AT-NET follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines for our security practice

While there are several NIST standards, NIST 800-171 satisfies the security requirements of the SMB sector.

The NIST 800-171 is AT-NET’s minimum cyber security standard for our monthly contracted customers.

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Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations

The purpose of NIST 800-171 is a “security checklist” for federal agencies with regard to their interactions with “nonfederal” systems and organizations for “Controlled Unclassified Information”. What this means is that nonfederal (vendors usually) organizations have certain minimum standards to obtain, with regard to data protection, in order to operate with federal agencies.

The NIST 800-171 standards are a minimum standard to follow and the governing documents are ever-evolving. AT-NET’s security team feels that the standard should be adopted by all organizations where financially practical. The NIST standards serve as a framework that is able to acclimate to an evolving cybersecurity landscape.

Nist CyberSecurity Framework Specialist

More information about the above standards can be found here.


Additionally, our customers are increasingly asked to allow the CMMC agent to review systems compliance.

CMMC stands for “Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification” and is a unifying standard for the implementation of cybersecurity across the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). The CMMC framework includes a comprehensive and scalable certification element to verify the implementation of processes and practices associated with the achievement of a cybersecurity maturity level.

CMMC is designed to provide increased assurance to the Department that a DIB company can adequately protect sensitive unclassified information, accounting for information flow down to subcontractors in a multi-tier supply chain.

CMMC Implementation Specialist


We are CMMC Experts and Compliance Help

CMMC is a cybersecurity maturity model based on NIST SP 800-171, and it requires third-party auditors to verify compliance. As a result, it reduces the risk of cybersecurity breaches. CMMC experts and compliance help are crucial to achieving the highest level of cybersecurity readiness. Here are some tips to help you implement this model. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you with any of the aspects of CMMC.

CMMC is a cybersecurity maturity model

The CMMC is a framework for assessing the cybersecurity capabilities of an organization, with each level focusing on proactive activities that enhance an organization’s capacity to protect its customers, users, and intellectual property (CUI) from APTs. Each level of CMMC certification reflects an organization’s sophistication and depth of cybersecurity capabilities. Several key practices are outlined at each level. Some are ad hoc, while others are standardized and defined.

Cyber threats against the defense industrial base are becoming more sophisticated and frequent, and DoD organizations need strong, comprehensive IT safeguards to protect critical information. By assessing suppliers’ security programs, the CMMC helps the DoD protect its CUI from breaches and improve cybersecurity practices. Cybersecurity maturity levels build on each other, and each level builds upon the one that precedes it. To get the most out of the CMMC certification, companies should begin with the basic level of the model.

CMMC is best operationalized through domains. These centers of excellence are responsible for continuously optimizing processes and practices. A data security platform can automate a large number of CMMC processes. By automating them, organizations can reduce the cost of cybersecurity management and achieve CMMC Level 3 certification faster. There are five levels in total. If your organization is struggling to meet the CMMC level 3 certification criteria, Varonis is here to help.

CMMC is a cybersecurity framework developed by the United States Department of Defense. The Defense Industrial Base is a group of subcontractors and contractors that handle highly sensitive information. The DoD has announced the creation of this cybersecurity assessment model in 2019, and it is important for DoD contractors to meet these standards. Moreover, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification framework supports the security and compliance of defense supply chain.

While CMMC 1.0 is not mandatory for all contractors right away, it will be phased in for prime contractors and other entities doing business with the DoD. It will require prime contractors to meet one of three CMMC trust levels, and demonstrate their cybersecurity through independent validation activities. CMMC compliance will determine the award of a DoD contract. You can apply for a CMMC-compliant contract with confidence.

Currently CMMC 2.0 is released. CMMC 2.0 builds upon the initial CMMC framework to dynamically enhance Defense Industrial Base (DIB) cybersecurity against evolving threats. The CMMC framework is designed to protect sensitive unclassified information that is shared by the Department with its contractors and subcontractors and provide assurance that Federal Contract Information (FCI) and Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) will be protected at a level commensurate with the risk from cybersecurity threats, including Advanced Persistent Threats. Under the CMMC program, DIB contractors will be required to implement certain cybersecurity protection standards, and, as required, perform self-assessments or obtain third-party certification as a condition of DoD contract award.

It is based on NIST SP 800-171

CMMC, or the Common Criteria for Manufacturing Controls, is an important cybersecurity standard that will soon replace NIST 800-171 compliance. While both standards will have overlapping elements, CMMC compliance will be required on all new DoD contracts by 2026. Interested in learning more about CMMC compliance? If so, AT-NET can help you get started. We can teach you the basics, develop a compliance plan, and determine what it will cost to comply.

