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CMMC CommunityAn Ecosystem of Cybersecurity Professionals


An active Ecosystem

CMMC is poised to be the largest and most ambitious cybersecurity conformance regime ever established. It is estimated that there are between 200,000 and 300,000 companies within the Defense Industrial Base. And while not every DIB company will necessarily be subject to a CMMC mandate, most eventually will. To be successful, the CMMC initiative relies on an entire community of security and training professionals.


The CMMC ecosystem refers to the interconnected network of organizations, entities, and processes involved in the implementation, assessment, and certification of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework. The ecosystem encompasses several key stakeholders and components:

  • U.S. Department of Defense (DoD): The DoD is responsible for developing and mandating the CMMC framework as a cybersecurity requirement for its contractors and suppliers. It oversees the implementation and enforcement of CMMC regulations.
  • Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB): The CMMC-AB is a nonprofit organization authorized by the DoD to oversee the training, accreditation, and certification of CMMC assessors and organizations seeking CMMC certification. It plays a central role in establishing and maintaining the integrity of the CMMC ecosystem.
  • CMMC Certified Assessors: CMMC assessors are qualified individuals or organizations authorized by the CMMC-AB to evaluate and assess organizations against the CMMC framework. They conduct on-site or remote assessments to determine if an organization meets the required cybersecurity practices and processes for certification.
  • Certified Third-Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs): C3PAOs are organizations authorized by the CMMC-AB to perform official CMMC assessments. They employ CMMC assessors and are responsible for conducting the assessments and issuing CMMC certifications to organizations that meet the requirements.
  • Defense Contractors and Suppliers: These are the organizations that work with the DoD and are subject to CMMC requirements. They must implement the necessary cybersecurity controls, practices, and processes to achieve certification and maintain compliance with the appropriate CMMC level.
  • CMMC Practitioners: CMMC practitioners are individuals with deep knowledge and practical experience in cybersecurity and the CMMC framework. They provide guidance and support to organizations throughout their CMMC journey, helping them build robust security programs.
  • Training Providers: These organizations deliver CMMC-related training and education programs, equipping individuals and organizations with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet CMMC requirements. They offer specialized courses and certifications to enhance cybersecurity expertise.
  • Industry Associations and Forums: Various industry associations and forums actively contribute to the CMMC ecosystem. They facilitate networking opportunities, promote information sharing, and advocate for cybersecurity best practices, thereby fostering a robust and evolving community.
  • Research and Development (R&D) Institutions: R&D institutions play a crucial role in advancing cybersecurity technologies and methodologies. They conduct research, develop innovative solutions, and contribute to the continuous improvement of the CMMC framework.

The CMMC marketplace is an online platform established by the CMMC-AB to connect organizations seeking CMMC services with C3PAOs and certified assessors. It facilitates the procurement of CMMC assessments and certifications, providing a centralized resource for organizations to find qualified assessors.

The CMMC ecosystem is designed to ensure that defense contractors and suppliers have appropriate cybersecurity measures in place to protect sensitive information and support national security. It involves collaboration between government entities, certification bodies, assessors, and organizations to establish a robust cybersecurity framework for the defense supply chain.

Elevated cybersecurity is the "end-product" of a whole series of inter-related CMMC activities. To get to that point of a CMMC Assessment, an entire "Ecosystem" of individuals, companies, and other organizations, each with their own role, has to work diligently to make CMMC Certification a reality. Together, these members form a collaborative and diverse CMMC ecosystem, working towards strengthening cybersecurity practices and protecting sensitive information within the defense supply chain. Their collective efforts ensure the resilience, integrity, and security of our nation's critical infrastructure and information assets.