The time it takes for an organization to become compliant with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) can vary widely based on several factors. The complexity of your organization’s IT environment, its current cybersecurity posture, and the specific CMMC level required for your contracts all play a role in determining the duration of the compliance process.

If you’re wondering “how long does it take to become cmmc compliant?”, here are key factors that can influence the timeline:

  1. Current Cybersecurity Posture: Organizations with strong existing cybersecurity practices may require less time to become compliant compared to those with significant gaps in their security measures. Conducting a thorough assessment of your current cybersecurity posture is a crucial initial step.  This can be achieved internally or by contracting an CyberAB Registered Practicing Organization to perform a CMMC Gap Analysis for your organization.
  2. Organization Size: The size of your organization can impact the timeline required for compliance efforts. Larger organizations with more extensive IT infrastructures and a higher number of users may need more time to implement and validate security controls.
  3. CMMC Level Requirements: The specific CMMC level required for your contracts will influence the extent of your compliance efforts. Higher CMMC levels involve more advanced security measures and will require more time to implement.
  4. Resources and Budget: The availability of resources, both human and financial, plays a significant role in the timeline for becoming compliant. Organizations with dedicated cybersecurity teams and sufficient budget may be able to expedite the compliance process by allocating resources effectively.
  5. Technology Implementations: If your organization needs to invest in new cybersecurity technologies and tools to meet CMMC requirements, the time required for procurement, deployment, and configuration should be considered.
  6. Documentation and Policies: Developing and documenting cybersecurity policies and procedures specific to CMMC requirements is a time-intensive process. Creating and maintaining documentation is an ongoing effort throughout the compliance journey. There are 35 mandatory policies in CMMC Level 2.  If your organization needs to create and implement all these from scratch, it can take a significant amount of time.
  7. Third-Party Assessments: Engaging with a Certified Third-Party Assessor Organization (C3PAO) is a mandatory step in the CMMC assessment process. The availability and scheduling of an audit with a C3PAO can impact the overall timeline as those resources are limited.

Given these variables, it’s challenging to provide a specific timeframe that applies universally. However, you can generally expect it to take anywhere from 12-18+ months to complete the process.  Organizations should conduct a comprehensive assessment, develop a roadmap for compliance, and work with cybersecurity professionals to estimate the time required based on their unique circumstances. Start the compliance process early, stay informed about CMMC updates, and allocate resources effectively to ensure a smooth and timely path to certification.