The need for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance depends on whether your organization intends to bid on or participate in contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that causes you to consume, store, create, or contribute to Federal Contract Information (FCI) or Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Once the rule goes into full effect which is slated for mid-2024 complying with CMMC is a mandatory requirement for defense contractors that fit this description.

If you’re wondering “does my organization need to be CMMC compliant?” , here are key points to consider:

  1. DoD Contracts: If your organization plans to bid on or fulfill contracts with the DoD, it is important to check the specific requirements outlined in the contract solicitation. Part of the CMMC Rule is that all contracts will specify the type of information contained in the contract which needs to be protected such as FCI or CUI. DoD bids which include FCI or CUI will require CMMC certification at a specified level to be awarded the contract.
  2. CMMC Levels: Different contracts may specify different CMMC levels depending on the sensitivity of the information being handled. Ensure that you understand the CMMC level required for the specific contracts you are pursuing.
  3. Supply Chain: Even if your organization is not directly contracting with the DoD, you may still be part of the defense industrial base supply chain. In such cases, you may be required to meet certain CMMC requirements as a subcontractor or supplier to a prime contractor if the contracts that you obtain contain FCI or CUI.
  4. Market Competitiveness: Achieving CMMC compliance can enhance your organization’s competitiveness in the defense contracting space. It demonstrates a commitment to cybersecurity and the protection of sensitive information, which can be a factor in the awarding of contracts. Aside from the requirement to bid on DoD contracts implementing the controls contained in CMMC will significantly reduce your cyber risk.
  5. Future Trends: The implementation of CMMC is part of a broader trend in which the government is placing increased emphasis on cybersecurity requirements for its contractors. Staying informed about these trends and proactively addressing cybersecurity measures can be advantageous.  There has been talk of using CMMC as a base for anyone who intends to work with the federal government, even beyond the DoD.

It’s essential to review the contractual requirements for each specific opportunity and engage with your contract department to understand whether CMMC compliance is mandatory. If CMMC compliance is required, your organization will need to undergo the necessary assessments to achieve the specified certification level.

If you are still not sure whether your organization needs to be CMMC compliant, contact one of Kyber’s certified CMMC Registered Practitioners for answers to your questions.