What Is Angler Phishing?

Many businesses and organizations emphasize the importance of cybersecurity because it can affect their brand, reputation, and credibility. That’s one of the reasons that phishing is such a major concern. 

As a refresher, phishing refers to a fraudulent attempt to collect sensitive data and personal information. These shady social media scammers often then use your financial information to make purchases or attempt to steal your money or identity.

The objective of phishing is simple: obtain passwords, financial information, 

or other personal information that could potentially be valuable to social media scammers. There are different phishing types, and one of the most popular forms of phishing is angler phishing. Angler phishing refers to the practice of pretending to be a customer service account to lure victims into handing over personal information. 

How Does It Work? 

Many businesses have disgruntled customers and often take to social media to complain about a product or service. Angler phishing involves reaching out to these customers and pretending to be involved with the company that they might be complaining about. If they are experienced in phishing, there will be a significant amount of effort to make their responses seem official. These social media scammers may even utilize the company’s graphics to convince customers.

 Social media scammers will often even have “alerts” to find out when customers are complaining about a specific company. These social media scammers use angler phishing to appear genuine and eager to help, but they are often just after your financial information. They will offer you a link, often to “chat with an agent’, but the link won’t be an official one.

Avoiding Social Media Scammers

Top Tips:

  • Make sure to verify any unknown users who contact you through social media.
  • Ask for the representative to send you an email from their business address.
  • Never send sensitive information through social media.

 You might be wondering how to avoid those involved in angler phishing, and there are a couple of things to consider. First, find out whether you are speaking to someone officially involved with a company. These accounts often will be “verified” in some way, depending on the social media platform that you use. Angler phishing is often most used when the social media scammers feel like the official customer service accounts are less active.

How does angler phishing remain effective? They are banking on the fact that you won’t take the time to verify that they are official representatives from a company, business, or organization. One way to avoid angler phishing is to contact the company directly through their website rather than dealing with a cybercriminal interested in phishing for information. 

About VelocIT

VelocIT’s unique managed service delivery model builds trust. Our goal is to help you grow your business through IT Leadership. From infrastructure to end-user support, VelocIT partners with you to meet the unique technology needs specific to your business. Our integrated approach to Information Technology Support consistently reduces operational costs while increasing end-user satisfaction for our partners.

Need to learn more?  Just contact us at info@v-msp.com

5 Benefits from a Professional IT Partner

Having a business partner brings a lot of benefits. Business leaders can work better together by seeking out someone who has the same visions and goals, and whose strategic vision is complementary to their own. Starting a business and running it alone is never an easy task. Small business owners in the IT field know the importance of strong partnerships. If they work alone, they have to manage everything from maintenance to customer services themselves.

A technology partner can help you in a broad spectrum and provides IT support and managed services. Unmanaged and unreliable services can slow down the company’s growth. Businesses can achieve efficiency through managed IT services because IT has become the backbone of every industry.

Having a managed service provider (MSP) can bring value to a business by optimizing the technology. Almost every company is now using the latest technology, and a managed IT service provider can provide reliable network, security, and customer support that is badly needed.

Benefits of Managed Services Providers

Keeping your organization at its peak is not an easy task; lots of challenges can hinder the company’s growth, establishment, and security. Small businesses can’t stand alone and decide what is better for them. They should get managed services from IT partners that can give benefits to them.

There is a list of benefits that a company can get while having a professional IT partner. Here are some of the major benefits:

Support for Remote Workers

VelocIT provides remote support to the IT industry. Regardless of the location, VelocIT provides a virtual team that works securely and reliably, has better collaborations with the company, and gives tailored IT support.

MSP offers network monitoring, maintenance, and security. They provide day-to-day support to systems with managed IT services. Collaboration with the remote team is a challenging task, but they come with unified communication tools that make it easier to collaborate securely.

Focus on Growth

Better IT partners are those who can handle whatever a company demands. They have working experience with small and large organizations. The purpose of an MSP is to provide reliable and smooth services to the client companies. An IT partner should quickly respond to your needs.

