Top 5 Challenges Companies Face in Achieving CMMC Compliance


Person touching a screen with CMMC 2.0 Framework compliance icons.As the Department of Defense (DoD) continues to emphasize the importance of cybersecurity in its supply chain, many companies are facing challenges in achieving compliance with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework. CMMC represents a significant effort by the DoD to ensure that contractors and subcontractors maintain a robust cybersecurity posture, protecting sensitive information and safeguarding national security interests. At Cask Government Services, our team of experts, with deep knowledge of NIST 800-171 and other cybersecurity regulations, has identified the top five challenges companies face in achieving CMMC compliance and offer practical strategies for overcoming them.

Understanding the CMMC 2.0 Framework

One of the biggest challenges companies face is understanding the changes introduced in CMMC 2.0 and how they differ from the original framework and previous cybersecurity standards like NIST 800-171. CMMC 2.0 introduces a streamlined three-tier system: Level 1 (Foundational), Level 2 (Advanced), and Level 3 (Expert). Each level aligns with specific cybersecurity requirements and maturity levels. To overcome this challenge, Cask Government Services helps companies invest time in educating themselves and their teams on the CMMC 2.0 framework, its relationship to NIST standards, and its implications for their business.

Scoping and Identifying Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Another significant challenge is accurately scoping and identifying Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) within an organization’s systems and networks. CMMC 2.0 Level 2 requires companies to implement 110 practices to protect CUI, making it crucial to understand what qualifies as CUI and where it resides. Many organizations struggle with this process, leading to inadequate security controls or overly broad implementations that can be costly and inefficient. To address this challenge, companies should conduct a thorough data discovery and classification exercise, mapping out their data flows and identifying CUI according to DoD guidelines. Cask Government Services can assist organizations in this process, leveraging our extensive experience in data classification and CUI management.

Implementing and Documenting Security Controls

Once CUI has been identified, companies must implement and document the appropriate security controls to meet CMMC 2.0 requirements. This process can be complex and time-consuming, requiring significant resources and expertise. Many organizations struggle with implementing technical controls, such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, and incident response, as well as documenting policies and procedures that demonstrate compliance. To overcome this challenge, companies should work with experienced cybersecurity partners like Cask Government Services, who can provide guidance on implementing best practices and navigating the complexities of CMMC 2.0 requirements.

Conducting Internal Assessments and Remediation

Before undergoing a formal CMMC 2.0 assessment, companies should conduct internal assessments to identify gaps and weaknesses in their cybersecurity posture. This process can be challenging, as it requires a deep understanding of the CMMC 2.0 requirements and the ability to objectively evaluate one’s own systems and processes. Many organizations struggle with conducting thorough internal assessments and prioritizing remediation efforts. To address this challenge, companies can partner with Cask Government Services to conduct gap analyses, vulnerability assessments, and mock audits, which can help identify areas for improvement and develop targeted remediation plans.

Preparing for a Formal CMMC Assessment

Finally, companies must prepare for a formal CMMC 2.0 assessment, which can be a daunting prospect. Preparing for an assessment involves gathering evidence, documenting processes, and ensuring that all necessary controls are in place and operating effectively. Many organizations struggle with the logistical and technical challenges of preparing for an assessment, as well as the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with the process. To overcome this challenge, companies should work with experienced partners like Cask Government Services, who can provide guidance on assessment readiness, help develop a comprehensive assessment strategy, and offer support throughout the assessment process.

In conclusion, achieving CMMC compliance is a complex and challenging process that requires significant investment, expertise, and commitment. By understanding the top challenges companies face and implementing practical strategies to overcome them, organizations can position themselves for success in the evolving landscape of DoD cybersecurity requirements. Cask Government Services stands ready to assist companies in navigating the complexities of CMMC providing expert guidance, support, and services to help them achieve and maintain compliance.

CMMC, DoD Contracts

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