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DIB: Discover 7 Ways to Better Collaborate with CMMC Registered Practitioners

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is a top priority, especially for Defense Industrial Base (DIB) companies tasked with safeguarding confidential unclassified information (CUI). As a result, compliance with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is essential for these organizations, and working alongside CMMC Registered Practitioners is a proven approach. 

In this guide, we outline seven key ways DIB companies can collaborate with Registered Practitioners to meet CMMC requirements effectively, thereby enhancing their cybersecurity defenses and supporting regulatory compliance.  These strategies not only bolster information security but also strengthen their position as trusted partners in the defense sector.

1. Initial Assessment and Gap Analysis

Begin by collaborating with a CMMC Registered Practitioner to conduct an in-depth assessment of your company’s current cybersecurity posture. This will involve evaluating existing processes, technologies, and policies to identify gaps and vulnerabilities.

Benefits:

  • Gain a clear understanding of your organization’s current cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses.
  • Establish a roadmap for achieving the desired CMMC certification level, outlining specific areas that require improvement.

2. Customized Compliance Roadmap

Work with the practitioner to develop a tailored compliance roadmap that aligns with your company’s unique operational and budgetary constraints. This roadmap should outline specific tasks, timelines, and responsible parties for each cybersecurity improvement.

Benefits:

  • A well-defined roadmap provides a clear path toward achieving CMMC certification, reducing uncertainty and ensuring efficient resource allocation.
  • Customization allows for a more practical and cost-effective approach to compliance.

3. Policy and Procedure Development

Collaborate with the practitioner to establish and refine cybersecurity policies and procedures that adhere to CMMC requirements. Always ensure that these policies are not only compliant but also practical for your organization’s day-to-day operations.
Benefits:

  • Robust policies and procedures enhance security by providing clear guidance to employees on cybersecurity best practices. Ensure your System Security Plan (SSP) and Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) meet an auditor’s expectations.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to compliance through well-documented policies can build trust with customers and partners.

7 Ways to Better Collaborate with CMMC Registered Practitioners | EXTEND Resources

4. Training and Awareness Programs

Implement employee training programs, with the practitioner’s guidance, to raise cybersecurity awareness and ensure that all staff understand their roles in maintaining security.
Benefits:

  • Well-trained employees are better equipped to identify and respond to security threats, reducing the risk of breaches.
  • A culture of cybersecurity awareness can help prevent costly human errors that might lead to incidents.

5. Technical Controls and Remediation

Collaborate with the practitioner to identify and implement technical controls, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption, to protect sensitive data and systems.
Benefits:

  • Improved technical controls bolster your organization’s defense against cyberattacks.
  • Timely implementation of security measures helps reduce vulnerabilities and minimize potential breaches.

6. Continuous Monitoring and Assessment

Establish a process for ongoing cybersecurity monitoring and assessment, working with the practitioner to regularly evaluate your security posture and make necessary adjustments.
Benefits:

  • Continuous monitoring ensures that your organization remains resilient against evolving threats.
  • Rapid response to emerging risks minimizes potential damage and maintains compliance.

7. Preparation for CMMC Certification Audit

With the practitioner’s guidance, prepare your organization for the CMMC certification audit, ensuring that all documentation, evidence, and processes are in place for a successful assessment.
Benefits:

  • A well-prepared audit increases the likelihood of achieving the desired CMMC certification level.
  • Successful certification can open up new business opportunities and contracts that require compliance.

Working closely with a CMMC Registered Practitioner is crucial for DIB companies aiming to meet CMMC requirements effectively. By following these seven steps, organizations can establish a robust cybersecurity framework, align it with their operational needs, and achieve and maintain the necessary certification, ultimately enhancing their competitive edge and reputation in the defense industry.

EXTEND Resources helps DIB companies meet CMMC requirements, protect against cyber threats, and reduce the risk of loss associated with security and privacy incidents. Learn more about our information security and data privacy services. Then, contact Antonella Commiato, CISO and CMMC Registered Practitioner for  details and guidance.

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