NIST 800-171 and CMMC 2.0 are two security protocols that are used by companies that handle information related to the U.S. Defense Industrial Base (DIB). The NIST 800-171 is a framework that helps to inform the entire cybersecurity industry, while CMMC 2.0 is a standard that is used to demonstrate proper compliance with the latest standards.
Both of these protocols are designed to protect companies from cyberattacks, but they differ in their approach. NIST 800-171 is more of a guiding research-based organization, while CMMC 2.0 is more focused on system security compliance.
Many companies have been struggling to keep up with these new standards, as achieving full compliance can be difficult and expensive. However, failing to comply with these standards can be even more costly, as businesses can face financial penalties, loss of contracts, and even criminal charges.
These two cyber security protocols both play an important role in protecting information related to our defense systems, and they both have informed each other in some aspect.
What Is The NIST 800-171?
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce that develops technology, measurement, and standards. In the cybersecurity industry, NIST is responsible for developing and promulgating the cybersecurity framework, which provides organizations with a common set of best practices for securing their systems and data.
NIST also developed the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which is a voluntary program that provides organizations with a mechanism to assess their cybersecurity maturity and receive certification.
NIST’s role in the cybersecurity industry is critical because its framework and CMMC provide organizations with a common language and set of best practices for improving their cybersecurity posture.
Many organizations have adopted the NIST framework as their de facto standard for cybersecurity, and the CMMC program is gaining traction as more organizations seek to demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity. The NIST’s frameworks and CMMC are important because they provide a baseline for improving cybersecurity consistency across all industries.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-171 is a specification for protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The standard provides a common security framework for federal agencies to follow when handling CUI. CMMC 2.0 is based on NIST 800-171 guidance and provides an even more comprehensive security framework for contractors working with the Department of Defense.
What Is The CMMC 2.0?
Released in 2019, CMMC 2.0 is the latest revision of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework. The CMMC 2.0 is built based on the NIST 800-171 standard, which was released in December 2017.
CMMC 2.0 is designed to help organizations assess and improve their cybersecurity posture. It provides a framework for assessing an organization’s cybersecurity risk and maturity, and offers guidance on how to improve cybersecurity practices.
The five core cybersecurity domains of CMMC 2.0:
- Identification and authentication
- Access control
- Security assessment and testing
- Information protection
- Incident response and recovery
Each domain consists of several specific controls that organizations can use to improve their cybersecurity posture. Organizations that want to achieve certification under the CMMC 2.0 framework must meet all of the requirements in the five core domains.
The Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) released CMMC 2.0 in January 2020. The update is meant to address the growing number of cyber threats to Department of Defense (DoD) systems and networks.
CMMC 2.0 is based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-171 standard, which was updated in December 2019. CMMC 2.0 has been met with some criticism, mainly because it is more stringent than NIST 800-171 and therefore may be difficult for organizations to comply with.
However, the CNSS has stated that they will work with organizations to help them become compliant with CMMC 2.0. Since the release of NIST 800-171 in December of 2017, there have been a few updates to the framework.
The most recent update was released in June of 2019 and it includes new guidance for protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in the cloud. This update is important because it recognizes the fact that many organizations are moving to the cloud to store their data.
While NIST 800-171 provides a strong foundation for protecting CUI, it’s important to remember that it is just a framework. Organizations need to tailor the requirements to their specific needs to be effective. In addition, new threats are always emerging, so organizations need to stay up to date on the latest security threats and solutions.
The Threat Of Non-Compliance
The dangers of noncompliance with NIST 800-171 and CMMC 2.0 are significant. Companies that are not in compliance with these standards face the possibility of losing contracts, being fined, and even facing criminal charges.
Additionally, non-compliance can harm the industry as a whole. When companies do not adhere to best practices, it makes it difficult for others in the industry to compete. This can lead to decreased innovation and higher prices for consumers.
The data that is housed within the defense industry is just too important to not have strict regulations to adhere to. With the latest edition of the CMMC 2.0, these standards have been condensed and optimized to make requirements more clear and easy to implement for relevant companies.
For more information on how to ensure compliance with the CMMC 2.0 framework, reach out to the cybersecurity experts at SeaGlass Technology today at 212-886-0790.