GOVERNMENT CONTRACT SECURITY COMPLIANCE

We Can Help With Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) & NIST Compliance

schedule NIST review

What is CMMC?

CMMC, also known as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, is a unified standard for implementing cybersecurity across the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). This initiative will help enhance the protection of Federal Contract Information (FCI), Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), and Covered Defense Information (CDI) for over 300,000 companies in the supply chain. The Department of Defense (DoD) has implemented CMMC as their response to protecting the significant sensitive defense information and potential vulnerabilities located on contractor’s information systems.

Previously contractors have been responsible for certifying, monitoring, and implementing their IT system security and any sensitive DoD material transmitted or stored in these systems. Contractors will remain responsible to implement critical cybersecurity obligations but the CMMC will change the standard by mandating third-party assessments of contractors’ compliance with clear mandatory procedures and competences that can adjust to new and developing cyber risks.

At Helm Point, we have a team of Registered Practitioners who can support your organization through the contractor compliance to ensure you keep the contracts you have and allow you to bid and win future opportunities as CMMC becomes a requirement..

NIST Compliance

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a non-regulatory government agency that develops technology, metrics, and standards to drive innovation and economic competitiveness at U.S.-based organizations in the science and technology industry. As part of this effort, NIST produces standards and guidelines to help federal agencies meet the requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). NIST also assists those agencies in protecting their information and information systems through cost-effective programs.

What is NIST 800-171 Compliance and why is it important?

Improving record keeping and data handling is one of the most important things in keeping the trust of partners, vendors, contractors, and customers. This becomes even more crtiical when the federal government is involved, with the goal of creating a national culture of cybersecurity that protects the information of our businesses, citizens, and government.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created Special Publication 800-171 to help protect Controlled Unclassified Information and regulate the ways in which it is protected.

These standards must be adhered to by any company or person that processes, stores or transmits this type of potentially sensitive information (CUI) for the DoD, GSA or NASA and other federal or state agencies. Contractual agencies are also required to adhere. Achieving NIST 800-171 compliance may require diving deep into your networks and procedures to make sure appropriate security procedures are properly addressed. Helmpoint Solutions has processes and procedures in place to help guide you through establishing a roadmap to compliance and implementing those pieces to ensure you are certified.

HELMPOINT SOLUTIONS THREE LEVEL APPROACH TO PREPAREDNESS

Helmpoint Solutions is committed to providing  reliable, cost effective, fast and most of all WORRY-FREE Cybersecurity, Compliance and IT Support.  We want your organization to be able to focus on growing the revenue of the business while Helm Point  addresses your  security needs.

Helm Point offer’s three approaches to your NIST readiness compliance.  Three levels of support are available depending on your organizations current level of cybersecurity readiness.

Level 1 – Basic Level Readiness (Interview)

This assessment will focus on interviewing all available and appropriate parties to determine the cybersecurity posture as it relates to the fourteen (14) NIST control areas and 110 specific controls. When the interview is completed, a summary of the performance in these control areas will be provided with a recommendation on closing the gap should any deficiencies be found in any of the control areas.

Level 1 – Basic Level Readiness (Interview)

As part of the Basic Level Readiness Review; Helm Point with assign a cybersecurity professional (Reviewer) to review the existing System Security Plan (SSP) and/or Plan of Action and Milestone (POAM). Additionally, the Reviewer will conduct an interview with the designated individuals from your organization who can appropriately provide responses to the Reviewer. The reviewer will present a series of questions that address the 110 controls as outlined in the SSP and as they relate to the NIST 800-171 standard. See Attachment A illustrating these control areas in a worksheet.

Once the Reviewer has completed the interview process, a scorecard evaluation will be provided, identifying where each control area meets or does not meet the NIST 800-171 standard. The findings of this evaluation will provide a current assessment of how the organization aligns with the NIST 800-171 standard.

Level 2 – Medium Level Readiness (Examination)

Typically performed after a Basic Level readiness review has been completed, a Medium Level Readiness Review can be conducted.  In the Medium Level Readiness Review, Helm Point will assign a cybersecurity professional (Reviewer) to examine the controls, processes and procedures as they relate to securing the corporate enterprise.   This is a more detailed examination of how things are being done to ensure security of the corporate enterprise.

Once the Reviewer has completed the interview and examination, an updated System Security Plan (SSP) will be provided.  A System Security Plan is a requirement for the NIST 800-171 standard.  On many occasions we see the government and or their Prime Contractors request copies of the SSP as validation of their compliance.  The SSP will address all of the control areas.  In any control area that does not meet the NIST 800-171 standard, a POAM will be created, identifying that there is a control area that needs to be addressed.

Level 2 – Medium Level Readiness (Examination)

This assessment is a deeper dive into the control areas and examines the who, how and what’s of the procedures currently implemented that address the NIST control areas. When the assessment is completed, a summary of the performance in these control areas with respect to the procedures being followed will be provided and include a Plan of Action and Milestone (POAM) report to address closing the gap in any of the identified control areas.

Level 3 – High Level Readiness (Test)

In this assessment the reviewer will ensure that the policies and procedures implemented to ensure cybersecurity compliance with respect to the NIST 800-171 standards are in fact being practiced as evidenced during the assessment.

Completion of the High-Level Readiness Review will position your organization well for evaluation of the CMMC Level 3 Certification with minimal effort required to meet the CMMC Level 3 Certification.

Level 3 – High Level Readiness (Test)

In the High Level Readiness review, Helm Point will assign a cybersecurity professional (Reviewer) to test the controls, processes and procedures as they relate to securing the corporate enterprise.  This review is a thorough review of all of the controls, processes and procedures in that the review will need to see sufficient evidence that the control is not only documented but is also being performed on a regular basis.  This will be supported with evidence indicating the use and practice of such controls.   For the Reviewer to complete this level of review, they will require a representative from the organization to demonstrate, through access of your systems, the controls, processes and procedures that are being followed.

Once the Reviewer has completed the review, a completed SSP will be provided.  Additionally, our review will be available to attend any NIST audits. The findings of this evaluation will provide your organization with a sound assessment and 100% satisfaction for meeting the NIST 800-171 standard. 

Completion of the High Level Readiness Review will position your organization well for evaluation of the CMMC Level 3 Certification with minimal effort required to meet the CMMC Level 3 Certification.

Continuous Monitoring

While we understand the importance of ensuring that your systems and organization are NIST compliant, we also understand that a one-stop review is not going to ensure continued compliance. Helm Point’s approach to compliance is that the awareness of the controls and the day to day implementation and practice of the controls is what ensures your organization is compliant. In fact, Security Assessment Domain, Control 3.12.3 indicates that a demonstrated practice and evidence of such practices are a requirement for CMMC.

So that your investment into your compliance status is not wasted, Helm Point recommends an annual continuous monitoring plan. In this program, the one hundred ten (110) NIST 800-171 controls are monitored throughout a twelve month period. By implementing a continuous monitoring plan, your organization can

1) attest with confidence for every contract that your organization supports that your organization is NIST compliant;

2) know your NIST rating at any time with access to the centralized repository and

3) minimize level of effort and cost associated with a recertification.

Consulting

Not sure of what you need but would like to consult with a Cybersecurity Professional. Our team of Cybersecurity consultants are available for one on one consultations to help determine what your organization may need or assist with what you’ve decided you need. From writing policies, developing procedures or prepping for audits we can support your compliance needs. We have an leadership team in place that is well versed in

To Schedule Your Audit Or Inquire About Services, Give Us A Call Or Send Us An Email

(410) 290-1111
cmmcteam@helmpoint.com