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Before identifying which organizations need a Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), we must first understand why it exists. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) initiated the CMMC program to provide a unified standard for cybersecurity. CMMC compliance fundamentally ensures the safety of digital information and data on networks that form the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) sectors.

DoD systems constantly face threats of cyberattacks, so the department requires stringent digital security. Contractors who wish to land any federal contract must pass the minimum qualification and adhere to CMMC standards. Aside from ensuring a third-party company has suitable cybersecurity measures, the certification also tests their competence in the field. All regulations regarding data security safeguard the integrity of information across the DoD servers and their systems.

Do You Need the Certification?

So, who exactly needs CMMC compliance? The simple answer is all contractors for the DoD. Anyone who wants to be a supplier for the defense department needs to get certified. This requirement includes all those with direct contracts and subcontracts.

The defense department’s data security guidelines require over 300,000 companies to have a level 1 to level 3 certification to become eligible federal suppliers. All organizations at different tiers in the DoD supply chain, small and medium-sized enterprises, commercial items providers, and foreign vendors need the certification.

How Can You Get CMMC?

The DoD works with the CMMC Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB) to evaluate independent assessment organizations or assessors (C3PAO).
These third-party assessors determine the vendor’s CMMC level and report back their findings to the DoD. And depending on the nature of the company’s business, there will be varying requirements for specific tiers. A federal contract specified in the request proposal can be awarded to the supplier when they get a minimum of Level 1 CMMC rating.

All CMMC-AB assessments provide a confidentiality guarantee regarding the results of a vendors’ cybersecurity audit. However, certifications for eligible contractors are available through the DoD secured database for convenience.

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