While the NIST SP 800-171 standards are not the most detailed, they will help you keep your company compliant. You should be aware of the importance of maintaining compliance, as non-compliance can lead to fines and lost business. In addition, if your business does not meet these standards, it may face a legal case for fraud. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that can help you become and stay compliant.

Having a professional perform a NIST SP 800-171 compliance assessment is an excellent way to ensure you are compliant and secure. A professional will evaluate your company’s systems to identify any gaps and issues, and recommend remediation solutions. This assessment is especially important if you work with DoD contractors. This ensures you receive an accurate SPRS score. If you do not, you may have to hire an expensive consultant to help you meet these requirements.

DoD contracts will require DoD contractors handling CUI to achieve a specified level of compliance. While CMMC 2.0 is not a dramatic change, NIST SP 800-171 is focused on protecting CUI. A company that has adequate controls in place should be able to demonstrate that. It is important to ensure that your suppliers have documented policy and procedure documentation, since this is an essential part of the DoD’s CUI contract.

CMMC Experts and Compliance Help is different than NIST SP 800-171 compliance. While NIST SP 800-171 is the foundation for CMMC, it does not apply to Level 1 of this framework. Rather, it is equivalent to Level 2 of NIST 800-171, but applies to higher levels. CMMC Level 2 and 3 build on each other and address about half of the NIST 800-171 controls.

It requires third-party auditors to confirm compliance

To achieve CMMC compliance, organizations need a robust System Security Play (SSP). A detailed SSP will indicate Level 3 compliance. Auditors look for detailed explanations of controls; a brief summary will not suffice. PreVeil, a CMMC-AB certified expert, has developed a robust SSP that includes policies, procedures, and controls.

The DoD has created strict guidelines for cybersecurity and has implemented CMMC, a tiered approach to compliance. A company can only be considered CMMC compliant if it has successfully completed the program and is audited by a third party. If not, it will not be eligible for new contract opportunities. CMMC certification is ongoing and requires re-certification every three years.

CMMC audits examine cybersecurity policies, processes, and controls to determine if they are NIST-compliant. The scope of the audit varies depending on the organization’s maturity level. A certified third-party assessment organization will perform the audit. The auditors will speak with the organization to understand its needs and will request documents that document the controls protecting FCI. This is an expensive and time-consuming process, but the rewards are substantial.

If you have a DoD contract and are processing Federal Contract Information, you will need to achieve Maturity Level 1 or Level 2. To do this, you will need to hire a 3rd-party assessment organization to verify that your company is complying with the CMMC standards. In addition to third-party auditors, the DoD requires CMMC audits from a third-party assessment organization. The third-party auditor will confirm compliance at the appropriate Maturity level, allowing the contractor to receive DoD contracts.

If you don’t feel comfortable with CMMC standards, you can skip this step and focus on technology and process improvements. A high Secure Score will allow you to skip the auditing process. However, if you need help with the process, a Certified 3rd Party Assessment Organization (C3PAO) is a great choice. The RPO will work with you to prepare your organization for the audit process and make it more efficient and effective.

It reduces the risk of cybersecurity breaches

CMMC is a set of regulations designed to secure the defense industrial base. It requires organizations to go through five levels of compliance to meet certain security requirements. While it may not prevent a breach, it does help organizations detect them early. Complying with CMMC standards demonstrates basic cyber hygiene and recommended cybersecurity processes. This framework also allows organizations to manage CUI, the critical user information. In addition, it requires comprehensive reporting procedures to ensure that these practices are being adhered to.

Companies and governments can use a variety of cybersecurity testing methods to determine if they’re cyber-aware. Simple methods include network scanning and reviewing employee password policies. More invasive processes involve penetration testing or ethical hacking. Cyber health assessments identify vulnerabilities and highlight how well the company protects its systems from threats. Cyber health assessments are one of the best indicators of CMMC compliance. Cyber health assessments are designed to identify any potential threats and mitigate the costs of data breaches.

Cybersecurity threats continue to escalate and demand more robust cybersecurity measures. A 67% increase in security breaches over the past five years is an alarming statistic. Moreover, losing controlled, unclassified information could have grave implications for the national security. To address this, the Department of Defense has implemented a framework known as Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which requires defense contractors to meet certain cybersecurity requirements. With this, contractors are better prepared to handle controlled unclassified information and meet the government’s cybersecurity standards.

CMMC Experts and Compliance Help reduce risks of cybersecurity breaches