VelocIT offers scalability and focuses on growth according to a company’s needs. When someone is going to start a business, the only thing they focus on is growth. The technology partners for your business should have that in mind too. VelocIT has an infrastructure that can bear expansion without any pain.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan

Factors that help in a disaster recovery plan are recovery systems and data backup. Having an IT partner helps you to overcome these disasters. VelocIT is a technology partner that offers the best backup solutions according to your business needs. They have developed a business continuity plan that ensures protection, manages risks, and backups data. They identify risk, mobilize the areas that require improvement, and then offer a mature idea to survive any global disasters.

Peace of Mind

VelocIT, being a trusted managed services provider, offers 24/7 support and proactive maintenance. They detect vulnerabilities and prevent your organization from malicious attacks. With better IT experts, they integrate security, optimize performance, and provide IT support.

Updates are necessary to ensure efficiency and maintain security. Businesses can rely on managed services providers who guarantee proactive solutions and better IT infrastructure. MSP’s IT professionals remain up to date with the latest technologies and bring advancement to your business.

Budgeting Your IT

Technology is an integral part of every business. With the evolution in information technology, the budget for technical maintenance has also increased. Businesses rely on technology to survive and stand in the marketplace, and employees work better, faster, and reliably when they have access to the latest equipment and technology.

IT budgeting is essential and lays the foundation for the success of an organization. Consider the value that IT brings to your business. Companies are not able to do this on their own. They should hire technology experts or collaborate with the IT partners for better budgeting. VelocIT provides its services to plan IT budgets in a better way.

Not all partnerships go successful. It takes a lot of effort and time to find the right partner for your business. A project will be less risky and more successful if it is under the supervision of IT experts.

Don’t let the risks prevent your business from reaching its goals. IT professionals detect technical problems that can impact growth and offer support and security. They continuously try to find ways to improve their services and offer maximum benefits to the client companies.

4 Benefits of Networking Virtually for Business Professionals

How to Network in a Virtual World

For many, the idea of networking might mean exchanging business cards at a conference, grabbing coffee with a colleague, or introducing yourself at a cocktail hour to a C-suite executive you’d love to learn from. However, COVID-19 put a grinding halt to in-person events, causing business professionals and leaders to shift their networking attention virtually.

Luckily, networking is incredibly easy in the digital age, so business leaders can remain focused on building their professional network, developing relationships, and maintaining connections as one of their most powerful tools for career advancement.

Here are four unique benefits of networking virtually.

  1. Cultivate a more intimate connection.

What an incredible opportunity to meet virtually face-to-face with the other esteemed leaders in the comfort of their homes! Networking virtually adds an unparalleled sense of closeness and familiarity; gone are the glossy offices with diplomas on the wall. Now, virtual networkers see each others’ kids play gyms in the living room or their beloved dog lounging on the couch. It breeds comfort among business connections to see each other in their natural, most intimate habitats at home.

When people network virtually, they are trusting the other person to view their home, family, children, even their sleeping quarters – something they never would have shown before. This fosters a unique, intimate connection between business professionals.

  1. Sharpen your networking skills on social media.

As people remain at home, social media consumption and engagement continue to rise. For the professional sitting in a home office all day, it’s a unique occasion to get in front of thought leaders and peers on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is an incredible networking tool as most leaders and well-known executives manage their own accounts, so writing an insightful comment or thought-provoking question on a post gets your name directly in front of the desired individual, allowing the opportunity to take the relationship even further with a direct message. For anyone looking for a way to drive engagement on their own Linkedin posts, check out the VelocIT Partner Program, a new networking group for business leaders and professionals looking to develop relationships with LinkedIn threads/engagement.

  1. Stay on the pulse of your industry.

Networking virtually has the added benefit of allowing people to learn intimate details about how other companies and brands are handling this unprecedented time. Connections are typically open about the struggles or successes of their company “going remote,” and having a 30-minute Zoom call with someone in an adjacent field might provide out-of-the-box ideas your company never would’ve thought of. Networking keeps you on the pulse of your industry, which is critical for career growth and job success.

