What makes DFARS different from CMMC?

The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, or DFARS, was established in 2016 as part of the state’s attempt to defend against cyber-attacks. For DoD subcontractors dealing with protected information, this meant more requirements and evaluations.

To improve cybersecurity defense efforts, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework was created in 2020.

We’ll go through the distinctions among DFARS and CMMC, as well as how they’ll function together, in this post. You’ll be ready to obtain your CMMC maturity level with this knowledge. CMMC government contracting services providers can be the approach for robust CMMC compliance implementation.

What Makes DFARS and CMMC Different?

DFARS discusses how to preserve data, with a focus on CUI. The Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFARS) were implemented in 2016 as a tool to assist federal contractors in better protecting sensitive data traveling in and out of their company. DFARS standards must be followed by all federal contractors and subcontractors, according to the DoD.

Compliance with the DFARS is relatively simple. To secure CUI, you should have the right security controls in place and mechanisms in place to make reporting any cybersecurity occurrences straightforward. Contractors can satisfy the DFARS goals of protecting against cybersecurity risks and responding to breaches as promptly and effectively as feasible by establishing both protections and reporting mechanisms.

Many of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) purposes are similar to those of DFARS. It’s aimed at subcontractors and federal contractors. CMMC is combining a number of distinct security mechanisms to form a competence-level structure. The varying levels of data security provided by government vendors are represented by these five levels of maturity. Companies with the proper CMMC maturity level for their requirements are partnered with the Department of Defense and government agencies.

CMMC and DFARS are comparable in many respects. They’re both aimed at how contractors secure CUI with security measures. In reality, CMMC strongly relies on DFARS. The maturity levels of CMMC are the most significant distinction between the two. Accreditation with CMMC is structured differently from adherence with DFARS.

CMMC vs DFARS regulations, on the other hand, maybe utilized in tandem to provide a safer system for vendors and the federal agencies with whom they work. You can survive growing cybersecurity threats by following DFARS requirements and attaining your CMMC competence level.

Why Are CMMC and DFARS Required for Contractors?

Why should you care about DFARS compliance issues now that the CMMC model will be implemented this season? Contractors must seek to comply with both the competency level criteria and DFARS to preserve data security since CMMC borrows from the security and safety controls and procedures described by DFARS.

By adding a validation element to how CUI is safeguarded, CMMC expands on an existing DFARS rule, DFARS 252.204-7012. DFARS is listed as a resource in the CMMC model’s definition of data that requires protection.

This application of DFARS to help specify the sorts of data that should be safeguarded demonstrates how important DFARS adherence is for maintaining security. CMMC is only the next stage in the endeavor to protect data. Finally, CMMC changes the way contractors are classified depending on their data security activities.…

What should DoD contractors know about CMMC and DFARS?

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) security is crucial for any contractor working with the USA defense department. It’s highly essential that military contractors must treat the data they process and store responsibly. CUI cybersecurity is addressed in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).

In this blog, we take a closer look into the similarities and differences between DFARS and CMMC and need for CMMC government contracting services.


DFARS went into effect in 2017. Contractors for the Department of Defense (DoD) and secondary suppliers to defense contractors must comply with DFARS. Companies must generate the following in order to comply with DFARS:

  • A Security Plan for the System (SSP).
  • Milestones and a Plan of Action (POAM).
  • A CUI Environmental Protection Team is a group of people that are in charge of the environment (CEMT).

Organizations use DFARS to submit the final self-evaluation to the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense maintains the authority to investigate, and several hundred audits are conducted each year.


CMMC is a comparatively recent approach for safeguarding CUI. Any vendor or organization doing commerce with the Department of Defense (including primary contractors and their secondary suppliers) must comply with the CMMC criteria and get accreditation. Although CMMC adherence started in 2020, the Department of Defense will continue to incorporate CMMC requirements into new agreements until all organizations are compliant by 2025. It evaluates businesses on the basis of five maturity levels:

Basic Cyber Safety (Level 1)

Seventeen security procedures must be applied at this level.

Intermediate Cyber Security (Level 2)

Documented processes and regulations, as well as 55 extra security practices, are required at this level.

This level of organization has demonstrated strong cyber cleanliness and adopted CUI procedures. There are a total of 58 practices in this category. This is a requirement for every organization that uses or generates CUI.

Proactive (Level 4)

At this level, organizations have established sophisticated cybersecurity practices. There are 26 more practices at this level.

Advanced/Progressive (Level 5)

Companies can fend off sophisticated, persistent attacks at this level (APTs). Throughout the company, security procedures are standardized. There are 15 more practices in this grade.

CMMC compliance is assessed by third-party assessment organizations (3PAOs).

Now, let’s understand CMMC vs. DFARS.

The aim of both DFARs and CMMC is the same: to safeguard CUI. Being DFARS certified will enable you to advance through the CMMC levels of maturity. CMMC relies on DFARs, and the paperwork created while obtaining DFARS compliance is necessary for progressing through the CMMC levels.

The most significant distinction between the 2 is how they are evaluated. While the two have considerable overlap, it is feasible to be DFARS certified without also being CMMC compliant and vice versa. 

Interim Rule of the DFARs

Organizations just had to confirm that they implemented NIST 800-171 rules without presenting any proof or undertaking an examination before using CMMC. It requires organizations to examine and grade their compliance utilizing a grading system devised by the US DoD.…