3 Ways to Meet CMMC Self-Assessment Requirements
In November 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense significantly updated its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework to incorporate new cybersecurity requirements for DoD contractors.
In particular, CMMC 2.0 Level 1 (Foundational) contractors must now perform annual self-assessments, and Level 2 (Advanced) contractors must perform annual self-assessments for selected programs. In both cases, self-assessment requirements apply only to contractors that don’t handle information deemed critical to national security.
Level 3 (Expert) contractors that provide critical defense programs to the DoD require more detailed government-led assessments, as do Level 2 organizations that manage critical national security information.
Business Reality of Self-Assessments
Despite expanding governmental compliance requirements, most small- to medium-sized organizations struggle with self-assessments because they lack:
- Experience with how to get started
- A large IT security team that can keep up with rapidly evolving technical requirements
- Deep understanding of CMMC’s requirements and its underlying technical controls
- A holistic understanding of the current status of their company’s cybersecurity controls
- Skills to implement CMMC quickly and effectively
- Ongoing budget to achieve and maintain compliance
With that in mind, organizations that need to comply with CMMC 2.0 generally follow one of two approaches—do-it-yourself or outsourcing. But Egnyte has developed a third approach that combines the best of both models. In the remainder of this blog, you’ll learn the pros and cons of the more traditional techniques, weighed against the benefits of a combined approach.
Do It Yourself
This is generally the most popular option. In this scenario, the organization typically utilizes a complex software solution that requires specialized experience. Unfortunately, most mid-sized businesses don’t have significant experience with self-assessments and end up requiring outside help.
Advantages of the do-it-yourself approach include the following:
- Overall costs can be much lower than other self-assessment options.
- Organizations have tighter control of their assessment projects.
Disadvantages of the do-it-yourself approach include:
- It’s hard to come to an objective determination about your organization’s compliance status when your company is essentially “grading itself.”
- Employees may have limited knowledge of rapidly evolving government regulations.
- Technical experience or skills gaps can result in project delays.
- Project timeframes can be much longer, because the project relies on internal resources.
Outsourced CMMC Compliance
This approach is the diametric opposite of the do-it-yourself model. In this case, the organization fully outsources its CMMC compliance activities to a third-party organization like a professional services provider.
Advantages of the outsourced CMMC compliance approach include:
- A third-party determination of CMMC compliance is likely to be more objective and thorough than the do-it-yourself option.
- Assessors are likely to have deep, current knowledge of government regulations.
- Project timeframes are usually predictable and reliable.
Disadvantages of the outsourced CMMC compliance approach include:
- Third-party assessment talent can be expensive and difficult to find.
- Your organization’s staff will need to devote their own time to provide information to the third-party assessment firm.
- Engagements are generally performed on a one-off basis, which limits ongoing support.
- Technical and project scope creep can impact delivery timelines and increase overall costs.
Egnyte for CMMC Compliance
Egnyte for CMMC Compliance offers an alternative that integrates significant technical expertise, while keeping overall costs affordable. This is accomplished by combining the technical controls of EgnyteGov’s technically isolated, fully managed environment with a trusted Egnyte adviser who’s deeply familiar with CMMC requirements.
Additional advantages of Egnyte for CMMC Compliance include:
- Convenient self-assessments that support CMMC 2.0 self-attestation.
- Standardized, simple workflows that can significantly reduce your time to compliance.
- Trusted advisers who assist with design and implementation and can provide ongoing support.
- Strengthened security for your company’s Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and Federal Contract Information (FCI) data, with controls inherited from EgnyteGov’s secure infrastructure.
- A proven secure data enclave solution that eliminates component-heavy approaches like Amazon Web Services (AWS), or complex technical ecosystems like Microsoft's 365 Government Community Cloud (GCC).
- A dependable, predictable financial commitment, which is mission-critical during these changing economic times.
Try It Now
To find out how Egnyte for CMMC Compliance can accelerate your CMMC compliance journey and provide the expertise that you need, take Egnyte’s complimentary product tour today.
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