The recently announced partnership between MAGNET and Ignyte Institute signifies a groundbreaking initiative to raise awareness and expedite the adoption process of new certification requirements for Defense Contractors in Ohio. This collaborative effort is set to introduce the CMMC Acceleration Program, which will be pivotal in preparing contractors to comply with evolving cybersecurity standards.
MAGNET and Ignyte Institute Unite Forces to Spearhead the CMMC Acceleration Program
In a momentous partnership, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET), a trusted collaborator of the NIST and Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, has joined hands with the esteemed Ignyte Institute. Their mission: to empower and guide small and medium manufacturers in the Northeast region of Ohio, navigating the intricate landscape of Defense Industrial Base (DIB) compliance with unwavering precision. At the heart of this collaboration lies the transformative CMMC Acceleration Program, a beacon of knowledge and empowerment.
As of September 29, 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a clarion call, amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) with the introduction of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework. This heralds a monumental step in the DoD’s relentless quest to fortify the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). The CMMC represents a critical milestone in ensuring the security of this vital sector. To date, we have witnessed the evolution of CMMC through four draft versions, culminating in the most recent, CMMC 1.0. The dedicated members of the CMMC Accreditation Body labor tirelessly to provide additional guidance, paving the way for a smoother certification path. In the interim, Ignyte Institute strongly recommends the implementation of NIST 800-171 as a foundational step towards cybersecurity excellence.
Beginning in the fiscal year 2021, the DoD embarks on a pivotal journey, piloting the implementation of CMMC requirements for Level 3 and below, focusing on select new acquisitions. This marks a watershed moment in the world of defense contracting, where adherence to stringent cybersecurity standards is set to become the gold standard for eligibility in securing DoD contract awards.
Within the strategic folds of the partnership with Ignyte Institute, MAGNET unveils the CMMC Acceleration Program. This comprehensive initiative comprises a meticulously crafted series of actions, all geared toward introducing local manufacturers to the latest DoD-sponsored regulations. Moreover, it aims to equip them with a robust set of resources, meticulously curated to facilitate understanding and compliance with the emerging standards.
While manufacturing companies remain steadfast in addressing their immediate tasks and nurturing their long-term business aspirations, it’s imperative to underscore the forthcoming significance of CMMC. In the near future, CMMC is poised to become the cornerstone of eligibility for DoD contract awards. In essence, anyone within the defense contract supply chain will necessitate certification from Level 1 to Level 3 to qualify for government contracts. The DoD is steadfast in emphasizing that CMMC is not merely a compliance requirement; it symbolizes the genesis of a transformative shift in the internal cybersecurity culture of contractors.
“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.