While the measures implemented in CMMC levels 1 and 2 provide the bare minimum of protection, the third tier is where things start to get interesting. That’s also the grade that most businesses should strive for, not only because it establishes the minimal security criteria that an organization must meet to handle regulated unclassified data lawfully. Seeking help from professionals offering IT services for government contractors can be beneficial for small business DoD contractors.
Companies that currently have agreements with the US Department of Defense should focus on CMMC level 3. The DFARS 252.204-7012 provision, a transitory resolution centered on the NIST SP 800-171 architecture, currently applies to these businesses. CMMC level 3 does, however, include several new controls that NIST does not address.
What does it mean to have excellent cyber hygiene?
Organizations must satisfy a minimal degree of cyber security before embarking on high-value agreements with the Department of Defense. It also acts as a stepping stone to higher stages, which will be required after CMMC is wholly deployed in October 2025. Level 3 covers all NIST SP 800-171 rev. 1 controls in detail, as well as 13 extra security practises from other sources.
Achieving CMMC level 3 requirements is a lofty aim, but one that may pay off handsomely for any would-be defense contractor or subcontractor. Nevertheless, you won’t be able to apply all CMMC security policies from this level in a matter of weeks or months. After all, it has 130 controls in total, including 58 new ones and all of the regulations from the two preceding levels.
A few of the new practices proposed in CMMC level 3 are as follows:
Accountability and auditing (AU)
Organizations must first create extensive monitoring and reporting systems before improving their security protocols to the extent of being proactive. Level 2 of the CMMC introduces auditing and accountability, whereas level 3 adds seven new controls that oversee more sophisticated auditing processes. When an inspection or recording procedure fails, for instance, compliance now necessitates the implementation of automatic warnings. It also necessitates collecting all audit data into centralized repositories for in-depth study and assessment. The information gathered throughout these auditing procedures your IT solutions and services company will aid in the development of a cycle of continuous security routine improvement, creating a core aspect of CMMC level 4.
Asset administration (AM)
Within CMMC regulation level 3, asset administration is one of 2 additional domains. This level contains only one regulation to establish particular practices and processes for dealing with CUI. This is a core domain feature that eventually includes the capacity to identify, categorize, catalog, and analyze all equipment/software assets and their many constraints implicated in the data transferring of CUI. Establishing a solid asset monitoring regimen for securing sensitive data at scale is critical.
Situational awareness (SA)
Situational awareness is the second of the two new domains established in CMMC level 3. It draws on the strongly linked attention and education domain that was established in CMMC level 2. To acquire a level 3 certification, just one control is required: collecting, analyzing, and sharing all applicable cyberthreat information with participants. Because it incorporates information utilized by security specialists to hunt for risks proactively, this is significantly more technical than regular security awareness training. Internal sources, such as log data and alternative entities, such as renowned cybersecurity blogs and forums, can provide cyber threat intelligence.