Late last year, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced the strategic direction for its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. While some may already be up to speed on the meaning of the results of the DOD’s completed internal assessment, the rest of us may benefit from a crash course that can enhance a company’s cybersecurity program, even if you don’t want to do work as a defense contractor or subcontractor.
According to the Department of Defense, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program enhances cyber-protection standards for companies to protect sensitive unclassified information shared with contractors and subcontractors. The program outlines a set of cybersecurity requirements and provides increased assurance that contractors and subcontractors are meeting these requirements. Wouldn’t it be a good selling point for your business to adhere to this standard when courting new corporate clients, even if they (or you) don’t work with the Defense Department?
After all, much of the CMMC program outlined by the DOD merely codifies good cybersecurity practices. If we were to outline the standard in the simplest terms it comes down to five steps that we would recommend any company take to secure their business data and network:
- Educate people on cyber threats. Training is key to helping your people be an effective first line of defense.
- Implement access controls. Monitor who has access to what, and limit the number of users.
- Authenticate users. Two-factor authentication is a standard that makes sense.
- Monitor your physical space. Keep the bad guys out of your network but don’t overlook the obvious threats, either.
- Update security protections. Don’t let software patches and other updates lead to increased data risk.
The new CMMC 2.0 program has new initiatives that will be implemented on a five-year time frame. It now sets three compliance levels to focus on critical requirements and aligns with widely established standards established by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). The new program allows for reduced cost by using a self-assessment program for some compliance levels, while increasing oversight of professional and ethical standards using third-party assessors. The 2.0 program also has a spirit of collaboration, allowing companies to proceed at their pace with plans of action and milestones.
Axis Computer Networks can help you explore the CMMC 2.0 program and set a plan of action. The bottom line is tight security can only help your network work better for your business. Let us help you meet the standards for your business, and your peace of mind.