CMMC 2.0 for MSPs: Everything You Need To Know

Paige Morford

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If you’re an MSP working with the US Department of Defense, you’re likely familiar with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework. This standard was created to enforce the protection of sensitive unclassified information that is shared by the DoD with its contractors and subcontractors. The latest version of the standard, CMMC 2.0, includes new features and requirements that MSPs must meet in order to protect data and networks from cyber threats. Here is everything you need to know about CMMC 2.0 for your MSP.

What is CMMC 2.0?

CMMC 2.0 is a cybersecurity standard developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD), and it is based on the previous version of the DoD's standard, CMMC 1.0. , the primary goals of CMMC 2.0 include protecting sensitive information, enforcing cybersecurity standards, ensuring accountability, perpetuating a culture of resilience, and maintaining public trust. The standard can be broken down into five different ‘maturity levels’ or ‘domains’, with each domain possessing controls and requirements that organizations must meet in order to attain the desired level of cybersecurity maturity.

In short, CMMC 2.0 is a comprehensive set of measures to protect confidential, sensitive, and proprietary data related to the DoD.

What are the benefits of CMMC 2.0?

CMMC 2.0 provides many benefits for MSPs.

  1. Boosts cybersecurity posture. First and foremost, CMMC helps MSPs improve their cybersecurity posture. Cybersecurity posture is an organization's comprehensive defense system against cyber threats. This includes security software, hardware, and solutions; employee training programs; and any applicable policies aimed at safeguarding all networks, services, and information. The more secure your posture is due to the processes and tools implemented, the better protected your MSP will be from cyber-attacks.
  2. Reduces the risk of cyber attacks. Being compliant with CMMC reduces the risk of cyberattacks, protecting sensitive information for streamlined collaboration with the DoD. A cyber attack is an intentional malicious attempt to disrupt a computer system or individual organization. Attackers seek out vulnerabilities in the system, and once identified, they try to exploit them to steal, alter, or erase data; limit functionality; gain access to unauthorized assets; or disable operations. It is important for organizations to put measures in place to protect against potential threats from these types of attacks.
  3. Provides a competitive advantage. MSPs that are certified under CMMC 2.0 may be eligible for federal contracts or grants, as many federal agencies now require CMMC 2.0 certification as part of their procurement process. With only 1 in 5 MSPs achieving attestation, MSPs that have compliance programs in place are more likely to win bigger contracts.

How do I get started with CMMC 2.0?

Implementing CMMC 2.0 can seem daunting. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier. So, if you are looking to implement CMMC 2.0 as part of your Compliance as a Service program, there are some steps you should take to get started.

  1. You should familiarize yourself with the standard and its requirements. You can do this by reading CMMC 2.0 documentation or attending training sessions on the standard.
  2. You should assess your existing cybersecurity posture to determine where improvements can be made based on CMMC 2.0 guidelines. This can be done through self-assessment or by using a third-party to evaluate your MSP’s current program.
  3. Develop a plan to implement CMMC 2.0 for your MSP. This plan should include the specific steps you need to take to meet the requirements of the standard.
  4. Monitor your progress to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of CMMC 2.0. This can be done through regular internal audits or external certifications.

Of course, we recommend using automation software to streamline this process. And we are here to help you get started with CMMC 2.0. Book a demo to see how our platform can take you from zero to compliance in weeks.

What are the requirements for CMMC 2.0?

CMMC 2.0 includes a set of requirements that organizations must meet in order to attain the desired level of cybersecurity maturity. There are five domains of the standard to be considered.

  1. The first domain includes foundational controls for access control, identification, authentication, media protection, physical protection, along with system and communication protection.
  2. The second domain includes intermediate controls for awareness and training, configuration management, system and information integrity, maintenance, and incident response.
  3. The third domain includes advanced controls for identification and authentication, media protection, physical protection, personnel security, system and communication protection, security assessment and authorization, system and organization controls, system and network management, and situational awareness and incident response.
  4. The fourth domain includes notional controls for awareness and training, vulnerability management, and risk management. Finally, the fifth domain contains notional controls for detection and response.

What are the best practices for CMMC 2.0?

For all cybersecurity standards, there are best practices to maintain compliance to reduce the risk of breaches. CMMC 2.0 is no different. Here are the best practices for maintaining CMMC:

  1. Ensure that all stakeholders and employees are aware of the standard and understand the requirements. This can be accomplished by investing in annual training and building a culture of compliance.
  2. Ensure that they have a process for regularly assessing their cybersecurity posture and testing their networks for vulnerabilities.
  3. Organizations should also have a plan for responding to cyberattacks. This includes having a dedicated team in place that is trained in responding to cyber threats.
  4. They should also ensure that they have robust logging and monitoring systems in place that can detect any suspicious activity.

How do I automate CMMC 2.20?

Software automation is an increasingly popular method for companies to remain compliant with CMMC 2.0. Automation not only simplifies CMMC 2.0 compliance, it also adds an extra layer of security protection to sensitive unclassified information. Here are four steps to implement software automation for CMMC 2.0:

  1. Conduct a risk assessment. A risk assessment will help identify and prioritize the most important areas of your network related to CMMC 2.0 requirements. This includes identifying what areas of your systems are particularly vulnerable to attack and prioritizing those areas for protection.
  2. Select your automation software. The second step is to identify the most appropriate software automation program for CMMC 2.0 compliance. While there are many options, ControlMap provides specific tools and resources for MSPs, streamlining the entire process.
  3. Integrate software and programs. Next, MSPs begin integrating the chosen software automation program with the specific systems and networks of your MSP. This involves connecting the software automation program with the systems and networks used by your MSP and ensuring that all of the regulations set forth by CMMC 2.0 are met.
  4. Implement and test software and programs. This involves running tests to make sure the software automation program is accurately protecting sensitive unclassified information and that it is compliant with all of the requirements set forth by CMMC 2.0.

By following these four steps, MSPs can benefit from using software automation for CMMC 2.0 compliance. Not only does automation simplify compliance, it also helps by adding a layer of protection. By properly implementing software automation, organizations can rest assured that their networks and systems are compliant and secure.

Overall, organizations looking to adhere to the DoD’s CMMC 2.0 standard must take advantage of software automation. Automation allows for more efficient tracking, monitoring, and assessment of compliance requirements. It can also simplify the self-assessment process and test the adequacy of cybersecurity protocols. With all the benefits that software automation brings, organizations must take the initiative and use it to effectively prepare for and comply with CMMC 2.0.

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