If your company has business dealings with the Department of Defense, then you might have heard more and more about Cybersecurity Maturity Model Compliance (CMMC). If so, you’ll already know that IT professionals can help you be CMMC compliant.
Many business owners who want to work with the government but don’t yet, mightn’t know too much about this. Should you find yourself in this position, you’ll need to know what happens if you’re not in compliance.
You might have several misconceptions in your mind. These could revolve around fines and other penalties. You shouldn’t have to worry too much, however. Repercussions shouldn’t be too large, although it’s still vital that you know what to expect.
What Is CMMC?
Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is a Department of Defense-designed initiative focused on making contractors’ computer networks more secure. It outlines multiple best practices for potential contractors to meet to become eligible for government contracts.
The program outlines the measures that need to be taken to become CMMC compliant. It also details the potential repercussions if your business isn’t compliant.
What Happens If You’re Not Compliant With CMMC?
While you’ll more than likely know that IT professionals can help you be CMMC compliant, you might wonder what the repercussions will be if you don’t go through the process. Surprisingly, there are relatively few.
The most notable is that you’ll no longer be able to work as a contractor with the government. Though you can still do so now, these opportunities will become rarer and rarer as 2026 approaches. Following this, the DoD will no longer work with companies that aren’t compliant.
It’s also important to note that there aren’t any penalties or fines associated with noncompliance. Instead, the rule means that non-compliant organizations will be unable to work on government contracts.
There could be several risks associated with not meeting these compliance standards, however. As CMMC focuses on making networks more secure and outlines best practices, your company could fall behind. That may make it vulnerable to cyberattacks.
How Do You Become Certified?
IT professionals can help you be CMMC compliant if you’re aiming to work with the Department of Defense. The process will typically have multiple steps involved, alongside several third parties. The most notable steps are:
- Performing a self-assessment to determine your current cybersecurity measures.
- Obtaining pre-audit support, which typically involves hiring IT professionals that will determine whether your network is vulnerable. That assessment will then be provided to you.
- Going through remediation, a process that involves addressing any of the issues that were identified during the pre-audit stage.
- Having an audit performed by a certified third-party assessment organization. During this step, you should provide them with the self-assessment results, alongside detailing the changes that have been made.
After this, you should be CMMC-certified. There can be multiple benefits to going through this process. Alongside being able to work with the DoD, your company’s cybersecurity efforts will be much more effective.
Not only will this protect your client’s data, but also your overall computer systems and business operations.