  1. Network with someone you never would’ve had an opportunity to meet in person.

That coffee chat with the global leader across the globe? It was probably was not going to work out in pre-COVID days. Even though it was theoretically feasible to jet across countries and time zones, it was still difficult to meet and network with professionals from other regions. Now, meeting with someone you’ve admired from afar is way more feasible when you just have to make time zones align for an hour-long Zoom call. People now have the opportunity to interact with other leaders around the world, exchanging diverse information and ideas, keeping smart business professionals ahead of the innovation curve and on top of emerging trends.

To get started with virtual networking, contact us about joining the VelocIT Partner Program, a networking group hosting monthly virtual networking events and LinkedIn threads/engagement pods.

Cybersecurity Threats to Virtual Teams (and how to prevent them)

The global pandemic and the increasing social distancing demands have changed the landscape of many industries. Resultantly more and more businesses are allowing their employees to work from home as much as possible. With the increasing number of remote workers, the number of cybersecurity threats as well as cyberattacks is also increasing.

For that matter, vigilance is necessary to keep the data of your organization and your employees safe. In this article, you’ll learn about the cybersecurity threats that will allow you to reduce the risk significantly. So, let’s jump into it.

Brute Force Attacks

Cybercriminals can use brute force attacks to guess login credentials by cycling through millions of combinations. They use computing power to achieve this effectively. Once they have the credentials that work, they try to use them on your business’s online portal to infiltrate the network. It’s one of the most common types of data breach that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

How to Prevent a Brute Force Attack?

One of the tools that remote teams almost always use is VPN (Virtual Private Network). According to Statista, VPN usage increased by 124 percent in March 2020. The best way to stop this attack is to use a paid VPN service with strong security protocols. It prevents the off chance that a cybercriminal can gain any insight into the credentials you typically use for services online by snooping into your online traffic. Alongside a VPN, utilize a reputable password manager so you’re not recycling login details. This ensures your employees never use the same password on different online platforms.

Phishing

It’s yet another very common type of cybersecurity threat. In phishing, the hacker tries to trick your employees by making them click on the malicious downloading or attachment links. Attackers even use well-made websites (on even sensitive topics such as Covid-19) which appear legit and trustworthy. Once the user clicks on the download link or even signs into such websites, either the hackers get the personal credentials or malware gets installed in his/her computer. Some of these attacks compel the user to buy something useless for a pretty penny. But most of these attacks are to get the data by getting your remote workers hacked.

How to Prevent Phishing?

The best way to keep your employees safe from such attacks is to educate them about phishing. According to IBM, human error is the main cause of 95% of cyber security breaches. End User Awareness training is a necessity for your team – especially when dealing with sensitive data. VelocIT partners with Webroot to offer End User Training, an educational module to protect your company, clients, staff and data. We run these programs as a service on an as-needed basis so please reach out to us if you are interested in training for your team. You should also inform your remote workers to avoid all the unknown messages and emails containing attachments, downloadable files, or even links to websites to get ridiculous promotions.

 

Malware

Malware (Malicious Software) is specially developed software for cyber breaching. You might already have heard of its different types, such as trojans, worms, viruses, etc. Malware can affect your business’ data in many ways, like a virus that starts spreading across your computer and corrupting all the files in its way. That’s how the whole functionality of your computer or even business’ network becomes unusable.

How to Prevent Malware?

The best way to prevent malware is to set up a smart anti-virus/anti-malware security system across your network. Installing is not the final process because you need to keep it updated constantly. Moreover, you also need to make sure suspicious websites are not reachable while someone is logged in to your company’s network.

