data while being monitored by IT, without sharing passwords with anyone else.

DoD contractors should remain aware of CMMC changes, take them in stride and begin working toward certification early. Accomplishing early compliance opens doors that would otherwise remain closed to them; ultimately all DoD suppliers must achieve CMMC compliance; this expense can be reimbursed.

Level 2

Level 2 security focuses on safeguarding information that is crucial to federal contracts, including that which hasn’t been classified but considered “critical to national security.” To be effective, additional precautions and special safeguarding arrangements should be put in place.

At Level 2, organizations must also document processes and develop long-term systems rather than simply comply with security measures. Reaching this level should serve as an initial goal but should not become your final destination.

Notably, unlike Level 3, this level’s requirements do not involve third-party assessments. Instead, you will need to demonstrate that you can perform and document required practices; Charles IT can help by performing gap analyses and helping implement CMMC processes that ensure you pass audit with flying colors.

Level 3

CMMC 2.0 of the Defense Industrial Base cybersecurity framework represents a step toward compliance. While not altering cybersecurity requirements for contractors handling sensitive information, enforcement has increased significantly; for instance, companies will no longer be allowed to self-attestate level 2 compliance and must instead undergo third-party assessments by an accredited C3PAO every three years.

Good news is that the new CMMC 2.0 level 3 standards closely mirror NIST 800-171 requirements, making compliance easier. Many contractors will find themselves meeting these new CMMC standards simply by hiring an expert MSP to audit their systems – an expert MSP can also assist with ongoing maintenance and proactive security – something quantum computing will only compound.

Level 4

At Level 5, CMMC certification takes on its most comprehensive form, emphasizing continuous planning to optimize and standardize process implementation, as well as real time threat response capabilities. It involves practices like creating an incident response team 24/7 and real time asset tracking. There are 171 practices across 17 domains covered here.

Motivated businesses understand the significance of becoming compliant with CMMC opens doors that would otherwise remain closed to them. A unified cybersecurity management system will ensure better protection of government intelligence, proprietary information and customer data.

Level 4 of the Critical Maintenance Management Council’s Compliance Manual requires organizations to establish a security operations center capable of 24/7 monitoring and relying on threat intelligence for threat detection, as well as regularly notifying higher levels of management when anomalies arise.

Level 5

Level 5 certification of the Certified Management Management Certification System is the highest available and includes 171 practices from across all five domains – and has become the goal for many defense contractors looking for DOD contracts.

This certification aims to enhance cybersecurity management systems and create more robust ways of protecting businesses against cyber attacks, while simultaneously improving detection and response times when threats do emerge.

Certification requires not only meeting security requirements from previous levels but also meeting additional standards to protect against advanced persistent threats (APTs). Furthermore, organizations must establish, manage, and resource a plan to manage compliance activities related to CMMC compliance activities as well as demonstrate that they have standardised and optimized their approach towards each of its domain processes.