Understanding the New CMMC Requirements for Federal Contractors

CMMC 2.0

The world of federal contracting is about to undergo a significant change, and it’s essential that all federal contractors are aware of the new requirements. Starting May 2023, federal contractors who bid on new contracts must be certified with cybersecurity maturity model certification (CMMC) levels 1 and 2, depending on the type of information they handle.

Now, you might be thinking that since you’ve already been DFARS compliant and performing self-assessments since 2017, moving to CMMC levels 1 and 2 should be a breeze. But, the truth is that after years of “self-assessing”, many federal contractors may find it challenging to meet these new requirements.

The CMMC is a cybersecurity framework that measures a company’s ability to protect sensitive information. CMMC Level 1 is the minimum requirement for all federal contractors who handle federal contract information (FCI). It consists of 17 basic cybersecurity practices that must be implemented to protect sensitive data. On the other hand, CMMC Level 2 is the requirement for contractors who handle controlled unclassified information (CUI) and includes 55 additional security practices on top of the 17 required for Level 1.

It’s crucial to note that if you bid and win a federal contract and are found non-compliant, you’ll be responsible for any damages done during a breach. Plus, you’ll face a tripled fine on top of that. So, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to achieve CMMC levels 1 and 2 compliance.

But, where should you start? First, assess your current cybersecurity posture to identify any gaps in compliance. From there, start implementing the necessary security controls to achieve compliance. If you’re unsure how to navigate this process, don’t worry. The Cyber Shield Alliance can help guide you through the process of achieving CMMC compliance.

In conclusion, the new CMMC requirements for federal contractors are significant, and it’s crucial to prepare for them.

By working with trusted partners and taking the necessary steps to achieve compliance, federal contractors can protect sensitive data and meet the government’s cybersecurity requirements without facing significant financial and reputational damage.