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Overview: Why CMMC Matters

Learn how UC San Diego plans to comply with CMMC requirements.

Background: Why CMMC Matters for Institutional Competitiveness and Funding

In 2019 the Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new program aimed at improving cybersecurity in the defense industrial base (DiB). The DiB includes all recipients of DoD contracts, including higher education. This program, known as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, requires organizations to be pre-certified by an independent assessor trained and approved by the CMMC Accreditation Body (CMMC AB) in order to compete for DoD contracts. This program went into effect in November of 2020 and CMMC obligations will be phased into all DoD contracts by 2025. Thus, using CMMC compliant services will be required to receive any funding for DoD contracts. Universities unable to provide or procure CMMC certified services will be unable to complete for DoD funds.

Further, many other Federal agencies are closely following the CMMC program, and it is likely that most major Federal agencies will begin adding security requirements similar to or based upon the CMMC requirements over the next five years. While organizations not dependent on DoD funding may not feel the urgency wrought by the CMMC program, in order to ensure that long-term viability of research activities, all universities will need to address their capability to support cybersecurity and cyber-resilence throughout their research mission. These capabilities can be met through a combination of locally developed expertise and services  and procured services. For most institutions CMMC compliance will be addressed as a supply chain challenge.

UC San Diego as the UC Center of Excellence for CMMC has developed in-house expertise and services to provide endpoint, compute and storage, virtual desktops, and collaboration services that combine cloud and on-premise solutions. These services are available to the UC campuses, US national universities, and industrial partners in addition to UC San Diego faculty and researchers.