How Sikich’s Third-Party Risk Management Enhances CMMC Flow-Down Implementation

In today’s interconnected digital ecosystem, third-party relationships are integral to operations but can pose significant cybersecurity risks. This concern is heightened within the defense industry, where the Department of Defense (DoD) mandates stringent National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171r2 information security program controls and, soon, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) compliance. To navigate these waters, companies are increasingly turning to comprehensive Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) programs like the one offered by Sikich.

Understanding the CMMC Landscape

CMMC is a unified standard for implementing cybersecurity across the defense industrial base (DIB). It requires contractors to meet specific levels of cybersecurity preparedness and to ensure this standard is “flowed down” to subcontractors. Failure to comply can result in loss of contracts and severe reputational damage, making CMMC compliance not just a regulatory hurdle but a competitive necessity.

Sikich is a Strategic Ally in Cybersecurity Compliance

Sikich’s TPRM program provides a robust framework for companies assessing their third-party networks for cybersecurity compliance, including CMMC requirements. Here’s how Sikich’s TPRM program can bolster your company’s cybersecurity posture:

  1. Custom Risk Management Programs

Starting with a tailored risk management program, Sikich aligns TPRM strategies with specific cybersecurity requirements, including in relation to CMMC. This bespoke approach ensures that each vendor relationship is scrutinized, and compliance requirements are meticulously mapped to the corresponding CMMC level.

  1. Stakeholder Education and Training

Knowledge is the bedrock of cybersecurity. Sikich’s TPRM program includes comprehensive training modules for both internal stakeholders and external partners. By ensuring everyone understands their role in safeguarding data, Sikich turns your human capital into a cybersecurity asset.

  1. Rigorous Due Diligence Processes

Sikich’s TPRM program extends to conducting detailed due diligence on third parties. Sikich assists companies in the design of CMMC-aligned security questionnaires, conducts in-depth documentation reviews, and validates controls through interviews and site assessments. This due diligence ensures that the third parties you work with aren’t critical weaknesses in your cybersecurity armor.

  1. Continuous Monitoring and Reporting

Maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture is not a one-time event but a continuous journey. Sikich’s TPRM program is designed for the long haul, with ongoing monitoring, regular risk assessments, and detailed compliance reporting that keeps your company ahead of the curve.

  1. Effective Contract and Compliance Enforcement

Contracts are the binding force that ensures third-party adherence to cybersecurity norms. Sikich aids in crafting robust contracts with clear compliance clauses and provides support in tracking and enforcing compliance, thereby safeguarding against cyber threats and compliance slippages.

  1. Global Considerations and Reciprocity Guidance

In a global supply chain, international standards and regulations complicate compliance. Sikich navigates this complexity by helping companies understand international standards and guiding them toward achieving reciprocity with CMMC where possible.

Case in Point: Mitigating Cyber Risks

Take the case of a prime defense contractor managing multiple subcontractors. The Sikich TPRM program can step in to streamline the process of flowing down CMMC requirements, conducting thorough risk assessments, and providing a clear roadmap to achieving and maintaining compliance. As a result, the prime contractor not only secures its data and systems but also ensures that every link in its supply chain is equally fortified against cyber threats.

A Commitment to Cyber Resilience

Sikich’s TPRM program is more than just a compliance tool—it’s a strategic business partnership that empowers companies to achieve cyber resilience. By integrating Sikich’s TPRM program into your cybersecurity strategy, you safeguard your operations, protect your reputation, and maintain the trust of your clients and partners. As the cyber landscape evolves, having Sikich by your side means you’re in the best position to stay prepared, compliant, and secure.

For more information on how Sikich can help your company with third-party cybersecurity risk management and navigate the CMMC requirements, contact our team of experts today.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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