The CMMC is a multi-level security framework that requires organizations to implement certain cybersecurity measures, from basic IT controls to complex risk management processes. It is designed to ensure the secure handling and storage of CUI in accordance with US Government regulations.
NIST 800-171 is a set of requirements meant to protect CUI stored or processed in non-federal information systems and organizations. It covers areas such as access control, system and communication protection, incident response, personnel security, physical security and more.
The risks posed by not being compliant with CMMC 2.0 and NIST 800-171 are very real, and failure to meet these standards can have serious implications for an organization’s reputation, finances and security posture. Some of the risks include:
1. Financial Loss:
Organizations that do not meet the required standards can face costly fines and remediation costs, both of which can have a major financial impact on the business.
2. Damaged Reputation:
Not meeting the compliance requirements could lead to reputational damage from customers, partners, vendors, and other stakeholders who may no longer trust an organization due to concerns about its security practices.
3. Legal Issues:
Non-compliance with regulatory mandates can lead to legal issues such as penalties or lawsuits from government bodies or other organizations affected by data breaches caused by lacking security controls.
4. Loss of Private Data:
Weak security controls mean data stored or processed in non-compliant environments is more vulnerable to theft or unauthorized access. This can have a devastating impact on both the organization and any individuals whose data was affected.
5. Loss of Business:
Organizations that do not meet compliance requirements may be at risk of losing business opportunities due to the lack of trust from partners or customers.
6. Loss of Confidence:
Non-compliance with regulations can lead to a loss of confidence in an organization’s ability to protect customer or employee data, leading to decreased engagement or productivity.
The Department of Defense (DoD) is responsible for making sure that all companies providing services to the DoD meet certain security standards to protect the government’s data. To protect yourself from the risks associated with non-compliance, it is essential that all organizations ensure they are fully compliant with both security standards in order to safeguard their interests as well as those of the government.
How to Meet the Requirements
Organizations looking to meet the requirements of both standards should consider implementing a comprehensive security program with processes and procedures designed to protect CUI. This should include risk assessments, identity and access management controls, awareness training for personnel, regular vulnerability scans and audits, incident response plans and more.
Organizations can also look into cyber insurance policies or other third-party assurance programs to help ensure they are adequately protected in the event of an incident. Additionally, organizations should take advantage of resources such as CMMC Accreditation Bodies (CABs) that can provide guidance on meeting the required standards.
Create a Secure Environment
By following the security controls laid out by CMMC 2.0 and NIST 800-171, organizations can create a secure environment for their data and ensure they remain compliant with all applicable regulations. Doing so can help improve trust with customers, vendors, partners and other stakeholders while also reducing the risk of financial losses or reputational damage due to a breach.