Businesses have very different needs when it comes to addressing growing cyber security risks. If you are going after government contracts, it is vital that your business positions itself well against the latest cyber threats and understands how to prove that.


There are a lot of acronyms, agencies, and complex parts of this emerging landscape. Even non information technology focused businesses may also be required to align with industry best practices. Here is a brief background of how cyber security for business can apply to your specific organization and goals:


  • The US Department of Commerce established the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to create a framework for monitoring and mitigating security threats.
  • The NIST cybersecurity framework has been a key method of helping businesses identify, manage and protect against varying degrees of threats in the virtual environment.
  • One highly utilized standard for government contractors is the NIST SP 800-17 which details NIST incident response, safeguards for federal information, and other ways to assess cyber security risks.
  • The CMMC or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is achieved by complying with many of the NIST policies and demonstrating the ability to prioritize risks. This is one of the best cybersecurity certifications for businesses interested in government contracting as it soon to be a legislated requirement for the Department of Defense.
  • Depending on the scope of information being obtained or utilized through the process of specific government contract completion there may be different levels of CMMC obtained with varying difficulty.

When looking at the vast requirements for either NIST SP 800 or CMMC certification it can be overwhelming for non Information tech folks. With few visuals & redundant seeming language design folks may find the process tedious and difficult– especially with few plug and play solutions and frequent updates to regulation.


Here is a straightforward game plan for cyber security for business when it comes to preparing for government requirements:

  1. Describe your existing cybersecurity culture and identify who is responsible for making the key decisions. For smaller businesses where multiple roles are filled by the same person, it can be helpful to list all the software that are being used in day to day operations, as well as devices and networks where information is shared.  For medium or larger businesses this list may be more lengthy, and decisions could be made by multiple people. It is important that all users who have authority to influence your system are involved with cyber security decisions to create a meaningful plan.
  2. Identify what implementation methods are used to house, secure, and verify data in your existing system. This can be as simple as the login for your cloud service to a list of all the users involved with VPN or remote desktop viewing. Verifying data is essentially what tools are used to document activity, and log outside access to confidentially maintained metrics.
  3. List schedules for updating security procedures, and maintaining integrity of your systems. While this is a very generalized suggestion it includes setting a time for running updates to software, documenting who performs regularly needed maintenance, and ensuring that all information is secured and protected from within the organization. Ideally this is something that already being done, and establishing an effective cyber security practice model would build on existing strategies that are in place.


By working with these ideas and reviewing specific elements of cyber security standards your business can succeed with CMMC application. The goal is to minimize the costs associated with meeting these standards in accordance with the effort that team members are able to put in within your organization.

A lot of the process can be completed in house by paying attention to requirements and being careful to list exactly how different challenges and situations are handled. Don’t start this before bed because the logical yet wordy requirements are sure to put you to sleep!



After jotting down some of the above points (to the best of your ability) its time to start delving into the specific requirements laid out for CMMC and deriving your organization’s position on each to be compliant and effective.

Level 1 CMMC is often required for less technically focused or confidential information bearing contracts and can be achieved with less effort than Level 2. As these policies are implemented among more government departments these steps will improve cyber security for business in general and keep you ahead of competitors for current and future contracts.

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