The issue of cybersecurity is never far from the public eye in recent times, and most of us could probably name at least one major business that has been the victim of a data breach within the last few years.
As criminals get smarter, and better at exploiting the gaps in security that come with businesses transitioning their operations to a fully-digital platform, cybersecurity is only going to become more important for businesses large and small.
Significance of Cybersecurity in the DoD
If cybersecurity is a big deal in private businesses, you can surely then imagine just how important it is when it comes to national governmental bodies such as the Department of Defense. If the DOD’s cyber walls were to be breached, then the potential loss of millions of dollars would be the very least of everyone’s worries. It’s for this reason that the Department takes its cybersecurity role extremely seriously, and expects the same from its contractors.
The DOD recognizes what many other people and organizations know to be true. With appropriate cybersecurity protection, you’re never completely done with the job. It is essential to keep your systems updated and be aware of novel threats—and to be aware of the security (or lack thereof) of your downstream contractors.
Why Supply Chain Security Is Now an Essential
One point that it’s essential to be aware of is that, when hackers target a big business, they rarely take the big fish on head-on. They can instead target a smaller contractor, and exploit their access to a bigger business’s systems to help themselves to the riches that await.
The DOD’s plan to counteract this is known as the CMMC—Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. It’s a system designed to ensure that any contractor who works with the government has a clean bill of cybersecurity health before they begin working together.
How CMMC Sets the Standard
CMMC will be fully implemented by 2026, but any government contractor that is hired in the meantime will be expected to pass a CMMC assessment. Equally, any already existing contractor will be expected to be up to speed in as short a time as possible. The end goal is to create an industry minimum standard in the defense industrial base, so that the DOD is solid against external threats.
While CMMC is an industry-specific system designed to provide this level of security in the DOD and its partner businesses, it shouldn’t be seen as only that. It can be a model to follow for other businesses and industries, and other regulated industries may well follow suit in requiring increased supply chain precautions.
Among the key tenets pointed out by CMMC consultants is that there is a minimum level of security compliance deemed acceptable for companies working with the DOD. That is a standard that can be adopted by individual businesses and by groups alike, and if enough follow suit it will become the norm.
Cybersecurity is not going to disappear as an issue any time soon, probably ever. Putting it at the forefront of your priorities in business is more than a good idea—it’s essential, and following the CMMC with its proactive approach to defending against hackers is the best place to start.