MAGNET, Ignyte Institute Partner for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Acceleration Program in Ohio

Recently announced partnership between MAGNET and Ignyte Institute promises to raise awareness and help accelerate the adoption process of new certification requirements for Defense Contractors in the state of Ohio.

MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, a partner of the NIST and Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program to support small and medium manufacturers within the Northeast region of Ohio, announced that it has joined efforts with Ignyte Institute to help businesses better manage the Defense Industrial Base (DIB)  compliance with cybersecurity obligations under the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012 and NIST 800-171.

As announced on September 29, 2020, The Department of Defense (DoD) issued an interim rule to amend DFARS to implement the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework. The CMMC is an advanced step in the DoD’s efforts to properly secure the DIB. So far, four draft versions of CMMC have been publicly released including the most recent, CMMC 1.0. The CMMC Accreditation Body members are working to produce additional guidance to support the certification path. For now, Ignyte recommends implementing NIST 800-171.

Starting in the fiscal year 2021, the DoD will pilot the implementation of CMMC requirements for Level 3 and below on select new acquisitions.

Through this strategic partnership with Ignyte Institute, MAGNET will launch an onboarding program with a series of actions specifically designed to introduce the DoD-sponsored new regulations to local manufacturers and share a set of resources to educate them on the necessary steps to prepare for and comply with the emerging standards.

While manufacturing companies are focusing on immediate tasks at hand and their long term business goals, CMMC will soon be the minimum requirement to be eligible for DoD contract awards. In the simplest terms, anyone in the defense contract supply-chain will require a certification between Level 1 and Level 3 to qualify for government contracts. The DoD has emphasized that the CMMC is a starting point for transforming contractors’ internal cybersecurity culture. 

We provide assistance to over 670 manufacturing companies statewide on topics ranging from operational excellence to marketing strategy to creation and implementation of smart technology,” says Michael O’Donnell, Vice President, Operations. “Not all of them have resources to adapt quickly to these emerging cybersecurity requirements. MAGNET offers a wide range of hands-on consulting services to manufacturers as part of the national NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and Ohio MEP. Bringing such an experienced cybersecurity partner, as Ignyte Institute, will drastically increase our chances to attend to the needs of our members and help them comply with DoD requirements in a timely manner and maintain their competitiveness.”

The biggest challenge, we’ve observed through our experience with defense manufacturers, is being inundated with legacy systems, spreadsheets, and manual processes. This program, in cooperation with MAGNET, undoubtedly will bring value to the local businesses operating as a part of DoD supply-chain. Advancing the conversation from IT to business-level risk management will make compliance against CMMC much easier,” said Max Aulakh, CEO of Ignyte Institute.

For more information about MAGNET’s DoD Cybersecurity consulting and CMMC Readiness training program visit: https://www.ignyteinstitute.org/partnership-magnet.

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