CMMC Prep: How to Benefit from an MSP or MSSP

Here's What You Need to Know

If you are a defense contractor who handles controlled unclassified information (CUI), you are probably aware of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) that will soon be required for all DoD contracts. The CMMC is a new framework that aims to ensure the security and resilience of the defense industrial base (DIB) by requiring contractors to meet one of three levels of cybersecurity maturity, depending on the type and sensitivity of the information they process.

But how do you prepare for the CMMC and achieve the level of certification that matches your business needs? One option is to hire a managed service provider (MSP) or a managed security service provider (MSSP) to help you with the process. An MSP or MSSP is a third-party company that offers IT and cybersecurity services to clients, such as network monitoring, data backup, vulnerability scanning, incident response, and compliance support. 


How to benefit from using an MSP or MSSP for CMMC Prep

  1. Save time and money

    • Hiring an MSP or MSSP can reduce the burden on your internal IT staff and allow them to focus on your core business functions. An MSP or MSSP can also help you avoid costly fines or penalties for non-compliance, as well as potential breaches or data loss that could damage your reputation and customer trust.

  2. Leverage expertise and experience

    • An MSP or MSSP can provide you with access to skilled and certified professionals with the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the complex and evolving CMMC requirements. An MSP or MSSP can also offer best practices and recommendations based on industry insights and lessons learned from working with other defense contractors.

  3. Enhance security and performance

    • An MSP or MSSP can help you implement and maintain the necessary controls and practices to meet the CMMC level that suits your business objectives. An MSP or MSSP can also monitor your network and systems for any threats or anomalies and respond quickly and effectively in case of an incident. An MSP or MSSP can also optimize your IT infrastructure and operations to improve efficiency and productivity.

How to select an MSP or MSSP for CMMC Prep

  1. Look for capability and credibility
    • Not all MSPs or MSSPs are created equal. You need to choose a provider with the capability and credibility to help you achieve CMMC compliance. 
  2. Understand roles and responsibilities
    • The CMMC scoping guide references MSPs as falling under the Security Protection Asset type—because MSPs often function operationally as security protection assets. This means that you need to understand the roles and responsibilities of both parties in ensuring the security of your CUI and establish clear expectations and agreements on how to communicate, collaborate, and report on compliance issues.
  3. Do your research
    • You need to verify the credentials and qualifications of your MSP or MSSP and check their references and reviews from other defense contractors. You must also assess their performance and reliability and ensure they have adequate resources and capabilities to support your IT and cybersecurity needs.

In conclusion, using an MSP or MSSP ahead of certification of CMMC can be a smart move for defense contractors who want to save time and money, leverage expertise and experience, and enhance security and performance. However, you need to choose an MSP or MSSP carefully, based on their CMMC certification, shared responsibility, track record, and reputation. Doing so ensures that your MSP or MSSP will be a valuable partner in achieving CMMC compliance.

How to Get Started

  1. Plan Ahead - Cybersecurity Maturity Takes Time
    • A strong and defensible cybersecurity program requires time to become established as well as time to become mature. By getting started with the help of an MSP or MSSP like iCorps before audits begin, your CMMC alignment will be more likely to pass certification. 
  2. Request a Consultation
    • iCorps specializes in helping small to medium-sized government contractors prepare for CMMC by assessing your business's cybersecurity and IT posture and then implementing processes and controls to enhance your compliance with the CMMC framework that's right for your business.

    Get CMMC Ready