Becoming compliant with Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is expected to become a requirement in March of 2024 for government contractors handling Federal Contract Information (FCI) or Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) / Covered Defense Information (CDI). Attaining this certification, designed to enhance cybersecurity standards within the Defense Industrial Base, can be a complex and challenging process. Three major obstacles must be overcome in the 12 to 18 month process by contractors to achieve CMMC compliance:
- Cost of Implementation and Maintenance: Achieving and maintaining CMMC compliance can be financially demanding for small and medium-sized contractors. The initial costs can include upgrading existing IT infrastructure and implementing advanced cybersecurity measures. Once achieved, maintaining compliance is an ongoing expense requiring constant vigilance, updates to keep pace with evolving security threats and regulation, and periodic recertifications.
- Complexity of Compliance Requirements: CMMC is not a straightforward checklist. The framework’s comprehensive nature means that a detailed understanding of the necessary controls and processes is needed for implementations that will successfully meet the requirements for the appropriate certification level (1,2 or 3) for your organization. If your internal resources do not have a clear understanding of the framework, you must bring in external experts to ensure all criteria are met and maintained.
- Scarcity of Qualified Personnel and Resources: The scarcity of cybersecurity professionals with specific training and expertise in CMMC leads to a competitive market where finding and retaining such talent can be both challenging and costly. Small and medium-sized contractors may lack the in-house expertise and resources for implementing and managing the journey to CMMC compliance. This is where you can bring in external consultants or Registered Practitioner Organizations (RPOs) to assist.
Achieving CMMC certification is an essential but intricate process, marked by significant financial, resource, and knowledge-based challenges. It’s crucial for government contractors to strategically plan and invest in their cybersecurity infrastructure, and, when necessary, seek external expertise to navigate this demanding yet vital certification landscape effectively. Summit Business Technologies is an RPO and can help you start or finish your CMMC journey. Summit uses a security-first approach to compliance, saving you time, minimizing your risks, and reducing your costs. Contact us today to get more information.