It’s a significant week for the Defense Department’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program: New rules that serve as a precursor to the full CMMC implementation took effect on Tuesday, and an announcement of the first 15 contracts that will serve as “pathfinders” for the new model are imminent.
That initial set of procurements would represent the first real-world use of CMMC, the program the department has been building for the past year-and-a-half to shore up the cybersecurity of its industrial base. So far, DoD acquisition officials have only applied the model to contracts in non-punitive tabletop exercises, and without publicly identifying the contracts involved.
The department expects to name the first 15 pathfinders within “the next few days,” Katie Arrington, the chief information security officer in DoD’s acquisition and sustainment office told an industry conference. The announcement has been highly-anticipated as the defense industry waits to see how many vendors could be impacted by the initial pathfinder process.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, two precursors to the full CMMC rollout took effect — part of a sweeping rule change DoD promulgated in September to implement the program. Going forward, almost all vendors bidding on new contracts will have to log into a web portal and attest to which specific security controls in NIST Special Publication 800-171 they’re currently complying with.
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