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CMMC Compliance Deadline: When Do I Need to be CMMC Compliant?

Companies looking to become compliant should begin their security and compliance journey in Q3 of 2023. It takes a company an average of 12-18 months to complete the 7 Steps of CMMC.

Regardless of the published status of the CMMC rule, companies looking to become compliant should begin their security and compliance journey in Q3 of 2023. As the video below highlights, it takes a company an average of 12-18 months to complete the 7 Steps of CMMC.

Despite the recent public claims that DoD is “delaying” rule-making regarding CMMC, this blog, video clip below, and full-length video at the bottom of this blog detail that the opposite is true for contractors in the DoD supply chain.

In this video, we'll walk through the details of CMMC rule-making in order to help companies make better strategic decisions regarding their cybersecurity compliance obligations.

Rather than focusing on the various rule-making scenarios possibly in store for CMMC, contractors should carefully consider how long it takes to fully implement their NIST SP 800-171 requirements and how NIST’s revision to these existing requirements can complicate their implementation timeline, regardless of the status of the CMMC rule.  This post will highlight the key takeaways from the video and when you need to be CMMC compliant. 

  • Contractors should start their security and compliance journey now to avoid potential additional requirements from NIST 800-171
  • There are two rule-making scenarios for CMMC
  • CMMC early adopters are unlikely to be affected by NIST 800-171 rev 3 under a CMMC Interim Final Rule


Starting with NIST 800-171 Requirements

DFARS 7012 and other existing DFARS requirements state that organizations must implement the requirements in NIST SP 800-171, a requirement that is detailed in the full version of the video at the bottom of this blog.


In the Summer of 2022, NIST announced over the next 18 months they were planning to revise NIST SP 800-171. Later that year NIST announced they planned to release an initial draft of SP 800-171, Revision 3 in late Spring 2023 (see our takeaways from the initial public draft of Revision 3 here).  

This becomes important for anyone that has yet to implement NIST 800-171, meaning they will likely take on more controls associated with the newly revised version. CMMC early adopters that are ready for assessments now are unlikely to be affected by the updates from NIST under an interim final rule scenario. 

Two Rule-Making Scenarios for CMMC

DoD submitted the CMMC program rule in July 2023, which means the rule should be published sometime around October 2023.

In our review of the 328 times the DoD has submitted a rule for regulatory review (detailed in the full video), the average time that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) goes from rule submission to rule publication is 66 days. Why is this important? It shows that an extension of the CMMC rule is extremely rare, and we can make an assumption that the CMMC rule will be announced 66 days from the time of the rule submission (July 2023).

Scenario One: Proposed Rule “NPRM” 

The CMMC program rule would go into effect after DoD adjudicates and responds to public comments via the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register. Proposed rules are the standard, normal, routine, slow approach to “notice and comment” on rule-making.

Scenario Two: Interim Final Rule “IFR” 

DoD has consistently pursued an interim final rule. The CMMC program rule would become effective before DoD adjudicates and responds to public comments via a final rule (i.e., immediately).


This Takes a Long Time For Companies To Implement

In most cases, a NIST SP 800-171 implementation (CMMC Level 2) for 50-100 person companies averages 12-18 months; most companies are over a year behind given the potential interim final rule scenario.

If a contractor had begun their implementation in Q4 of 2021 when CMMC 2.0 was originally announced, they would have been ready for rule publication by June 2023. To be ready for an interim final ruling scenario, that same company would have needed to begin implementation in Q1 2022. 

In the event of a proposed rule scenario, companies need to begin implementation now.  

Next Steps

Organizations should be determining their required level of CMMC, if they have not already done so, as well as reaching out to partners that specialize in security and compliance requirements for companies in the Defense Industrial Base.


Frequently Asked Questions Around CMMC:

  • Is CMMC finalized?
    • No - but as the blog denotes, organizations should be preparing for their assessments right now.

  • How long does it take to get CMMC compliant?
    • It could take organizations anywhere from 12-18 months from start to finish

  • How do I know if I need to be CMMC compliant?

What Do Contractors Need To Know About CMMC Rulemaking in 2023?

Here is the full-length video on an in-depth understanding of CMMC Rulemaking in 2023. 




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