DoD Contractor working with governmentStep-by-Step CMMC 2.0 Guide and Checklist for Business

The government is taking serious measures to safeguard data. If you engage in business with the Department of Defense (DoD), you must achieve CMMC 2.0 compliance. This guide aims to provide CMMC requirements clarity, along with a handy CMMC 2.0 checklist for your convenience.


What is CMMC 2.0?

CMMC 2.0, or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification 2.0, is the latest standard set by the DoD. Designed to evaluate and improve the cybersecurity practices of contractors and subcontractors, understanding these CMMC 2.0 requirements is crucial.

Who Needs CMMC 2.0 Compliance?

If your business falls within the defense contracting supply chain—which includes industries like manufacturing, construction, and architecture—you’ll need to prepare for a CMMC audit.

Key Changes in CMMC 2.0

The new CMMC 2.0 features three levels of compliance, as opposed to the initial five, simplifying the cybersecurity requirements for businesses. Although CMMC requirements are under review as of October 2023, they have already been seen in many government contracts.


Requirements for Each CMMC 2.0 Level

CMMC Level 1: 

Focuses on basic cyber hygiene and is required for handling Federal Contract Information (FCI). You must conduct annual self-assessments.

CMMC Level 2: 

Intermediate cyber hygiene is essential for handling Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Requires advanced security measures and periodic third-party assessments.

CMMC Level 3: 

The most advanced level, necessary for high-priority DoD projects. Requires stringent controls and a government-administered assessment every three years.


Importance of CMMC 2.0 for Your Business

For compliance managers, CMMC readiness is more than regulatory compliance; it’s a strategic necessity. Achieving CMMC certification validates your organization’s cybersecurity posture, enhancing your eligibility for Department of Defense contracts. It builds trust with stakeholders, fortifies your cyber-resilience, and gives you a competitive edge in the defense contracting supply chain. 

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), cybercrime is increasing in the United States, leading to billions of dollars in losses and threatening public safety

If you miss or delay compliance, you may lose contracts and damage your reputation. Therefore, CMMC is crucial for securing and growing your business in a highly regulated environment.

7tech stresses the value of retaining control over sensitive information. Unlike other Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs), 7tech’s Security Operations Center and US-based security experts employ a 3-layered approach to keep your data safe, without outsourcing your information.


Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming CMMC Compliant

  1. Executive Briefing. Initiate discussions with executive leadership to outline the importance of CMMC compliance for the company’s goals.
  2. Identify Your Needs. Determine the contracts you wish to bid on and identify the required CMMC level.
  3. Internal Audit. Perform a self-assessment to gauge current cybersecurity practices against CMMC requirements.
  4. Consultant Selection. Choose a qualified CMMC Consultant, considering their industry expertise, track record, and approach.
  5. Gap Assessment. Work with the consultant to identify areas that require improvement to meet CMMC standards.
  6. Develop An Action Plan. Create a detailed plan of actions and milestones (POAM), specifying tasks, responsible departments, timelines, and required resources.
  7. Budget Allocation. Secure the necessary budget for implementing cybersecurity improvements.
  8. Training. Educate staff on CMMC requirements and how they affect their roles within the organization.
  9. Implementation. Roll out the cybersecurity measures detailed in the action plan.
  10. Documentation. Maintain thorough documentation of policies, procedures, and controls to demonstrate compliance.
  11. Pre-Assessment Review. Conduct a mock audit with your consultant to validate readiness for the official audit.
  12. Certification Audit.  Undergo the formal CMMC audit process. This audit will be facilitated by a Certified Third-Party Assessor Organization (C3PAO), ensuring that you meet all CMMC standards.
  13. Remediation. If gaps are identified during the audit, address them promptly and seek re-assessment.
  14. Achieve Certification. Upon passing the audit, receive the CMMC certification at the appropriate level for your business.
  15. Ongoing Monitoring. Continuously monitor cybersecurity practices and update them as needed.
  16. Recertification. Prepare for periodic third-party assessments to maintain your CMMC certification level.

By following these steps, a small or medium-sized business can systematically achieve and maintain CMMC compliance.


How To Choose A CMMC Consultant

When choosing a CMMC consultant, it’s crucial to find certified experts offering targeted CMMC compliance support and CMMC security services. These 3 steps can make a big difference. Look for certified experts who:

  • Understand Your Industry: Choose a consultant familiar with the unique compliance challenges and regulations in your industry. This ensures targeted, effective solutions.
  • Have Proven Track Records: A consultant with a history of successful CMMC certifications demonstrates reliability and expertise, essential for compliance assurance.
  • Provide Comprehensive Assessment and Implementation Strategy: Opt for consultants who offer a thorough cybersecurity assessment and a well-defined roadmap for CMMC compliance, making your path to certification straightforward.


CMMC 2.0 Checklist To Get You Started

Here is an overview of how to implement CMMC in your organization:

  1. Determine CMMC Level: Understand the level appropriate for your business.
  2. Identify Stakeholders and Data: Know who and what is crucial in your organization.
  3. Gap Assessment: Validate your initial self-assessment.
  4. Implementation Plan: Set up discrete projects to close the gaps in the POAM.
  5. Employee Training: Educate your staff on CMMC requirements.
  6. Implement Controls: Put the required security measures in place.
  7. Ongoing Monitoring: Maintain your security measures to remain compliant.

This checklist is designed to provide a high-level perspective for your organization’s cybersecurity enhancement journey. However, if you require a more detailed roadmap, a full checklist is available for you. Get immediate access to 7Tech’s Complete CMMC Checklist. This expanded checklist will guide you through each step of the compliance process, helping to ensure that no aspect of your cybersecurity preparedness is overlooked.


Why Choose 7tech for CMMC Compliance?

7tech offers a comprehensive range of CMMC services and CMMC security support, ensuring you are not only compliant but also secure. As a leading CMMC security provider, our CMMC solutions are designed for both hybrid and cloud environments. Our US-based team keeps your data secure with a unique three-layered approach, without outsourcing your sensitive information.

Achieving CMMC 2.0 compliance is a necessity for DoD contractors. With 7tech, you’re not just achieving compliance; you’re securing your business future with unmatched cybersecurity solutions. For a free CMMC Consultation, call us at (855) 701-6777.