As a small business owner, safeguarding your company’s data is a top priority. Why? Because you know an attack on your company’s data can ruin your company’s credibility, incur financial loss, and ultimately cost you, your business. Similarly, this is the case for the government.
The high rate of cyber-attacks on government intellectual property is a menace to U.S economic and security sector. The U.S government loses about $600 billion every year to cyber-attacks which is nearly close to 1% of the global domestic product (GDP). This reveals the gruesome effects of cyber threats on the national economy and security.
CMMC was initiated by DoD to prevent the nation’s adversaries from hacking into contractors’ information systems and carting away with sensitive government information. CMMC aims to ensure all contractors working with the government have the competence required to safeguard sensitive information through best security practices.
What Does This Mean for Small Businesses?
The initiation of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model means an only qualified contractors who have met the required CMMC level can do business with the government.
The CMMC is a five-tier framework. Level one is the minimum level of compliance and level 5 tops the list. The point of this hierarchy is to hint the DoB on the specific rate at which contractors can safeguard sensitive government data.
However, compliance cost is based on the specific levels of the framework. While big businesses can afford the resources to ensure compliance, small businesses don’t seem to have the financial capacity to afford it. Despite this, it remains pertinent for all contractors to obtain compliance. It is expected that Prime contractors obtain a level 3 certification, while contractors susceptible to advance cyber threats obtain level 4 and 5 certifications.
Small businesses with compliance can save bigs on fines that come from data breaches, they are also open to the opportunities of obtaining compliance from other regulations such as the Acquiring a CMMC makes your company qualified as a complaint about other regulations. Such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and International Organization of Standardization (ISO), Federal Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (FISMA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and others.
What Should Small Businesses Do?
As a small business owner, you are expected to begin the process of acquiring CMMC immediately. The first step is to invite an independent auditor to look into your company’s cybersecurity tools and processes. However, before you call in an auditor, you should look into your current level of cybersecurity. Update your software, and get a VPN to tighten up your security.
Gone are the days when you can self-certify to stay compliant to cybersecurity’s demands, now, it is crucial for all contractors working with DoD to acquire CMMC. This will ensure the readiness and competence of all businesses working with the government to effectively safeguard government information and reduce threats to the nation’s security and economy.