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NeoSystems Corporation


Ensuring Cybersecurity Compliance: Navigating CMMC Assessment and Affirmation Requirements

March 06, 2024 | BY: NeoSystems
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For defense contractors, cybersecurity is a non-negotiable priority. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program outlines rigorous assessment and affirmation requirements for contractors and subcontractors. Let’s dive into the key elements that shape this crucial aspect of CMMC compliance. 

  1. Comprehensive Cybersecurity Conformance Assessments:
  • CMMC mandates that contractors and subcontractors undergo thorough cybersecurity conformance assessments. 
  • These assessments serve as a critical measure to ensure the defense industrial base’s adherence to robust cybersecurity standards.
  1. Submission via DoD Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS):
  • Assessment results are not just internal metrics; they are submitted via the DoD Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS). 
  • This centralized system provides transparency and allows the DoD to have visibility into the cybersecurity posture of all contractors and subcontractors.
  1. Level 1: Self-Assessment and Affirmation:
  • At Level 1, organizations engage in a self-assessment process, evaluating their adherence to fundamental safeguarding practices. 
  • An affirmation of conformance by a senior representative of the company adds a layer of accountability, making it a key requirement for Level 1.
  1. Level 2: Triennial Assessment and Annual Self-Assessment:
  • Moving up to Level 2, most organizations face a more intensive triennial assessment conducted by an independent CMMC Third Party Assessment Organization (C3PAO). 
  • Additionally, for the 2nd and 3rd years of the certification cycle, organizations must conduct an annual self-assessment. 
  • Senior representatives must affirm the organization’s ongoing conformance annually, emphasizing the commitment to sustained cybersecurity measures.
  1. Level 2: Limited Annual Self-Assessment:
  • While Level 2 typically involves a triennial external assessment, a small percentage of organizations are permitted to self-assess annually. 
  • This flexibility recognizes that certain organizations may have the expertise and internal processes to confidently evaluate their cybersecurity controls on an annual basis.
  1. Level 3: Comprehensive Assessment and DoD Involvement:
  • Organizations required to certify at Level 3 follow a meticulous process. 
  • A Level 2 assessment, conducted by a C3PAO, is a prerequisite. The remaining controls undergo assessment by the DoD, adding an additional layer of validation. 
  • This comprehensive approach ensures that organizations at Level 3 possess advanced cybersecurity measures, particularly in protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
  1. Affirmations: Express Representations with Legal Consequences:
  • Affirmations of compliance, made by senior representatives, are more than just procedural steps. 
  • These affirmations are considered express representations for False Claims Act purposes, carrying legal weight. 
  • Accurate and honest affirmations are crucial to maintaining legal compliance and avoiding potential repercussions.


As the CMMC program unfolds, the assessment and affirmation requirements stand as pillars of a robust cybersecurity framework. Transparency through SPRS submission, involvement of independent assessors, and senior leadership affirmations collectively contribute to a comprehensive and accountable compliance process. And understanding the nuances of each level, from self-assessment to third-party involvement, enables organizations to navigate the CMMC landscape effectively.  

Embracing and excelling in cybersecurity compliance is not just a requirement; it’s a strategic imperative. Government Contractors that proactively engage with the assessment and affirmation processes outlined by CMMC position themselves not only for compliance but for resilience and success in an increasingly digitized and secure future. Contact us to learn more about our accelerated, affordable, low-risk path to CMMC readiness. 

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