Last updated on November 8th, 2023 at 08:01 pm
If you contract with the Department of Defense, you need to become CMMC certified by 2026 or earlier. That sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Don’t worry: Simple Helix is here to help.
Let’s break down the CMMC certification process and how you can get certified as soon as possible.
What Is CMMC?
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is the new cybersecurity compliance standard for Department of Defense (DoD) contractors. All contractors in the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) must become CMMC Compliant by 2026 to continue doing business with the U.S. DoD.
This standard was developed by CyberAB as an evolution of the DFARS 252.204-7012 & NIST 800-171 standards. The goal is to protect our nation’s most sensitive data, including data about war machines and defense technologies.
The DIB and DoD are major targets for cyber adversaries. With data theft on the rise, it’s more important than ever to protect sensitive information. CMMC was created to ensure that companies developing important technologies can keep them safe.
The Steps Most DoD Contractors Need to Take to Get to CMMC Level 2
At Simple Helix, we aim to simplify the CMMC compliance process for our clients. Most clients can get started with the following steps.
1. Adopt the right version of Microsoft 365 (M365).
There are two clear choices for CMMC compliance: M365 GCC and M365 GCC-HIGH. With either of these choices, you will have the right software to keep employees linked to the cloud, email, and their devices. Using M365 GCC or GCC-HIGH covers about half of the CMMC controls.
Simple Helix can help with this step. As a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Microsoft Gold Partner, we can help you get fully set up with the right CMMC compliance software.
2. Manage your corporate users and devices.
You will need to properly configure all your laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. Each device needs to be entered into an asset management, patch management, and configuration management program supporting both the employee and their devices. Simple Helix can help with this step, too.
3. Prepare your System Security Plan (SSP).
While you or Simple Helix performs the technical uplift we describe above, a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can prepare your SSP. They will document your policies and procedures and help you get all your paperwork ready for assessment. We usually partner with Gray Analytics for this step.
4. Complete the 24/7/365 monitoring and alerting requirements.
After you’ve completed the majority of the technical uplift, you can work with an SOC services provider to complete your CMMC 24/7/365 monitoring and alerting requirements. Once you have monitoring in place, you will have completed the full IT service package to ensure someone is always watching your IT infrastructure and keeping your data safe. We usually partner with Digital Hands for this step.
The Cost of CMMC Compliance
The cost of becoming compliant can vary quite a bit from contractor to contractor. However, you can talk to a CMMC compliance professional about what to expect in your specific case. It’s usually possible to decrease the projected cost by choosing cost-effective tools and processes throughout your journey.
Here are a few of the costs you can expect to pay:
- Gap assessment
- SSP creation assistance
- Internal resources assistance
- Implementation assistance
- Final assessment
- Help from third-party professionals
- Continued cyber hygiene maintenance
How Simple Helix Can Help With CMMC Compliance
Simple Helix is a managed services, data center, and connectivity services provider. We can help you implement and maintain your CMMC compliance practices.
Our team can either supplement your current IT department or act as your entire IT department. Either way, you’ll have people there to help with every step of your compliance journey.
- Managed Services: Our MSP team can implement, manage, and sustain your CMMC compliant IT environment.
- Data Center: Our Tier III data center is a redundant, secure, FedRAMP equivalent location. We can provide colocation, storage, virtual compute, and backup services.
- Connectivity: We manage connections from six Tier I providers. We can help you shop all these carriers to find the best connection for your office.
The Best Time to Start Working Toward CMMC Compliance
CMMC is being rolled out as a phased approach that will finish in 2026. Each year, more new contracts will require CMMC certification. Starting in 2026, all contracts will require compliance, meaning contractors must pass a CMMC audit to be awarded contracts.
Depending on your preferred RFI/RFP and business circumstances, you may want to start the journey to compliance as soon as possible. You can bid on opportunities before you are CMMC compliant, but you won’t be awarded contracts until you pass the audit and deliver your CMMC certification letter. Regardless, preparing to meet CMMC compliance standards will help your business strengthen its cybersecurity.
If you’re looking to get started now, reach out to Simple Helix today. Our team has CMMC RPO status and is SOC2 TYPE 2 certified. We can help government contractors set up and maintain the right IT resources for an accelerated compliance journey.