CMMC is a framework that mandates cybersecurity levels for U.S. defense contractors to protect information (CUI).

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a framework established by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to enhance and standardize cybersecurity practices among defense contractors. Introduced to address growing cyber threats and protect sensitive information, CMMC sets a unified standard for assessing and certifying the cybersecurity maturity of companies participating in DoD contracts.

CMMC builds upon existing cybersecurity regulations and frameworks, incorporating elements from NIST SP 800-171, ISO 27001, and other standards. The model defines five maturity levels, each representing an increasing level of cybersecurity sophistication and capability. These levels range from basic cybersecurity hygiene to advanced practices tailored for the protection of controlled unclassified information (CUI). Contractors must attain the specific maturity level required by their DoD contract, ensuring a tailored and proportional approach to cybersecurity.

The certification process involves a third-party assessment by accredited CMMC Third-Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs). These organizations evaluate a contractor’s adherence to the prescribed cybersecurity practices and award the corresponding CMMC certification level. The certification is a prerequisite for participating in DoD contracts, making it a critical factor for defense contractors.

CMMC addresses various aspects of cybersecurity, including access controls, incident response, and system and information integrity. It focuses not only on the protection of classified information but also on the security of the entire defense industrial base. This ensures that all companies, regardless of their size or role in the supply chain, contribute to the overall resilience of the defense ecosystem.

In summary, CMMC represents a significant step in fortifying the cybersecurity posture of defense contractors by establishing a comprehensive and scalable framework. It reflects the DoD’s commitment to safeguarding sensitive information, fostering a more resilient defense industrial base against evolving cyber threats.

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