Improving your company’s cybersecurity is an extremely important task in today’s climate. The world is increasingly becoming more reliant on the internet and electronic devices, meaning more sensitive information is available for threat actors to access. Protecting your data and upgrading your company’s cybersecurity measures might seem like a daunting task at first, but there are guidelines out there to help you implement proper procedures. One of the best ways to ensure that your business is adequately protected from cyber attacks is by using the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification framework. A general maturity model is a tool that helps organizations and businesses analyze the current effectiveness of specific tasks while outlining what your business can do to improve and reach the next level. A maturity model can help your business realize where it’s at, help monitor its improvement, and take the next steps of growth.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a specific maturity model designed to help your organization check its level of cybersecurity. The model has five levels of maturity, with each level indicating an increased amount of safety from cyber attacks. With this maturity model, there is a specific certification process done to verify that the proper cybersecurity measures are in place and that the business is safe from cyber threats. The CMMC was built to add verification requirements for cybersecurity, as well as add a cost-effective and affordable guideline that even smaller businesses can apply. In addition, the CMMC can be used by the Department of Defense to ensure that the companies they contract with are safe and secure. Traditionally, companies were able to complete internal audits to ensure that they complied with government cybersecurity regulations, but with the CMMC, a third-party assessment is required.
There are 17 domains covered in the CMMC, such as access control, risk management, and media protection. Within these seventeen domains, 43 individual capabilities go further into detail on the security requirements. For example, access control can include establishing system access requirements and controlling remote system access, while media control can include sanitizing media and protecting media during transport.
Lower levels of the maturity model like levels 1 to 3 involve basic to good cyber hygiene, meaning that your business has a solid foundation to use when responding to cyber threats. However, more advanced levels of the maturity model like levels 4 and 5 involve being proactive and using advanced security measures to deal with cyber attacks. So what does your business need to do to achieve levels 4 and 5 of the CMMC?
Achieving Level 4 of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification
Once you reach level 4 of the CMMC, your cybersecurity starts becoming proactive and revolves around staying ahead of potential threats, rather than just trying to respond to them. There are several things that your business will need to add to achieve level 4, but there are four primary aspects. These include building infrastructure to support controlled unclassified information (CUI) protection, properly vetting applications and systems within your organization, logging and reporting problems and incidents, and establishing a 24/7 incident response team.
The main goal of achieving level 4 in the CMMC is to ensure that your business is protected from advanced persistent threats (APTs). APTs are stealth attacks where an unauthorized user gains access to a network for a long period of time trying to breach your data and gain access to sensitive information, which can cost your company thousands of dollars and losses in reputation. Thankfully, achieving level 4 CMMC certification can improve your business’s detection and response to APTs, allowing your business to avoid these costly threats.
Achieving Level 5 of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification
The highest level in the CMMC is level 5, which focuses on optimizing and standardizing the cybersecurity processes that your company uses. Plus, achieving level 5 certification will mean that your business employs advanced cyber hygiene practices and is doing everything in its power to thwart cyber threats. To achieve level 5 certification, you must have a response team that can investigate both physical and virtual locations within 24 hours, establish an analysis of your network traffic, hire staff to monitor and scan data forensics, and implement wireless intrusion detection systems.
Achieving level 5 certification will make your business even safer from APTs by making your cybersecurity even more sophisticated and complex. At level 5 certification, your company should have a standardized and documented approach to dealing with cyber threats, greatly mitigating their risks.
Testing Your Cybersecurity
One of the best ways to improve your cybersecurity and ensure that you meet CMMC guidelines is by testing your cybersecurity yourself. Products like rThreat can simulate APT attacks using real malicious scripts in a secure testing environment. These simulated attacks aim to find strengths and weaknesses in your cybersecurity protocols, giving you real-time feedback on what works and what does not. Using a product like this can help you see if the measures you put in place to meet CMMC guidelines are working as intended. Businesses invest a lot in cybersecurity, so learning about your cybersecurity weaknesses before an APT attack does can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle.
With our Breach and Attack Simulation, rThreat can help protect your business from APT attacks through its continuous testing of cybersecurity infrastructures. Request a demo today to learn more about how our team of engineers can help optimize your defenses and reach levels 4 and 5 of the CMMC requirements.
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