Ransomware

Ransomware is considered the most dangerous cyberattack with almost negligible possibility to be recovered. It also works somewhat similar to malware as it first needs to be installed in your system. Once the hacker has achieved that, it silently spreads across your system and encrypts all the files in its way. The most interesting and also disturbing thing is the encryption can only be decrypted with a key. The hacker possesses it and asks you for a whole lot of money in exchange for this key. Such an attack recently cost a hospital about 10 million US dollars. According to a recent IBM study, 70% of businesses hit by a ransomware infection pay to regain access to their endpoints and files. 

How to Prevent Ransomware?

The ransomware prevention technique is similar to preventing malware, but still, there’s no guarantee. Every individual must know about this attack so that they avoid all the malicious messages and emails. However, you can perform the following to minimize the risk.

  • Firewalls and anti-virus and anti-malware solutions must be installed and keep them updated.
  • Ensure that all endpoints are backed up to the cloud so that you can simply wipe the machine and reload the data and avoid paying a costly ransom.
  • Avoid untrustworthy websites, emails, messages, attachments, and download links.
  • Block websites that have “HTTP” instead of “HTTPS” (‘s’ stands for secure) on your network.

Final Word

These are some of the most common cyberattacks on your virtual teams that can cost your business a whole lot of money. You can follow the prevention techniques mentioned above to minimize the risk of these attacks, however nothing will offer better protection than a Professional IT partner. VelocIT offers Virtual Office, IT solutions tailored specifically for partial or fully remote teams. We seek to not only protect your company, team and assets, but also help you understand how each cyber-attack type works and what are the best practices to keep your personal data as well as the company’s data safe from them.

References:
https://youteam.io/blog/how-to-keep-remote-employees-safe-from-potential-cyber-threats/
https://securityboulevard.com/2020/03/how-to-protect-remote-employees-from-cyber-threats/
https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-combat-cyber-threats-amid-the-shift-to-remote-working/
https://newsroom.ibm.com/2021-02-24-IBM-Security-Report-Attacks-on-Industries-Supporting-COVID-19-Response-Efforts-Double
https://www.varonis.com/blog/top-5-remote-work-security-threats/
https://strategynewmedia.com/types-of-cyber-attacks/
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/common-cyberattacks.html#~how-cyber-attacks-work
https://media.scmagazine.com/documents/82/ibm_cyber_security_intelligenc_20450.pdf

How To Keep Your Remote Team Productive (and Motivated)

How To Keep Your Remote Team Productive (and Motivated)

Many businesses are in the midst of a major shift from physical to virtual offices.

Adopting a virtual system has become more popular than ever. It’s not surprising that a lot more people are working from home.

Virtual offices are even more relevant considering our new reality. The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to businesses. Remote teams will matter for these times and beyond.

The benefits of having a remote team are numerous. However, the challenge of coordinating this team can be daunting, even for experienced business owners.

Do you want to keep your remote team productive and motivated? Read on.

Why This is Important

The home setting creates certain complications that the office environment would have otherwise dispelled. The burden of chores, childcare, online schooling, and taking care of family and pets may be overwhelming.

Employees may be heavily distracted, since working at home doesn’t always instill a sense of urgency. It is important to keep staff productive and motivated.

How to Achieve Motivation in Remote Workers

There are a variety of strategies that business owners can employ to keep a remote team at their possible best. A remote team can be spurred on to beat the distance and a lack of direct physical supervision.

Here’s how:

  • The right environment

This is a great starting point. As with physical offices, the right workspace sets the mood. Remote teams should be encouraged to find a quiet, productive corner of their homes for this purpose. If possible, offer an office stipend to help cover costs of appropriate home office equipment.

  • Internal communication

The exchange of files and data should be in sync and seamless. Virtual offices should employ suitable digital tools to achieve this.

  • Ensure Cyber Security

Many businesses are going virtual, and so are scammers and hackers.

Employees often have access to sensitive work materials. With the ever-present risk of cyber theft, these materials must be protected.

Some companies provide solutions for remote team cybersecurity. VelocIT empowers remote teams with the security that they need to safely operate. With end-user devices, virtual offices are secured with features such as endpoint encryption, e-mail management, and security.

