Cybersecurity threats are increasing and evolving quickly. As the risk of cyberattacks grows, organizations must adopt new ways of thinking about cybersecurity to remain secure. The Certified Cyber Security Maturity Model (CMMC) certificate is a standard for measuring and improving an organization’s cybersecurity maturity.
With the demand for CMMC certification growing, you might be asking yourself if your business needs CMMC certification This blog post explains what a CMMC certification does and does not offer, whether your business needs it and how to get it.
Why Does Your Business Need CMMC Certification?
The basic idea behind maturity models is that organizations should improve their cybersecurity practices in a structured way. The CMMC certification identifies areas where your organization may need to improve its cybersecurity practices.
Having this information allows your organization to make specific improvements, which will help your organization stay secure over the long term. The CMMC certification helps your organization in three main ways.
First, the certification encourages your organization to think about cybersecurity as a whole, rather than as a series of individual practices. Second, the CMMC certification provides a framework for measuring your organization’s cybersecurity maturity, which can help your organization track its improvement over time. Third, the certification may help your organization attract and retain employees who are interested in cybersecurity.
How Is a CMMC Certification Different From a Good Practices Assessment?
A CMMC certification is a formal process for assessing your organization’s cybersecurity maturity. A CMMC assessment uses a structured model to measure your organization’s current cybersecurity maturity against best practices. In contrast, a good practices assessment can be a less formal exercise.
For example, your organization may be conducting a good practices assessment meeting with a vendor or partner to review cybersecurity practices. The good practices assessment may help your organization identify areas where the partner’s cybersecurity practices could improve, but it is not a structured process that would yield a specific maturity rating.
CMMC assessments typically rely on the findings of a good practices assessment to identify current cybersecurity issues. A CMMC certification also allows you to track your organization’s improvement over time by measuring its remaining maturity gaps against the CMMC model.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Need CMMC Certification?
A CMMC certification is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it does not necessarily make sense for every organization. The CMMC certification is most useful for organizations that have many employees with cybersecurity-related roles, such as IT or engineering, or organizations that transmit sensitive data electronically.
If your organization has many employees with cybersecurity roles, the CMMC certification will help you define a common understanding of cybersecurity goals and practices across the organization. This is particularly important as cybersecurity threats grow and change over time.
If your organization transmits data electronically, the CMMC certification will help you identify areas where your organization needs to improve its cybersecurity practices to remain secure.
Organizations that do not send or receive sensitive data electronically may not need the CMMC certification. For example, a small architecture firm may not need the CMMC certification even though most architecture firms do.
What Does CMMC Certification Offer?
The CMMC certification offers many benefits, including increased understanding of cybersecurity among employees, vendors and customers. Understanding cybersecurity threats and practices can help employees across your organization make better decisions related to cybersecurity.
For suppliers, partners and customers, the certification demonstrates your organization’s commitment to cybersecurity and can help improve customer relationships. For the organization seeking the certification, the certification offers a structured way to identify areas where your cybersecurity practices need improvement. The certification also enables your organization to track its progress over time.
How to Ensure Your Organization Has the Right Culture and Environment for Success
The most important aspect of a successful CMMC certification is having the right culture and environment for success. All organizations are different, so what works for one organization may not work for another.
However, organizations can improve their chances of success by following these guidelines. Organizations should have a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes both long-term goals and a concrete plan for achieving those goals.
The organization’s strategy should address how it will manage risks, how it will respond to cybersecurity incidents and how it will identify and implement improvements to its cybersecurity practices.
Organizations should encourage employees to ask questions, report cybersecurity issues and suggest ways the organization can improve. The organization can do this in a variety of ways, such as holding regular cybersecurity awareness training sessions, encouraging employees to report cybersecurity issues through a dedicated portal or providing regular cybersecurity tips.
Organizations should also make cybersecurity part of the organizational culture. This can include making cybersecurity part of performance evaluations, promoting cybersecurity-related job openings and making cybersecurity-related discussions part of everyday activities. More