I.T. managed service providers (MSPs) are continuously looking for innovative ways of protecting small and medium-sized enterprises.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has released a new version of their Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) to protect against ransomware attacks, malware, and data leaks. CMMC version 2.0 is a solid framework designed to defend businesses from increasingly common and sophisticated cyberattacks.
With its smooth-running criteria, CMMC 2.0:
– Firstly: Minimize red tape for small and mid-sized enterprises
– Secondly: Prioritizes the protection of DoD information
– Thirdly: Strengthens DoD-industry collaboration in the face of growing cyber threats
Continue reading to find out how I.T. companies across the country are striving to accommodate the new higher level of cybersecurity.
What Is CMMC 2.0?
CMMC 2.0 necessitates the improvement of the security posture of about 300,000 defense industrial base contractors. Furthermore, the executive order of President Biden on boosting the nation’s cybersecurity solicited that I.T. service providers support cyber activities. CMMC 2.0, in the end, enhances defense contractor accountability for the protection and confidentiality of critical government contractual matters.
Nevertheless, it will take five years to fully integrate the system into all new Department of Defense contracts. Meanwhile, the interim regulation went into effect on November 30, 2020, with rigorous requirements for future I.T. contracts, including:
– Firstly: A self-evaluation of the 110 cybersecurity controls outlined in NIST SP 800-171 and their implementation.
– Secondly: A System Security Plan (SSP) describes the environment and implementation controls.
– Thirdly: A Plan of Action & Milestones (POA&M) outlines controls, timelines, and implementation strategies.
Why Is CMMC 2.0 Important for Managed Service Providers?
Compliance with CMMC 2.0 is extremely vital for managed service providers who operate directly or indirectly with the United States federal government.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) constitute most of these organizations. They frequently lack the necessary internal I.T. resources to evaluate or generate the documentation.
Overall, CMMC 2.0 compliance may play an essential role in assisting managed service companies in reducing their cyber risks.
Compliance is evolving from a tool for I.T. organizations to a product.
The Compliance Opportunity for Managed Service Providers
Managed service providers have an incredible opportunity to get in on the early stage of this revolution. They can broaden their I.T. compliance services to protect small and medium-sized firms.
Firstly, managed service providers should pinpoint customers who conduct operations with the DoD. Secondly, they must go over the new I.T. assessment standards and paperwork.
And let’s say they don’t have any customers in the DoD supply chain. In that case, the estimated 300,000 firms that constitute the supply chain will create a market for compliance services. Soon, demand for this new “Compliance-as-a-Service” model will undoubtedly outnumber supply.
CMMC 2.0 breaks into five stages, each building on the previous one. Because they do not store Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), around half of all DoD contracts require CMMC Level 1. Contractors that store or process CUI will also need to comply at Level 3 or higher.
The Levels of Compliance for CMMC 2.0
Firstly, Level 1: Basic Cyber Hygiene comprises 17 NIST SP 800-171 cybersecurity rules that protect FCI. It needs the implementation of basic cybersecurity measures but does not necessitate documentation.
Secondly, Level 2: Intermediate Cyber Hygiene is a preparatory step for CUI protection. It incorporates the Level 1 criteria plus an additional 55 for 72. Again, there is a need for documentation.
Thirdly, Level 3: The lowest level of certification required to protect CUI is Good Cyber Hygiene. It covers all 110 NIST SP 800-171 practices and 20 extra practices.
Fourthly, Level 4: Dynamic (156 Practices)
Lastly, Level 5: Advanced/Progressive (171 Practices) incorporates additional practices to safeguard against advanced persistent threats (APTs). We expect only a tiny fraction of contracts to have these conditions.
Opportunity 1: CMMC Readiness Service
Each prime contractor and its associates will eventually be required to get CMMC Level 1 accreditation. However, most are at Level 3.
There will be significant demand. It’s possible that the number of Certified Third-Party Assessor Organizations (C3PAO) needed to conduct independent certification evaluations is insufficient.
When it comes to the independent assessment, contractors that are better prepared will have a better and less costly experience.
There are stringent cybersecurity criteria that you must follow, and you must be able to show it with documentation. In addition, users must comply with a “readiness assessment” since only a C3PAO may grant certification.
Opportunity 2: CMMC Document and Artifact Creation
A key component of any compliance program is documentation. Therefore, if organizations can’t prove that they did the right things at the right time, they will fail an audit.
Managed service providers won’t certify their clients due to conflicts of interest. But clients will see a great return on the time and money they invest for the independent assessment.
Opportunity 3: Ongoing CMMC Compliance Management
SMBs will require assistance in acquiring accreditation. However, helping them maintain compliance during the three years of their certificate is an even better opportunity. I.T. project consulting is becoming a growing need for these businesses.
A contractor must also examine its security performance and preserve documentation, according to Level 3. The current requirement under NIST SP 800-171 certification is for the System Security Plan to be reviewed and updated regularly.
Support for Managed Service Providers
The certification procedure has numerous stages and can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Managed service providers don’t need to do it alone. Although it may appear time-consuming, there is a massive opportunity as demand for compliance services grows. I.T. companies will also play a role in defending the country and themselves from cyberattacks.
About Cinch I.T.
Since 2004, Cinch I.T. has provided customer-focused I.T. services for businesses of all sizes. Whether you need a business continuity plan or complete I.T. compliance services, our computer support offers the fastest and friendliest service in the industry. Cinch is one of the nation’s fastest-growing I.T. support franchises with 11 locations across six states. To learn more about our computer support service, visit cinchit.com. For more information about I.T. franchise opportunities, visit cinchfranchise.com.
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