  • Team building activities

Bosses should strive to create one big happy work family. Team bonding activities promote greater rapport, the free exchange of ideas, and ultimately increase productivity.

  • Flexibility

If feasible, let them pick their own work hours. This is a smart way to keep remote teams motivated and productive.

There are peaks and valleys of each new day. It is best to catch team members at their best.

  • Be honest about your expectations

To make this work, there should be clear targets and schedules. Employers should factor in the new realities and keep these expectations realistic.

Team members who meet these expectations may be rewarded at intervals. This will keep them motivated.

  • Accommodate needs

One size doesn’t fit all here. Some staff may struggle more with working from home than others. Consider this and be patient as they adjust, and offer accommodations where necessary.

  • Strike a balance

There should be a fair balance between motivation and productivity. Motivation can become a distraction if the activities are drawn out.

Are you looking to galvanize your remote team?  Contact Us today!

What Cybersecurity Trends Should We Expect for 2021?

2020 brought years of changes in how businesses operate and function in one year. As more people worked from home and relied on the network connections to complete work, there was more stress on cybersecurity and IT workers to make sure that everything stayed secure.

Moving into 2021 shows that many of the changes caused by COVID-19 have become the new normal, especially when it comes to working from home. More businesses are considering working from home to be a long-term option in some capacity in the future. With this in mind, here are some IT trends to expect in 2021.

Digital Transformation Will Grow

Technology has made it possible for our lives to continue, especially for work purposes. Thanks to the ability to adapt quickly to new changes and adopt new technology, working from home was an option for many businesses.

Many businesses are continuing down this path and are examining ways that technology and cyberinfrastructure will continue to change in the coming year. This way of working seems to be turning into our next normal and businesses are getting ready for how that will look for years to come.

Ransomware Attacks

Data shows that the majority of breaches in 2020 are financially motivated. This is expected to continue into 2021. A little over half of these attacks involved hands-on hacking and not autonomous malware. The financial industry has been especially threatened in 2020 and this is expected to continue into 2021.

Cybersecurity in financial businesses more than doubled in 2020. For businesses that operate in the B2B industry, it must adapt to the next normal of making sure that all firewalls and malware solutions are up to date. Even one wrong file can create problems.

The best way to prepare for potential attacks is to know what hacking attempts look like. Most attacks begin from files from unverified accounts. Setting expectations about what to do when receiving unexpected emails with unverified files attached is a great way to avoid cyberattacks.

5G Implementation

One of the new normals to expect in 2021 is the growth of 5G. 5G is expected to cover almost half of the world by 2024 and 2021 will be a time of major growth for cloud-based technology. As businesses expand to use 5G, IT services and security will need to be aware of potential threats and attacks.

5G will require higher standards of security and monitoring, especially as more businesses transition into this service. If this is a move that your business will make in 2021, get ready for the next normal of the company and be prepared for extra security measures.

The IT trends of 2021 encourage more security in all aspects of network infrastructure. Cybersecurity threats are a higher risk than they have been with more people working remotely. Making sure that everyone is up to date on current trends will go a long way in keeping businesses safe. Start a conversation with your IT solutions about what to expect in 2021.

Outsourcing Cybersecurity is a Smart Choice

The cybersecurity landscape is changing at a fast pace and most of the organizations that need to secure their online presence are not prepared for it. Cybercriminals are coming up with unique ways to infiltrate organization networks to steal sensitive data or to infect the system with malware thus putting the business to a halt. In the Digital Defense Report, Microsoft highlights the increase in identity-based and ransomware attacks on the internet.

The WannaCry ransomware attack that paralyzed 200,000 computers running on Microsoft Windows across 150 countries is the reason organizations demand security against cyber-attacks.

Cybersecurity is a full-time job as protection against online threats is needed round the clock. Small businesses hand the responsibility of cybersecurity to an under-skilled IT team or most lack the proper infrastructure required to access and handle threats as soon as they originate. Most organizations are not cybersecurity experts and lack the ability to deal with cyber threats. These are the reasons why many firms consider hiring services of a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) provider.

