Setting High Standards with Microsoft GCC High Licensing

Setting High Standards with Microsoft GCC High Licensing
7 min read

Navigating government security and compliance for agencies and contractors can be complex. As cybersecurity keeps changing, organizations must make their defenses stronger to keep our country’s most valuable information safe. 

This especially applies to entities in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) ecosystem and contractors handling controlled unclassified information (CUI). Under regulations like DFARS and ITAR, companies must strictly adhere to stringent security measures. 

The Microsoft Government Community Cloud (GCC) High and DoD offerings are central to this mission for stronger security. They provide government entities and their contractors with the highest level of information security available in today’s threatening landscape. 

In this blog, we’ll explain why government agencies and contractors shouldn’t overlook CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) Compliance and GCC High Licensing. 

Explore our Licensing Options

Table of Contents  hide 

1 Be sure to also explore our other resources pertaining to the Government Cloud:

2 What you need to know about CMMC

2.1 Understanding Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Requirements Under CMMC

2.2 The Question is: Do you Need to be CMMC Compliant Now?

2.2.1 SUCCESS STORY: Argo Marine Rocket We’ve delved into the intricacies of our partnership with Argo in this comprehensive article: Securing the Future: Argo Rocket Marine Case Study

2.2.2 Achieve CMMC Compliance with ECF Data

Be sure to also explore our other resources pertaining to the Government Cloud:  

1.                  GCC vs. GCC High: The Battle for Government Cloud Dominance

2.                Navigating Government Sector Compliance: CMMC and GCC High

3.                CMMC: Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification | Dive into Everything You Need to Know

What you need to know about CMMC 

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program aligns with the DoD’s security standards for defense industry partners. It ensures the safeguarding of sensitive unclassified information shared between the Department and its contractors. It enhances the Department’s confidence that contractors and subcontractors meet cybersecurity requirements for programs and systems handling controlled unclassified information. 

CMMC 2.0 features three levels of assessed security requirements for certification, down from five in CMMC 1.0. Details of these levels are as follows: 

Level 1 is designated for companies focusing on safeguarding federal agencies' contract information, as defined by Federal Acquisition Regulation 204-21. This information excludes data intended for public release or simple transactional information. It encompasses data provided by or generated for the Government under contracts to develop or deliver products or services. Level 1 covers 17 controls outlined in FAR 52.204-21. Level 2 is designated for companies handling controlled unclassified information (CUI). NIST 800-171 forms the basis of its requirements, offering detailed guidelines on data protection measures. Level 3 aims to mitigate the risk posed by advanced persistent threats (APTs). The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency defines these threats as well-resourced adversaries engaging in sophisticated and targeted malicious cyber activities. These activities could potentially involve espionage, data theft, or network disruption. This level is relevant for companies involved in the Pentagon’s highest-priority programs. 

Under CMMC, organizations handling Federal Contract Information (FCI), or Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) must achieve one of three CMMC levels outlined in their contracts to be eligible for defense-related work. Those with FCI must reach Level 1. On the other hand, CUI must attain at least Level 2, aligning with the 110 security controls of NIST 800-171. Level 3, designed for organizations working with CUI and encountering Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), requires the more advanced security controls outlined in NIST 800-172. 

If you’re interested to get into details about CMMC, click here for to read more about our blog: CMMC: Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification | Dive into Everything You Need to Know 

Understanding Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Requirements Under CMMC 

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) refers to information that must be protected or shared in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and government policies but is not classified. The aim of the CUI program is to foster a culture of safeguarding information. It minimizes DOI risk associated with both the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data and the excessive protection of non-sensitive data. 

The CUI Program is a collaborative effort among Executive Branch agencies to standardize the protection and handling of sensitive information. It establishes a single, consistent, and transparent system for safeguarding and sharing CUI. 

In essence, it’s the vast amount of information exchanged between the DOD and its contractors during routine operations. The Pentagon has identified 108 types of CUIs (Controlled Unclassified Information), covering various areas such as: 

  • patent applications
  • archaeological resources
  • pesticide producer surveys
  • national park system resources
  • procurement and acquisition details
  • international agreements, and
  • water assessments.

Due to its extensive nature, the Pentagon aims to ensure that its contractors are monitoring and safeguarding this everyday stream of information. Contractors must also recognize the CUI they generate while collaborating with the defense department. 

The Question is: Do you Need to be CMMC Compliant Now? 

Technically no, but that statement comes from the point of view that you will not be reprimanded yet. The main reason is that the Pentagon is currently in the rulemaking process regarding CMMC. Updates are to be announced but many believe it to become a contractual obligation by 2025. 

SUCCESS STORY: Argo Marine Rocket 

Arco Rocket Marine proactively prepares and takes the initiative to ensure CMMC compliance. They do this by partnering with ECF on a “Future Proof” GCC High Licensing Operations plan, aiming to revolutionize marine technologies while meeting compliance standards. 

Leveraging over 150 years of combined naval architecture expertise, Argo Rocket Marine emerges as a leading marine service provider. They are driven by patented innovations aimed at delivering top-tier performance and services, particularly for space access cost reduction through marine technology. 

As a US General Services Administration registered entity prioritizing data security, Argo Rocket Marine partners with ECF Data to deploy GCC High Licensing to contractor seats. This ensures elite Microsoft consulting and ITAR-compliant services for government contracts. 

We’ve delved into the intricacies of our partnership with Argo in this comprehensive article: Securing the Future: Argo Rocket Marine Case Study 

Achieve CMMC Compliance with ECF Data 

Navigating the ropes of CMMC can be lengthy and prone to errors. Partnering with a trusted provider like ECF Data simplifies the validation process and offers numerous advantages.  

ECF Data, a Microsoft Agreement for Online Services – Government (AOS-G) partner, boasts over 13 years of industry experience and a strong track record in government operations. As a Microsoft partner, we provide Azure Government and GCC High licensing, migrations, and managed support to various government entities, including federal, local, and state governments, as well as DoD contractors and supporting agencies. This includes Federal, Local, and State Governments, DoD Contractors and supporting agencies. 

For inquiries about Microsoft 365 GCC High, Microsoft GCC High pricing, and anything related to the Government cloud, we invite you to schedule a complimentary discovery consultation to discuss your company’s needs and determine if ECF Data is the right fit for you. 


In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the author by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
ecfdataus 0
ECF Data LLC is an innovative technology company offering Microsoft Cloud Services. The organization came into existence in the year 2010, and since then, the c...
Comments (0)

    No comments yet

You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up