Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Level 5
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Level 5 is designed to help organizations establish the framework for cybersecurity maturity. This certification level requires that an organization have a documented risk management plan with defined roles and responsibilities, along with written policies on data classification and protection. The goal of this certification is not only to protect against cyber threats but also maintain compliance standards set by legislation such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, or GDPR.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification levels are based on a system increasing from level one (least) to five (most).
The CMMC is designed to certify and measure the levels of maturity in an organization’s Cybersecurity Program.
The ultimate goal of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is to provide protection for two types of information:
- Confidential digital information such as private emails, financial records, and data collected through work.
- Non-digital assets that are physically present at your site or elsewhere (e.g., research files).
The CMMC provides a systematic evaluation of the organization’s cybersecurity program based on best practices and current standards.
You can use this certification to measure progress toward your goals, identify gaps in defense posture, make informed decisions about investments or outsourcing relationships for security services.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification is centered around ascending levels of preparedness from level 1, level 2, level 3, level 4 and level 5.
The goal of CMMC is to protect two types of data from unauthorized access.
- Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI): Information that requires safeguarding or dissemination controls pursuant to and consistent with applicable law, regulations, and government-wide policies but is not classified under Executive Order 13526 or the Atomic Energy Act, as amended.
- Federal Contract Information (FCI): Information, not intended for public release, that is provided by or generated for the government under a contract to develop or deliver a product or service to the government, but not including information provided by the government to the public.
CMMC Level 5 Processes and Practices
Level 5 requires an organization to standardize and optimize process implementation across the organization.
Level 5 Required Processes:
ML.5.995: Standardize and optimize a documented approach for [DOMAIN NAME] across all applicable organizational units.
Level 5 focuses on the protection of CUI from APTs. The additional practices increase the depth and sophistication of cybersecurity capabilities.
Achieving CMMC Level 5 requires the implementation of the practices listed below plus
CMMC Level 5 Access Control Practices
- AC.5.024 – Identify and mitigate risk associated with unidentified wireless access points connected to the network.
A Wireless Intrusion Detection System (WIDS) monitors the radio spectrum for unauthorized access points, while other approaches detect and/or block any rogue network device. One physical security side strategy is to turn unused RJ45 jacks; a more robust solution would be authorizing devices and configuring them with limited connections only authorized by an administrator on their network.
As a result of policies that are applied to authorized devices and include expected physical locations, it is easier for incident response teams identify if the device is near or far from home. This makes creating a list based on which you can control connections more efficient. Another approach would be detecting unauthorized device additions by comparing scans with previously done ones in order to identify changes.
CMMC Level 5 Audit and Accountability Practices
- AU.5.055 – Identify assets not reporting audit logs and assure appropriate organizationally defined systems are logging.
Robust auditing mechanisms are critical in defending against cyberattacks and preventing future attacks since logs are a common starting point for incident response and a core element in post-attack cyber forensics. A cyber attacker may try to disrupt the logging process at the beginning of an attack, making missing audit logs an initial indicator of a potential attack. Even if the
CMMC Level 5 Configuration Management (CM) Practices
- CM.5.074 – Verify the integrity and correctness of security critical or essential software as defined by the organization (e.g., roots of trust, formal verification, or cryptographic signatures).
The systems that perform a critical security function or processing of highly valued CUI data may contain the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 1.2 chip, which is designed to help ensure its integrity and confidentiality when it comes into use with your organization’s devices. By ensuring all software loads in an authorized manner – thereby eliminating any unauthorized changes made by malware – you can rest assured knowing your confidential information will be safe from prying eyes!
CMMC Level 4 Incident Response Practices
- IR.5.102 – Use a combination of manual and automated, real-time responses to anomalous activities that match incident patterns.
- IR.5.106 – In response to cyber incidents, utilize forensic data gathering across impacted systems, ensuring the secure transfer and protection of forensic data.
- IR.5.108 – Establish and maintain a cyber incident response team that can investigate an issue physically or virtually at any location within 24 hours.
- IR.5.110 – Perform unannounced operational exercises to demonstrate technical and procedural responses.
Organizations can lower their risk by developing a formalized procedure for catching and neutralizing malicious activity. The technical processes to use could be any number of configurations: a checklist, scripts, or other automation methods like macros in spreadsheets. It is best to balance the need for quick response with the potential side effects from using automated means.
CMMC Level 4 Recovery Practices
- RE.5.140 – Ensure information processing facilities meet organizationally defined information security continuity, redundancy, and availability requirements.
This practice is necessary in order for a cybersecurity solution with redundant components to continue functioning. It also helps, both with the preparation and implementation of mitigations that ensure any failure will not cause degradation of performance.
If a firewall stops functioning on its own, it is crucial to have another firewall or “fail closed” process in place while awaiting the problem’s resolution. If there are redundant systems, the environment will continue operating without problems and continuing security measures also work properly when failures happen.
CMMC Level 4 Risk Management Practices
- RM.5.152 – Utilize an exception process for non-whitelisted software that includes mitigation techniques.
- RM.5.155 – Analyze the effectiveness of security solutions at least annually to address anticipated risk to the system and the organization based on current and accumulated threat intelligence.
CMMC Certification Level 4 System and Communication Protection Practices
- SC.5.198 – Configure monitoring systems to record packets passing through the organization’s Internet network boundaries and other organizational-defined boundaries.
- SC.5.208 – Employ organizationally defined and tailored boundary protections in addition to commercially available solutions.
- SC.5.230 – Enforce port and protocol compliance.
CMMC Level 5 System and Information Integrity Practices
- SI.5.222: Analyze system behavior to detect and mitigate execution of normal system commands and scripts that indicate malicious actions.
- SI.5.223: Monitor individuals and system components on an ongoing basis for anomalous or suspicious behavior.
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Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Free Resources:
- Understanding CMMC Level 1 Requirements
- Understanding CMMC Level 2 Requirements
- Understanding CMMC Level 3 Requirements
- Understanding CMMC Level 4 Requirements
- Understanding CMMC Level 5 Requirements
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