What Is a CMMC Gap Analysis?

May 07, 2024

In today’s world, cybersecurity is not just a priority but a necessity. It has become a crucial benchmark for companies, particularly those working to secure contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is a framework for assessing and enhancing cybersecurity practices.

Explore CMMC gap analysis and compliance, a proactive approach designed to identify vulnerabilities and mitigate them to achieve the desired security level.

What Is a CMMC Gap Analysis?

cmmc gap analysis

A CMMC security gap analysis serves as a foundational step in the journey toward certification, offering insights into an organization’s current cybersecurity state and highlighting areas that require improvement to meet the specified maturity level. At its core, CMMC aims to bolster the security of organizations within the defense industrial base to better protect sensitive information and support national security interests.

Essentially, this analysis involves comparing an organization’s existing security controls and practices against the requirements outlined in the CMMC framework. By identifying gaps between the current state and the desired state of cybersecurity readiness, organizations can develop targeted strategies to enhance their defenses and achieve compliance.

What Does a CMMS Security Gap Analysis Do?

A security gap analysis helps organizations make informed decisions regarding cybersecurity investments. By identifying gaps in their current defenses, organizations can determine where to allocate resources for maximum impact.

Whether it’s investing in new technologies, implementing additional security controls, or enhancing employee training programs, businesses can tailor their cybersecurity initiatives to address specific areas of weakness identified through the gap analysis.

Furthermore, by conducting a CMMC gap analysis, your company demonstrates a commitment to cybersecurity best practices and regulatory compliance. In an increasingly interconnected world, where cyber threats are constant and ever-evolving, organizations that prioritize cybersecurity are better positioned to safeguard sensitive information, maintain customer trust, and mitigate the risk of costly data breaches.

What Controls Does a CMMC Analysis Include?

A person performs a CMMC security gap assessment.

While any CMMC assessment should be comprehensive to ensure all gaps are identified, the exact controls covered may vary depending on the level of certification your business seeks to achieve:

  • Level 1 Foundational: Achieving this certification requires adherence to 17 cybersecurity practices, along with an annual self-assessment for the DoD.
  • Level 2 Advanced: In addition to Level 1 requirements, level 2 also requires adherence to 110 NIST SP 800-171 security practices with a third-party audit every three years by a Certified Third-Party Assessment Organization. 
  • Level 3 Expert: Organizations seeking Level 3 certification work with Controlled Unclassified Information and are subject to Advanced Persistent Threats. In addition to the Level 2 requirements, Level 3 requires compliance with NIST 800-172.

Standard Control Areas

Control areas typically covered include:

  • Access controls
  • Continuous improvement
  • Incident response
  • Policies and procedures
  • Risk management
  • Security controls
  • Technical capabilities
  • Training and awareness

How Long Does a CMMC Gap Analysis Take?

The duration of a cybersecurity gap analysis depends on a few factors: the complexity of your system, the size of your company, the certification level you’re trying to achieve, and the Governance, Risk (management), and Compliance expert or C3PAO you’re partnering with. Generally speaking, smaller companies with straightforward systems complete the process more quickly than their larger counterparts.

Also, the experience of your chosen compliance partner is paramount. You want experts who know the ropes and can navigate your cybersecurity landscape with finesse. The internal security environment of the C3PAO is vital as well. It’s not just about their certification level; it’s about whether they’re equipped to handle the nuances of your organization’s security needs.

How Does a Company Undertake a CMMC Analysis?

Use expert help in your CMMC analysis.

The CMMC gap analysis is a vital component of achieving cybersecurity maturity and compliance. By identifying areas of weakness and developing targeted strategies for improvement, organizations can strengthen their cybersecurity defenses and better protect sensitive information.

Moreover, conducting a gap analysis demonstrates a commitment to cybersecurity excellence and regulatory compliance, positioning organizations for long-term success in an increasingly digital world.

Performing the Gap Analysis

The process begins with a thorough assessment of the organization’s current cybersecurity practices, policies, and infrastructure. This involves reviewing existing documentation, conducting interviews with key personnel, and assessing technical controls in place. The goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s current cybersecurity landscape compared to the desired compliance level.

Once the initial assessment is complete, the next step is to align the findings with the specific requirements laid out in the CMMC framework. This involves mapping the organization’s existing controls and practices to the corresponding CMMC domains and maturity levels. By doing so, organizations can identify areas where their current practices fall short of meeting the required standards.

Benefits of a Gap Analysis

One of the key benefits of conducting a CMMC gap analysis is its ability to provide organizations with a roadmap for achieving compliance. By clearly delineating areas that need improvement, organizations can prioritize their efforts and allocate resources more effectively. This targeted approach not only streamlines the compliance process but also minimizes the risk of overlooking critical security gaps.

However, it’s essential to recognize that achieving CMMC compliance is not a one-time exercise but an ongoing process. Organizations must continuously reassess their cybersecurity posture and adapt accordingly to stay ahead of emerging threats.

A security gap analysis provides a snapshot of the organization’s current state of readiness, but it’s crucial to regularly revisit and update this assessment to ensure continued compliance and resilience against emerging threats.

Ensuring the Best Results for Your CMMC Gap Analysis

Whether you want to ensure a more robust cybersecurity environment or seek a CMMC certification, a gap analysis is necessary to understand the scope of work your company needs to undertake to comply with the data security regulations for the goals you seek. To get the best results, engage with a GRC that ensures you meet your objectives.

Compyl was founded in response to the need for a unified solution to manage organizational security and compliance more effectively. Our strategy helps companies implement a robust security foundation as well as enhance efficiency and automation within their current programs.

Contact us today to get started with your CMMC gap analysis.

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