As we mentioned previously during one of our Cyber Security month’s article regarding compliance, it can be somewhat overwhelming to deal or follow these proper guidelines. Where do you start?! Which compliance should you focus on first, or which of these are even obtainable, so to avoid any future legal issues?! No worries! We can help clarify and at least steer you in the proper direction on what certifications are best to focus on.
Key Cybersecurity Certifications
The CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) certifications are both related to cybersecurity and are often required for organizations working with the US government. Even for organizations who don’t plan to work with government agencies, the certifications ensure adherence to a framework that is in place to enhance cybersecurity protection and align with industry best practices.
CMMC - The CMMC is a required certification, verifying an organization’s compliance with specific security practices. This framework was developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to fortify the cybersecurity of defense contractors and their supply chains. It aims to protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that is shared with these contractors. The CMMC includes a set of cybersecurity standards and practices that organizations must meet to be certified at different levels, ranging from basic cybersecurity hygiene to more advanced protections. There is currently an edict that by 2026, all defense contractors will be required to obtain a CMMC certification to bid on any DoD contracts. There are two levels of certification: 1.0 vs. 2.0. The differences in specifications include maturity levels of cybersecurity capabilities, an expanded framework scope, and continuous monitoring vs. point-in-time monitoring. CMMC 1.0, along with NIST, is generally self-certified and easier to obtain. CMMC 2.0 is more difficult to secure and can be pretty costly to obtain.
NIST - The NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency under the United States Department of Commerce. It provides guidelines, best practices, and standards to help organizations improve their cybersecurity measures. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is a widely recognized program that helps businesses to assess and manage cybersecurity risks. It also consists of a set of guidelines and standards that companies can adopt in order to improve their cybersecurity resilience. It’s important to note that this certification is more difficult to obtain than the CMMC. Our experts suggest working on this one first, before exploring others.
Compliance: Where to Get Started
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by compliance issues and certification - but don’t let that stop you from moving forward. In our experience with compliance, we find the best route to be starting small. Choose one certification to work on and go from there. Much of the work you do for one certification will provide valuable data that you can use for further certifications. As mentioned, many organizations choose to start with NIST and then move onto CMMC and others.
If you need further support or clarification on obtaining compliance or ensuring you’re protected against today’s cybersecurity threats, give our team a call at (201) 402-1900, or reach us via email, Info@KRSIT.com . We’ll be more than happy to help. Realize, viruses, malware, and cyber attacks continue to grow both in number and intensity. We can help you to fill in your security gap and monitor your IT infrastructure 24/7, allowing you to work with confidence at all times.