The CMMC is a framework that helps firms break down their cybersecurity stance into digestible parts. The cmmc security model demands critical cyber activities to guarantee that data is secured from unwanted access on all fronts, in addition to outlining procedures that every Department of Defense (DoD) vendor and supplier must apply. Encryption is one of these critical endeavors.
What is encryption, exactly?
Encryption scrambles data, making it unreadable to attackers and other nefarious actors who could try to steal personal information. Encryption is essential for firms that handle sensitive data or information, such as restricted unclassified information (CUI). Anyone using the same wifi technology as a DoD contractor might watch the company’s web activity if the network is not secured.
However, not all encryption is made equal. There are several methods for encrypting information, and the encryption technique chosen is determined by the type of data being encrypted and who requires access to it.
What makes encryption so important for CMMC adherence?
Because it assures the validity and secrecy of information exchanged over systems, encryption is critical in the CMMC certification process. It also aids in the protection of critical corporate data from unwanted read and alteration. Most significantly, encryption is essential to bolstering a defense-in-depth approach across all tiers of an IT infrastructure to decrease risk and weaknesses.
Most CMMC examinations focus on encryption; thus, any prospective DoD vendor or supplier must have robust encryption systems in place. If a corporation wants to be CMMC-compliant, it must make encryption policy implementation and maintenance a top priority.
The CMMC specifically requires any company managing CUI to Secure wireless network communication using encryption and authentication (AC.3.012)
All portable computing infrastructures and devices should be encrypted (AC.3.022)
Only cryptographically secured passwords should be stored and sent (IA.2.081)
Cryptographic technologies are used to secure remote access sessions (AC.3.014)
Ensure the secrecy of CUI recorded on digital media during transfer using cryptographic techniques (MP.3.125)
For network device administration, create and maintain cryptographic keys (SC.2.179)
Considerations for CMMC encryption compliance
Vendors and suppliers must use encryption as a non-negotiable information security solution to meet CMMC requirements. Standard encryption, on the other hand, is insufficient. Organizations must additionally consider the following factors when using encryption methods:
Authentication using multiple factors
Encryption by itself is insufficient to keep CUI and other information from being misused. Multifactor verification is a crucial CMMC regulation compliance criterion because it requires firms to augment password-based security controls with variables that increase the security of CUI-handling enterprises.
A defense-in-depth strategy is a tactic that involves many layers of defense.
CMMC accreditation guarantees that businesses have a defense-in-depth policy in place, focusing on incorporating many tiers of cybersecurity remedies at numerous locations throughout their IT architecture. These layers operate together to guard against threats and incidents and limit the amount of damage caused by intrusions.
Preventive measures, detection tactics, and reaction processes are all included in this CMMC-compliant methodology to cybersecurity. Because encryption offers end-to-end protection, it is an essential component of this layered defensive strategy.
Attributes for secure configuration administration
Contractors seeking CMMC certification must have protected configuration management technologies that meet DoD Instruction 8500. Audits and scans must be performed, software patch standards must be maintained, vulnerability mitigation strategies must be implemented, security update procedures must be created, and CMMC-specified settings must be enforced. Organizations that do not satisfy these standards cannot participate in the CMMC certification system since this exposes the DoD to weaknesses, attacks, and data breaches.
While CMMC doesn’t specify which kind of encryption solutions contractors should set, it does provide overarching guidance so that organizations can meet DoD requirements. For instance, it mandates that contractors must encrypt CUI in transit and at rest to get at least a CMMC 2.0 Level 2 certification. This means you’ll need a solution that can provide end-to-end encryption and is validated by the Federal Information Processing Standards.
What does a CMMC certification say about an organization’s encryption mechanisms?
CMMC certification awards contractors and subcontractors with an official certificate of compliance, acknowledging these organizations’ commitment to cybersecurity. Having a CCMC certification means that your company is secure, dependable, scalable, flexible, and interoperable, making it deserving of a DoD contract.