What is CMMC Certification?


With a meteoric rise of malicious cyberthreats over the past decade, the United States Government has taken proactive measures to protect its own internal information. This also includes any data shared with the tens of thousands of privately owned companies the government works with every day.

This has led to the recent launch of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (or CMMC certification). This certification is necessary for any company, contractor, or subcontractor that affiliates with the U.S. government, specifically the Department of Defense (DoD).

As such, it’s essential for any company that has worked with the U.S. government in the past (or hopes to in the future) to understand the fundamentals of CMMC. DoD has detailed information on all aspects of the CMMC 2.0 program and the next iteration of the Department’s CMMC cybersecurity model. However, there’s an easier way to understand NIST, CMMC, and all the different ways these essential acronyms affect your business.

CMMC Certification Webinar

Join us for our next webinar to uncover what you need to know and how you can take concrete steps to meet the varying CMMC certification levels. With Emeritus at your side, you can obtain peace of mind that you will be eligible for the thousands of potential government contracts available in the weeks, months, and years to come.

In the meantime, it’s helpful to understand the basics of CMMC certification, from how the CMMC rulemaking process began, to how the process works now. Read on to discover the fundamentals and how CMMC certification may apply to your business.

A Brief Background of the CMMC Framework

Before the CMMC framework and the later CMMC 2.0 version were introduced, there were guidelines and documentation in place for DoD contractors and subcontractors to ensure cybersecurity standards. This entailed following the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s 800-171 guide, roughly a 113-page document outlining the procedures for protecting controlled unclassified information (CUI).

However, today the DoD and the U.S. government need better protection than guidelines alone, which is why the CMMC certification was launched. With CMMC 2.0 certification (which is on the horizon and effectively happening now), contractors need to achieve one of three levels of certification in order to obtain contracts with the DoD and corresponding entities.

The levels are based on the amount of sensitive data a contractor or subcontractor handles. That means Level 1 is the lowest or foundational level, and Level 3 is the highest or expert level. It will require multiple stages of assessment in the future, from self-assessment to triennial government-led assessments.

Why is Obtaining CMMC Certification Important?

Obtaining CMMC certification allows a company, contractor, or subcontractor to obtain government contracts, and the ensuing opportunities are huge.

In 2021 alone, the U.S. government awarded 11,000,000 contracts for a total of $637 billion in income. These contracts were awarded to businesses in all sectors. However, the most common categories included support, professional, engineering, and technical services.

The Defense Industrial Base (DIB) has 250,000 subcontractors with 12,500 cleared defense contractors. Essentially, obtaining CMMC certification gives a business a continual opportunity to work with the DoD and the U.S. Government, which is one of the largest employers in the country.

The CMMC Certification Process

The CMMC certification process takes time, and companies that wait until the last minute may be locked out of future bids and contracts. The process takes an estimated 3 to 6 months of a significant effort to ensure all aspects of CMMC compliance are accounted for. Therefore, a Third-Party Assessor Organization or C3PAO will need to conduct an assessment to ensure the business is in full compliance before CMMC certification is awarded.

Depending on the CMMC Level, companies will also be subjected to future assessments as technologies and the CMMC rulemaking process evolves. As such, while it’s possible to enlist a dedicated in-house team to ensure initial CMMC certification is granted, long-term resources will be required to ensure compliance many years down the road.

Why NIST &CMMC Compliance Goes Beyond Basic Cybersecurity Policies

One essential thing to note about NIST and CMMC compliance is that it’s not as simple as having IT measures in place. Instead, it’s a business-wide level set of controls and measures.

This includes (but is certainly not limited to) physical security, human resource management, control of visitors and customers who also have access to data, and controls for all devices within a business and IT. There certainly needs to be in-house best practices to facilitate and maintain CMMC compliance. However, there also has to be a business-wide review to cover all of the many requirements that ensure a company can work with the U.S. government.

Emeritus is your Primary Source for CMMC Certification

When it comes to CMMC compliance, getting everything right the first time is essential. Currently, there is a limited number of C3PAOs to conduct assessments and review businesses for certification. Additionally, the process of doing so is both time-consuming and costly. In other words, initial CMMC certification is not a process that you want to do more than once!

It’s understandable that small (and even large) businesses may not have the in-house resources or bandwidth to check every aspect of CMMC compliance. However, this isn’t a process that you have to tackle alone.

Outsourcing Your Cybersecurity is Your Best Option Regarding CMMC Certification

At Emeritus, we have been carefully watching as the CMMC rulemaking process evolves. We intricately know the adjustments and details that will help your company gain access to thousands of government contracts.

Regardless of whether you stock vending machines or handle classified and sensitive data, we can work with you to ensure that your business can garner CMMC certification with as little time, resources, and funds as possible.

Best of all, with Emeritus at your side, we will protect your business against malicious cyberthreats for the indefinite future.

Join our next webinar or reach out to us today to start a conversation about becoming CMMC compliant. Let’s use the CMMC certification process to open up new doors for the success of your business.

Contact us today.