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How IT Standards Can Make Or Break CMMC Compliance

IT standards can make or break CMMC compliance. Follow these steps to get build those standards.

Need to pass CMMC compliance? You need 4 things:

  1. IT Standards
  2. Mature Service Operation
  3. Security in DNA
  4. Execution Capability

It’s all part of the 4 Pillars of CMMC Compliance. In this article, we’re digging into Pillar 1: IT Standards. This is the foundation of cybersecurity hygiene — the CMMC’s main requirement. Let’s get started.

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Pillar 1: IT Standards

Standards are the foundation for any secure IT environment. Businesses with defined IT standards are better prepared for CMMC compliance.

Why Are IT Standards So Important?Overlapping highways and byways

IT environments need to be secure, but they’re complicated. Think about all the departments that use IT on a daily basis:

  • Finance
  • Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Research & Development

The list goes on! And every person interacts with the IT environment differently.

  • Ben in finance needs multi-factor authentication (MFA) to secure his log-in credentials
  • Mallory in marketing needs a remote desktop application
  • Alan in operations needs a cloud platform to host Microsoft Power BI

Without IT standards, people would run things their own way. That poses a major security risk. No one is in charge, no one knows what’s going on and no one can fix a problem should it occur.

IT standards eliminate those issues. With standards, employees have a defined process to interact with IT. Most importantly, everyone is equally secure so hackers can’t find a weakness to target. That’s a main reason for CMMC compliance.

What Are the Steps to IT Standardization?

To standardize IT across a business there are three main processes to follow.

1. Find the weaknesses that exist in the current IT environment.

Businesses need to know where the problems are before they can be fixed. There are many ways to achieve this including sourcing employee feedback, working with a cybersecurity expert and penetration, or PEN, testing

2. Create an improvement strategy AKA roadmap

Find the weaknesses, start improving. It’s best to make a manageable plan. We call these roadmaps. They should be referenced and updated regularly to review progress toward standardization.

3. Document, document, document

Write out the standards and make them accessible to all employees. For example, our own knowledge base is called CORE5. It eliminates confusion and serves as a handy reference guide for employees.

IT Standards & CMMC Compliance

With standards in place, businesses can align with the CMMC compliance levels, identify any gaps and resolve those missing pieces. It’s the first pillar of CMMC compliance and it’s the crucial stepping stone to pillar 2, 3 and 4.

IT standardization doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Sometimes all it takes is a second opinion from a trusted IT source. If you’re unsure about your current IT strategy around CMMC, we may be able to help get you on the right track. Let’s talk about it.

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