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In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and DFARS 7012 have emerged as critical frameworks for safeguarding Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). These regulatory standards are pivotal for entities engaged with the Department of Defense (DoD), ensuring that their systems are adept at securely storing, transmitting, and processing CUI.  

A fundamental challenge often encountered during initial CMMC assessments is defining the precise boundaries of your “system.” This clarity is not just a compliance requirement but a cornerstone for a robust cybersecurity strategy. 

However, at MAD Security, we have found that the following three simple questions can simplify this challenge and make it easier to overcome.


Identifying CUI Entry Points:
“How does CUI enter your system?”


Understanding how CUI enters your system is essential. This initial step involves a thorough examination of all possible entry points, which could include: 

    • Contracts and Data Exchanges: Interactions with government agencies or other contractors often involve the transfer of CUI. 
    • Digital Transfers: This includes direct downloads or imports from external sources. 
    • Manual Data Entry: User input or manual entry of data into your systems can also be a significant entry point for CUI. 

Identifying these entry points is not just about compliance; it’s about fortifying the first line of defense against unauthorized access. Implementing appropriate security controls at these junctures is crucial. 


Mapping the Flow of CUI:
“Where does CUI flow in your system?”


Once inside, it’s vital to track how CUI moves within your systems. This process involves identifying: 

    • Systems and Applications: Pinpoint which specific systems and applications are processing CUI. 
    • Data Storage: This includes all physical and cloud storage locations where CUI is kept. 
    • Access Control: Understanding user access levels and permissions is critical in controlling the internal movement of CUI. 
    • Transmission Pathways: Identify how CUI is transmitted internally, such as via email or file-sharing platforms. 

Mapping the internal flow of CUI helps in pinpointing potential vulnerabilities. By doing so, you can implement robust data security controls like encryption and access restriction, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of CUI. 


Monitoring CUI Exit Points:
“How does CUI exit your system?”


Equally crucial is understanding how CUI exits your system. This includes: 

    • Email Communication: Monitoring how CUI is shared via email with authorized personnel. 
    • Cloud and File Sharing: Keeping track of uploads to cloud storage or file sharing platforms. 
    • Physical Transfers: This encompasses printing documents containing CUI or transferring data to external devices. 

Identifying these exit points is integral to monitoring data movement and ensuring that CUI is shared only with authorized parties, thus preventing data leaks. 


The Complexity of Answering
These Questions


While these questions might seem straightforward, their answers often delve into complex system interdependencies. The initial step in any CMMC assessment involves a guided exploration of these questions. This process not only helps in defining your system with clarity but also leads to the creation of a detailed scoping diagram. This diagram serves as a blueprint for your CMMC compliance journey, outlining the reach and boundaries of your system. 

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Experts are Key in Understanding
CMMC Scoping


Answering these three critical questions requires more than just a surface-level understanding of your systems. It demands a deep dive into the nuances of your cybersecurity infrastructure. This is where the expertise and experience of professionals like MAD Security come into play. As subject matter experts in DFARS, CMMC, and NIST, we bring a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record in guiding organizations through the complexities of CMMC scoping and compliance. 


Our Unique Approach to CMMC Scoping


At MAD Security, we believe in a holistic approach to cybersecurity. We understand that CMMC compliance is not just about checking boxes but ensuring that your cybersecurity measures are aligned with your business objectives. Our unique approach involves: 

  1. Deep Dive Discovery: We conduct an exhaustive analysis of your systems, leaving no stone unturned in understanding the flow and protection of CUI within your organization. 
  2. Alignment with Business Goals: Our goal is to align cybersecurity measures with your business objectives, ensuring that compliance is not a hindrance but a facilitator of business growth. 
  3. Customized Solutions: Recognizing that each organization is unique, we tailor our solutions to fit your specific needs, ensuring maximum protection and compliance efficiency. 

Partnering for Success


In choosing MAD Security as your partner in CMMC compliance, you’re not just opting for a service provider. You’re investing in a partnership that guarantees not only compliance but also a fortified cybersecurity posture. Our team of experts is dedicated to delivering bespoke solutions that align with your specific needs and challenges. 


A Commitment to Excellence and Compliance


The journey to CMMC compliance is intricate and requires a strategic approach. Understanding the scoping of your systems is the first critical step in this journey. With MAD Security, you gain a partner who brings expertise, experience, and a commitment to excellence in cybersecurity. Our approach to CMMC scoping is thorough, tailored, and aligned with the highest industry standards, ensuring that your journey to compliance is smooth, effective, and aligned with your business objectives.