The Department of Defense (DoD) has one of the largest supply chains in the world. In the last five years, approximately 4,000 Georgia businesses have received DoD contracts, making defense contracting a $7.3 billion dollar industry in the state of Georgia. This crucial supply chain is increasingly at risk for cybersecurity attacks, particularly the small businesses that make up the largest percentage of Georgia’s defense industrial base.
In January 2020, The Department of Defense established a new, unified cybersecurity standard. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), will hold suppliers accountable for their cybersecurity practices before they can bid for government contracts. While this is currently being rolled out for DoD contractors, there are indications that additional federal and state entities will also adopt CMMC. The CMMC establishes five tiered certification levels of cybersecurity ranging from Level 1 “Basic Cyber Hygiene” to Level 5 “Advanced/Progressive.” The majority of defense contractors will need to demonstrate cybersecurity measures between level 1 and level 3.
While the guidance from the CMMC Accreditation Body is still evolving, defense contractors need to begin preparing for CMMC certification now. To help defense contractors and general Georgia businesses find cybersecurity resources and support, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) developed the CybersecurityEDGE website https://www.georgia.org/cybersecurityedge. GDEcD is also collaborating with industry experts at the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) https://www.tagonline.org/ga-dibt/ to provide CMMC training materials, compliance assistance, and eventually job recruitment.
Join TAG, Georgia Department of Economic Development for a virtual presentation on What is CMMC?: What It Is and Why It Should Matter to You on June 25th at 11 a.m. Register at https://bit.ly/CMMC6452020
Please share this information widely with defense contractors and related stakeholders in your community. For more information on how the GDEcD team and TAG can support defense contractors please contact Cassia Baker, Project Manager, Centers of Innovation at: Cbaker@georgia.org.