Do Non-Defense Contractors Need to Worry About CMMC?

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Many government contractors believe that CMMC certification only applies to the Department of Defense contractors. That is true as of this moment in time. However, there is talk that this certification may go government-wide.

What is Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification?

CMMC is a new cybersecurity certification that requires Defense Contractors to be vetted by independent third party assessors. This certification has five levels. Each level requires increased scrutiny over the security of the contractor’s networks. Every contract and grant issued by DoD soon will require this certification. If a contractor does not have the security level required in the solicitation they will not be able to bid on the contract.

Presently, there are over 350,000 Defense Contractors that required this certification.  Also, any new government contractors seeking DoD contracts will have to be certified.  And, they will need to obtain the certification just to be able to bid on the contract.

Cost of Doing Business

A DoD representative states that they understand that this certification is going to cost money.  The cost of the certification is going to depend on many factors.  However, the initial cost for the certification is $3,000.  That cost is for the lowest level certification. 

The higher-level certifications are going to cost more money. Also, businesses will have to recertify every three years. 

Impact on New Government Contractors

Many potential government contractors are brand new startups.  Generally, they do not have the funds available to pay for these certifications.  If the government decides that they are going to require this certification government-wide, it will have a significant impact on many micro government contractors and startups.  Because government contractors are going to have to hire IT consultants to ensure that their systems meet the CMMC standards.  This may cause many micro-businesses and startups to look elsewhere for opportunities outside government contracting.

In Summary

Is the CMMC certification worth all the hype that DoD is stating?  That is something that only time will tell.  The real impact that this certification is going to have is on small businesses.  They are going to have to find the funds to ensure that their networks meet the new requirements.  The CMMC certification may firm to leave the government marketplace and hinder many potential government contractors from even getting started.

Will this certification go Government-wide?  In reality, I believe that it will.  Only time will tell for sure. You can find out more about this certification at www.cmmcab.org.

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