The road to CMMC compliance shouldn’t end with a successfully obtained certification. In order to maintain the ability to protect sensitive information and pass future audits, DoD contractors must take certain steps to keep their cyber defenses effective against the latest threats coming from cybercriminals and state-sponsored actors alike.
DESIGNATE A COMPLIANCE POSITION
Arguably the most cost-effective step any organization can take to ensure ongoing CMMC compliance is to designate a compliance officer. The job of a compliance officer is to maintain compliance with outside regulations and internal policies by monitoring the controls put in place to mitigate compliance risk and proactively suggesting ways in which they can be improved.
The role of a compliance officer is suitable for someone who has an in-depth knowledge of the organization and understands the regulatory landscape in which it operates. In smaller organizations, it’s not unheard of for the compliance officer to also have the title of Chief Security Officer (CSO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO), while larger organizations tend to separate the roles to prevent the overlap of responsibilities.
MAINTAIN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Policies and procedures can be seen as two sides of the same coin. The goal of policies is to guide decisions and actions by providing a deliberate system of principles. Procedures, on the other hand, are established ways of doing something.
More importantly, they must regularly audit them and update them if necessary, to maintain their relevance and effectiveness.
MAINTAIN TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES
Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics, exploring increasingly sophisticated strategies for circumventing the cybersecurity defenses of organizations handling sensitive government information. For DoD contractors to ensure ongoing CMMC compliance, they must prevent their tools from becoming obsolete and ineffective.
This is possible only when cybersecurity is given a sufficiently high priority to maintain technical capabilities on an ongoing basis. For many contractors, this means partnering with a managed security services provider that understands what it takes to protect sensitive government information against release.
GET YOUR OWN CMMC AUDIT OR ASSESSMENT
Simple Plan IT is nationally recognized and accredited as a registered provider organization by the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Cody (CMMC-AB). We’re happy to answer any questions about the CMMC process or do an independent assessment to ensure ongoing compliance or address any areas of opportunity. Our team is happy to talk through the CMMC process, or get started on your individual audit.