What does the CMMC compliance model mean for the manufacturing industry specifically?
While many of the controls and processes of NIST 800-171 are being pushed down and expected from lower level vendors and other organizations, the CMMC has a unique impact on the manufacturing industry. CMMC, or the cybersecurity maturity model certification, was established to standardize how CUI is handled, kept, and transmitted in the private sector.
Rooted firmly in the NIST 800-171 framework, a CMMC certification gives manufacturers the ability to partner with the Department of Defense when it comes to bidding on contracts. Without a CMMC certification in your hand by the time it is written into contracts, your organization could face some consequences.
So what does the CMMC mean to your manufacturing business?
The most important reason that manufacturers will want to become CMMC compliant is the financial aspect. Come May of 2023 is you are not CMMC compliant you will not be able to work or bid on contracts within the Defense Industrial Base. This could mean thousands of dollars taken off the table completely for your organization. If you already have partnerships with the federal government, your contracts could be put in danger if you don't take the steps to become CMMC compliant.
Another factor to consider in regards to CMMC are the legal repercussions.
If your organization is found to have mishandled or lost CUI that was given over by the DOD then your organization could be held legally responsible. Because CUI may contain personal information, defense plans, or other information that could put the country at risk, losing this data in a breach is no joke. Not only could a lawsuit ruin your company, but it could also put multiple individuals at risk of prosecution.
It is also possible for whistleblowers within your organization to report you if they find you aren't compliant when handling CUI. Not only will you have to pay a sizable fine, but the individual who reported your organization will be able to take a large portion of the money. These are just a few reasons that attaining CMMC compliance can protect you against litigation in the future.
CMMC is also responsible for securing the entire supply chain within the manufacturing industry. One thing that you will need to remember is that even if you don't work directly within the DOD, if you are a vendor for someone who does you are most likely in scope of NIST 800-171 and the CMMC. This means taking stock of what vendors you work with, who you work for, and where you may have to make the necessary changes to protect sensitive CUI across the entire supply chain.
CorpInfoTech (Corporate Information Technologies) provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. CorpInfoTech can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.