5 Reasons Why Internal IT Teams Work With CMMC Consultants
It’s tempting to think that just because business is rolling along as it always has been with your Department of Defense (DoD) customers that you can continue to delay getting started with CMMC compliance.
While you might think you’re buying time by stalling, that tactic might end up backfiring, and you’re going to wish that you started working with a CMMC consultant a lot earlier.
There could be many reasons why your company hasn’t been able to make any progress in getting the first step in the process – your self-assessment – completed. (It was due at the end of 2020.)
The consequences of not moving along your path to compliance could be that you lose your DoD contracts, or at the very least, be forced to revert to pen and paper to conduct business that includes Controlled Unclassified Data.
Yes – pen and paper.
There are many reasons why it may be in your best interest to engage a CMMC consultant to facilitate your compliance journey from self-assessment through to attaining your certificate, whether your IT resources are internal, outsourced or some of both. However, we're seeing an especially high number of internal IT teams seeking outside resources for CMMC.
It may be hard to admit when you need help, but step into your IT team’s shoes for a minute, and you’ll gain a new understanding of their situation.
5 Common Challenges IT Teams Have With CMMC Compliance
1. Lack of Bandwidth
Unless you have people in your IT department sitting around waiting for something to do, your IT team could have a hard time finding the time to devote to CMMC compliance. What could be happening is that they’re so busy that picking up CMMC would mean dropping something else.
2. Lack of Expertise
The world of IT includes a wide array of specialties, and compliance may not be a specialty included in your IT team’s skill set.
CMMC compliance isn’t just a matter of knowing what technical layers you need to have in your strategy. It starts with knowing how to interpret the regulations into security controls and how to document what you’re doing.
This is a skill set on its own, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s new to your IT staff.
3. Lack of Speed
If you’re already late submitting your self-assessment, it could be because it’s taking your IT team a long time to learn the process.
Being able to understand and implement compliance is possible, but the learning curve is long. Add to that the fact that security controls need to be in place over a period of time, and you’ll understand that you can’t go at a snail’s pace with CMMC compliance.
4. Lack of Ideas
It would be great if CMMC compliance was a matter of checking off boxes, but it’s not. Your IT team may need a different perspective to identify the best options for which security controls to use in your IT environment.
Sometimes it’s not just ideas that are needed, but validation that what's being proposed will actually fulfill the CMMC requirements and serve your business processes simultaneously.
5. Lack of Policy Writing Experience
About half of the security controls that fall under NIST 800-171 and CMMC compliance are not technical. These non-technical layers are written policies that spell out behavior expectations for employees.
Collaboration with other departments, especially HR, is needed to draft workable policies and get training and enforcement in place. Again, this is a skill set all its own and your IT team might not be set up to fulfill the policy writing requirements of CMMC compliance.
How a CMMC Consultant Picks Up the Slack
The CMMC accreditation body (CMMC-AB) that oversees compliance for the DoD recognizes that companies may lack the expertise and time to administer each phase of CMMC compliance. Through this body, consultants and organizations can gain the credentials that signal their CMMC expertise.
Accent is a Registered Provider Organization in California
Accent Computer Solutions is a CMMC Registered Provider Organization with several Registered Practitioners on staff, equipped to act as your consultant to guide you on your CMMC compliance journey. Contact us to talk to one of our CMMC experts.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.