Some of the reason why a firm should consider hiring the services of an MDR are:

1- Cost-Effectiveness

Even though organizations are spending more and more on Information Technology, the issue of budget deficit still exists. Skilled cybersecurity professionals are too costly to be hired for most firms and then the problem of providing them with expensive cybersecurity infrastructure arises. All these problems can be avoided by outsourcing your cybersecurity to an MDR.

MDR provides excellent cybersecurity infrastructure, skilled professionals, and strategic consulting to assess your company’s cybersecurity needs. 24/7 monitoring and protection against threats by outsourcing your cybersecurity is less costly and more efficient.

2- Professional Security Expertise

Many businesses lack the internal IT infrastructure to deal with a cyberattack. And even when they do have a dedicated IT staff, handing over cybersecurity issues to them means not utilizing them at their full capacity for the main goal of the business. Sometimes in-house IT staff is not as experiences in the cybersecurity niche or lack the proper equipment to deal with malicious actors that threaten an organization’s online presence. When an organization establishes an outsourced cybersecurity model by handing it over to an MDR, they get the services of skilled cybersecurity professionals who excel in the field and are familiar with the cybersecurity landscape. MDR professionals have in-depth knowledge and come armed with better solutions to secure an organization’s cyber presence.

3- Efficient Risk Management

An MDR that specializes in cybersecurity and risk management will better assess and deal with online threats as compared to an in-house IT team, outsourced cybersecurity is the best option for efficient risk management. Professionals assess and identify the weak points that are a potential risk for a cyberattack. By hiring an out-sourced MDR, your organization can get benefits like qualitative and quantitative analysis of risks, end-point threats. They also help to configure an organization’s networks, systems, and apps to assess and manage cyber risks.

4- Round-the-Clock Protection

What most businesses fail to realize is that protection against online threats is needed 24/7. Having an in-house cybersecurity team that is online 24/7 is not an option for most organizations. MDR’s provide round the clock monitoring that greatly improves threat prevention. As they monitor security across a number of clients, MDR’s are better equipped to detect and deal with new threats before they do catastrophic damage.

5- Remote Workspace Expansion

Millions of employees are working from home due to the pandemic, connecting to corporate clouds and networks using a variety of devices. Sometimes the organizations have provided endpoints loaded with security software. The employees on the other end-point login using devices with little or no security. This provides cybercriminals a golden chance to get into corporate networks unnoticed.

Organizations can prevent this from happening by hiring the services of an MDR provider. Professional MDR providers ingest data from multiple sources enabling them to do better and context-aware analysis to make intelligent and informed decisions thus providing the employees unfettered access while keeping the malicious actors at bay.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Do you have questions about the Internet of Things (IoT)? VelocIT has the answers. Contact us today to learn more about how the Internet of Things is impacting your business.

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (1)

What is CMMC and How Much Will It Cost My Company?

If your company does business with the US Department of Defense (DoD), you will soon need to pass an independent assessment against Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) requirements to bid on contracts.  This mandate impacts all suppliers at all tiers across the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), from prime contractors to SMB subcontractors, as well as commercial item contractors and foreign suppliers.

First released in January 2020, the CMMC is the DoD’s response to significant and ongoing exfiltration of sensitive defense information from suppliers’ systems. CMMC compliance will gradually be incorporated into Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) as a requirement for contract award, replacing the current NIST SP 800-171 cybersecurity guidance.

The CMMC’s purpose is to verify appropriate cybersecurity controls to ensure basic “cyber hygiene” for all DIB suppliers, and to protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) on the systems of suppliers authorized to handle CUI. By defining five compliance levels to better match a supplier’s actual risk profile and the data it handles, the CMMC also “right-sizes” SMB cybersecurity requirements.

Why is CMMC important for Primes and Subcontractors?

