Are you looking to get into business with the United States Department of Defense? It’s an honorable goal, but not something anyone can just dive into. Being a contractor for the DoD means that you’ll be dealing with extremely sensitive information, so they need to make sure that anyone they work with can keep that information safe.
In order to do this, they set forth certain CMMC compliance – or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification – requirements that your system security must meet. The requirements come at different levels, depending on the specific work you are aiming to do.
Becoming CMMC compliant can take some work, especially if you’re not anywhere near it. However, it is a completely attainable goal. The following steps can help you get going.
Determine Your Level
The first thing you need to do is to determine what level of CMMC compliance you need to achieve. The requirements were updated in November 2021, so you’ll need to check out CMMC 2.0 to understand what’s required now.
There are five levels, the first of which is very basic. In fact, it’s something that businesses should already have set up for themselves, as it includes basic security systems, antivirus protection, and good password practices.
Level 5 is a much more comprehensive security process. It includes having things in place to help pinpoint weaknesses and threats before they have the chance to take root and put things in place to address them immediately.
If the work you hope to do doesn’t involve sensitive information, you’ll likely need to attain Level 3 or lower. The more sensitive the data, the higher the level you need to achieve. It’s important that you check which level you need to reach before you get started.
Assess Your System
Once you know what requirements you need to meet, it’s time to determine how close you are to meeting them. You’ll want to assess your current system for an honest evaluation. You’ll then need to make an action plan to help you get from where you are now to where you need to be.
Get to Work
After you have your action plan in place, it’s time to get to work making it happen. Do you feel a bit intimidated by that? You’re not alone. It can often be easy to figure out what you need to do, but determining how to make it happen can be more challenging.
If you feel that you are not equipped to manage such a task, you can always outsource to professionals. There are people that specialize in this specific line of work and are familiar with these requirements.
Explain your goal and they can help you update your system security as you need it. Once it’s all done and your system is ready to take on its important role, you can reach out to the DoD to determine the next steps for a working relationship.
As you can see, it does take some time and effort to become CMMC compliant, but it’s not an impossible task. If being a contractor for the DoD is a priority for you, then the effort that goes into becoming one is an investment in your future.