The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework has been introduced by the Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure that contractors meet established cybersecurity standards. As such, in order for organizations to maintain their compliance status, they must actively work to stay up to date with the constantly changing landscape of cybersecurity threats. Working with a third-party partner – such as CloudZen Partners – can help businesses avoid common pitfalls and mistakes when it comes to achieving CMMC compliance.
In light of recent developments within the CMMC framework and the cybersecurity landscape, understanding how best to navigate this ever-changing environment is critical for organizations looking to achieve compliance and remain secure. Here are just a few tips on how businesses can avoid common mistakes when working towards CMMC certification.
Develop a Comprehensive Plan
One of the most important steps in achieving any form of certification is having a comprehensive plan that clearly outlines your organization’s objectives. Without one, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or confused about where you should start or what needs to be done next. Developing an actionable plan will help keep you organized and on track as you progress through each step of the process.
Secure Your IT Infrastructure
Before beginning any certification preparation, all aspects of your IT infrastructure must be secured appropriately. This includes ensuring that all hardware is properly updated and patched and implementing effective access control measures such as two-factor authentication or biometrics technology whenever possible. Additionally, organizations should also make sure their networks are properly segmented so that if there were ever an incident, it would not be able to spread further than necessary.
Understand & Follow Requirements
When preparing for certification, it is critical that organizations thoroughly understand all of the DoD’s requirements before taking any steps towards compliance. Taking the time upfront to familiarise yourself with these regulations – including those related to policies and procedures and technical security controls – can save valuable time and resources down the road by avoiding costly oversights or non-compliance issues along the way.
Leverage third-party expertise and support services
Working with experienced professionals who specialize in CMMC rules and regulations can prove invaluable in successfully completing certification requirements. At CloudZen Partners, we offer customized services specifically designed to help customers achieve compliance quickly, without compromising security standards or exceeding budget constraints; our goal is always to put security first! Our team will support you at every stage of your journey, providing both proactive and reactive assistance depending on your specific needs and requirements at any given time – allowing us to be both flexible enough to deal with today’s rapidly changing cyber threat landscape and yet maintain a sustained level of commitment to long-term success, regardless of what lies ahead!
Train employees effectively
It’s important for employees at all levels within an organization, from senior executives to entry-level staff, to understand how they directly or indirectly contribute to the overall security posture of the organisation through proper adherence/awareness/adoption/implementation/maintenance/etc…of pre-defined policies and procedures, while at the same time remaining mindful of not only existing, but also emerging areas that require attention that may otherwise go unnoticed, resulting in potential vulnerabilities being left exposed, thus leaving systems open to attack vectors that can be exploited, leading to potentially catastrophic consequences. So providing appropriate training programmes designed to educate staff accordingly becomes a key component of maintaining the non-negotiable state of ongoing compliance adherence!
Monitor & update regularly
Once your organization has achieved its desired level of CMMC accreditation, do not forget to regularly monitor your system for changes that may affect its continued compliance status in the future! Keeping up to date with DoD guidance on cybersecurity issues will help ensure that no new policies have been introduced since the last review period, ensuring that nothing missed during the initial assessment remains on the radar going forward… In addition, regular review of internal policy documents ensures operational protocols remain current in a relatively changing environment, perhaps even introducing additional layers of protection previously unimagined!
Check documentation thoroughly before submitting
Finally, once ready, submit documentation outlining specific security capabilities implemented in daily operations. Double check everything submitted against the original application before sending off… Many times small typos overlooked otherwise insignificant details inadvertently omitted during initial composition thereby affecting the veracity of the information provided and resulting in the rejection of the entire package causing unnecessary delays arduous process of waiting for resubmission approval… So take extra time, evaluate thoroughly before handing off to the review panel, and ensure everything submitted is accurate and complete, thereby greatly increasing chances of acceptance at first attempt, ultimately accelerating timelines, and getting certified front door faster manner possible!