The CMMC is vitally important to all DoD contractors for two major reasons:

  1. Your company will not be able to participate in DoD contracts that mandate CMMC compliance unless it is certified to the CMMC level specified in the DFARS associated with the contract. While the CMMC rollout will be gradual, starting in early 2021, many DoD suppliers will want to be “provably compliant”—if not formally certified—as soon as possible. Proactive CMMC compliance will confer significant competitive advantage as prime contractors will be looking very closely at partners’ security postures as they assemble capture teams.
  2. The DoD considers that a state of cyber warfare exists between the US and nation state adversaries. By compromising key systems and exfiltrating sensitive intellectual property, CUI, and other data, adversaries have significantly reduced US military-technical superiority on the battlefield. Thus, the extent to which the DIB can protect sensitive data directly impacts US national security and its warfighting capability.

CMMC framework overview

The DoD’s current cybersecurity regime, which allows suppliers to self-attest to compliance with the NIST SP 800-171 standard, has proven ineffective. This is why the CMMC requires DoD prime contractors and their subcontractors to undergo third-party assessments to verify compliance.  

The five CMMC levels go from Level 1 (Basic Cyber Hygiene—the minimum requirement for any firm participating in DoD contracts) up to Level 5 (Advanced, designed to protect high-value data from advanced persistent threats (APTs)). CMMC Level 3, “Good Cyber Hygiene,” parallels NIST 800-171 compliance but includes about 20 additional controls. 

Each of the five CMMC levels also defines a set of processes and practices that relate to all the CMMC domains (equivalent to “control families” in NIST 800-171) at that level. To successfully pass an assessment for certification at a given level, a supplier must show that it has operationalized the processes up to and including that level, and has also put into place the corresponding practices.

How Much Will CMMC Certification Cost?

CMMC assessment costs will vary with a range of factors, including:

  • The CMMC level specified in the contract(s) you want to pursue
  • The maturity of your current IT and cybersecurity infrastructure in relation to your desired CMMC level
  • The size and complexity of your organization (number of locations, etc.)
  • The volume and scope of the CUI you handle (how many people handle CUI, how much CUI you exchange with other DIB companies or government agencies, how many databases store CUI, etc.)
  • Any consulting costs and other hiring/outsourcing costs associated with preparing for the CMMC assessment
  • Expenses to meet specific CMMC requirements; e.g., the costs to make your email and file sharing systems CMMC compliant or move to “government cloud” versions
  • The cost of engaging a Certified Assessor, which will be driven largely by market forces

Of course, what the DoD considers “allowable expenses”—which could include the audit costs plus many of the above preparatory costs—will be a big factor in final costs. Allowable costs are expenses specified in a contract as being billable back to the DoD. Further, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment has stated that “The cost of certification will be considered an allowable, reimbursable cost and will not be prohibitive.” This should include assessment and preparation services, remediation efforts, etc.

Based on well-informed estimates, a “typical 250-person engineering/manufacturing firm” that has “a reasonably mature, NIST SP 800-171 compliant” environment today and is pursuing CMMC Level 3 certification can expect to pay $15,000 to $35,000 in consulting costs for a CMMC gap/readiness assessment, plus up to $10,000 for gap remediation support. 

Hard costs to meet requirements can vary widely. For example, the cost to migrate from the commercial version of Office 365 to an Office 365 for Government plan could be $50,000 or more in consulting costs alone, while the cost to add end-to-end encryption to an existing O365 environment could be much less.

As noted above, market forces will effectively set audit costs. However, the DoD has asserted that it wants CMMC certification to be affordable to SMBs. An educated estimate on audit costs for a company similar to the above would be in the $20,000-$30,000 range.

Companies that have less mature environments and are further from NIST SP 800-171 compliance today will need to spend more on consulting and on investments to prepare for certification (e.g., multifactor authentication, mobile device management, log monitoring, security awareness training, etc.) Cost could vary widely, from $20,000 up to $60,000 or even $100,000. 

What is Blockchain?

Do you have questions about Blockchain and how it affects your day-to-day business?  VelocIT has the answers. Contact us today to learn more!