Optimizing SOC to Meet CMMC Compliance and Strengthen Cybersecurity: A Case Study

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As cybersecurity threats rise and defense contractors face what can feel like ever-changing government compliance requirements, many companies struggle to keep up with the best and most effective CMMC-compliant cyber protections for their operations. One common aspect of this is the increasing need for managed security services incorporating active scanning handled by a SOC (Security Operations Center).

Managed security services like those provided by  MAD Security provide 24/7 cybersecurity operations by an outsourced experienced security team that leverages top-tier technologies and security practices to protect your business from cyberattacks and respond to incidents if/when they occur.

In the following case study see how Design Interactive leveraged MAD Security’s Managed Security Services and their Security Operations Center to improve its cybersecurity posture and address CMMC requirements.

Company’s Cybersecurity and CMMC Compliance Challenges

Design Interactive was facing rising pressures from CMMC requirements. Their in-house team had attempted to optimize their internal cybersecurity process to support both CMMC compliance and protect their business. However, navigating such challenges internally proved difficult as they faced:

    • Shifting CMMC requirements
    • Uncertainty regarding available and effective software solutions 
    • Insufficient in-house bandwidth and expertise for making informed decisions
    • Upcoming CMMC compliance deadlines and needing to make progress faster than their in-house team could support
    • Pressure to meet requirements or lose current and future defense contracts tied to a large portion of their revenue

With the rising pressure, Design Interactive identified that it was time to pull in support to move faster towards their CMMC compliance objectives and protect their business. The company pulled in MAD Security to optimize its digital security frameworks and adequately meet government guidelines.  

CMMC Compliant SOC Solutions Defended the Software Company’s Positioning as a Defense Contractor

Here’s what the process looked like.

Assessment

    • MAD Security conducted a thorough analysis of Design Interactive’s current cybersecurity efforts, business needs, and expectations against CMMC requirements as outlined in NIST 800-171A and best-in-practices cyber protection strategies.

Creation of a Plan of Action and Milestones (POAM)

    • MAD Security created a tailored POAM to assist Design Interactive in successfully reaching a state of CMMC compliance. During the process, MAD’s Cybersecurity and Compliance experts made sure activity did not affect or disrupt the company’s operations.

The POAM encompassed various items including the following:

    • Findings from the Gap assessment conducted by MAD Security against the requirements outlined in 800-171A.
    • Tailored Recommendations for Design Interactive to implement
    • Severity ratings per POAM item to assist in risk-based remediation
    • Relative work effort estimation per assigned POAM item

 

Security Operations Center (SOC) Design & Implementation

MAD’s Security Operations experts designed a Security Operations Center (SOC) to address the NIST and CMMC requirements. This encompassed various items, including the following:

    • Asset Discovery and Inventory: tools and processes needed to keep an up-to-date record for all hardware and software within the enterprise
    • Discover: identifying and locating sensitive or regulated data to adequately protect or securely remove it
    • Active Network Scanning: probe the network to identify security vulnerabilities in the network that a hacker can exploit
    • Continuous Vulnerability Monitoring: maintaining ongoing awareness of information security, vulnerability, and threats to support organizational risk management decisions
    • Attack Vector/Avenue Identification: pathway/method used by a hacker to illegally access a network or computer in an attempt to exploit system vulnerabilities
    • Behavioral Monitoring: continuous behavior monitoring to provide context for forensic investigation and the identification of potential security incidents
    • Security Intelligence: collect, normalize, and correlate data from disparate sources to detect compromises and coordinate the appropriate responses
    • Threat Intelligence: curate threat data and combine it with supplemental information about the attacker’s tools, methods, and infrastructure to enhance detection capabilities
    • Continuous Compliance Monitoring: the process of monitoring a company’s security posture to ensure that it always has regulatory requirements and industry best practices

Why this matters: SOC is a part of implementing the NIST 800-171A controls required for CMMC Compliance and is an important part of protecting businesses and operations from cyber risks. 

How it works: Assurance regarding their cybersecurity control environment can be given by System and Organization Controls and Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). This aids users in comprehending the safeguards put in place to support operations and compliance.

MAD Security’s Services / Solutions

Through our work model, the MAD team was able not only to bring Design Interactive’s security operations up to date and ensure it is prepared to meet government requirements but also able to assist the client keep up with changes in cybersecurity methods. We provided our clients with constant guidance to optimize their processes even further.

Client’s Resolution 

The company’s choice to pull in MAD Security to fulfill CMMC complaint SOC requirements in:

    • Companies can’t bid on future DoD business unless CMMC compliant. This means that they are not able to earn business if not compliant. This can be a competitive advantage since not all companies are compliant. This leads to the benefit of faster business while focusing more on the impact.

    • Guidance – The client benefited from MAD’s constant guidance and support for specific policies and controls, which help them both improve their operations and save many resources.

    • More DoD opportunities – By enhancing their SOC and helping them stay compliant, MAD’s efforts allowed our client to pursue even more DoD contracts, as well as cement its position as a leading practitioner of cyber-security in its industry.

Overall, Design Interactive rates their experience with MAD as “very positive”. The support and guidance helped them achieve cybersecurity goals that were otherwise difficult for its in-house team to properly navigate, due to a lack of expertise in the field as well as a lack of confidence.

Improve CMMC Compliance Cybersecurity by Working with MAD Security

MAD Security’s (MAD’s) services are designed to support companies’ cybersecurity operational needs. Our team of security experts can be considered an extension of a company’s in-house staff and can perform 24/7 cybersecurity operations to help businesses stay safe while online. Through our services of enhancing cybersecurity and helping clients stay compliant, we can effectively support our clients with their CMMC and NIST requirements. 

As security experts, the MAD team is here to support software development companies in protecting their digital data as well as remain compliant with the ever-changing cybersecurity governmental requirements. Our goal is to be an integral partner in our client’s operations and provide them with both 24/7 cyber monitoring and expert advice on how to effectively create and manage their SOC.

For more information about our services, contact us online.

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