Defense Industrial Base: Need Help Choosing the Right CMMC Assessment at the Right Time?  

In the DIB world, not all CMMC assessments are created equally — especially when safeguarding our CUI Assets. Understanding the difference between Gap and Readiness Assessments isn’t just essential but can also be crucial. 

News Flash—Gap Assessments Are Not the Only Option 

Many believe that a Gap Assessment is the go-to for every situation. But here’s the reality: the security landscape is rich with nuances, and a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t cut it.  

Gap Assessments are perfect for organizations with a clear understanding of their cybersecurity stance. This means organizations that know they have (or may have) CUI, have made considerable security investments to safeguard CUI, have a high-level understanding of their regulatory requirement, and potentially have a vision for a more secure future.  

Gap Assessments can help these types of organizations because, more often, the organization needs assessments mainly to check if they are moving in the correct directory (vision previously mentioned). If not, they need help charting a course from the current situation to their final frontier (i.e., CMMC Level 2 or Level 3), following expert guidance.  

But what if your organization doesn’t fit the mold? What if you’re operating in a commercial cloud, have limited to virtually no security controls, or envision your expected Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) should never touch your existing network? 

Gap Assessment vs. Readiness Assessment: Business Process Mapping Can Help

When you are sure your current state will not work, Business Process Mapping shines. It’s the unsung hero of organizations without a clear path for CUI security, laying the groundwork for a bespoke CUI program that fits your unique needs like a glove. Imagine this process as consulting with a CUI Subject Matter Expert who will help you securely illustrate your current business processes and data flow along with the CUI while meeting compliance.  

The Breakdown on Readiness Assessments  

But what if your organization has gone through a CUI Data Discovery and Process Mapping? What if you are one of those organizations that want to move beyond Gap assessments because your organization feels ready for the big leagues? This is the perfect use case for the Readiness Assessment. 

The Readiness Assessment, also known as the Mock Assessment, is not just another box to tick. Readiness Assessments are a litmus test to see if your organization is ready to face a C3PAO for a Level 2 Assessment or the DoD/DIBCAC for a High Assessment. This part of the process ensures your CUI program meets standards, has the necessary evidence to validate that, and earns bragging rights for a smooth C3PAO assessment. 

Which CMMC Assessment Is Right for You? 

Understanding which assessment aligns with your organization’s specific needs is the first step on your journey to security, compliance, and beyond. Whether identifying gaps, mapping out your business processes, or validating your readiness, the goal is clear: Protect CUI and prove that you are doing so with the utmost diligence and sophistication. 

Next time someone comes selling you a Gap Assessment without understanding your current state, tell them no thanks. Let’s strive for excellence in security, setting the standard for the Defense Industrial Base. Your mission, should you accept it, begins with choosing the suitable assessment at the right time.