CMMC FAQ: If I’m NIST 800-171 compliant, am I CMMC Level 3 compliant as well? Video

Similarities and differences between NIST 800-171 and CMMC Level 3. This 2+ minute CMMC FAQ video answers the question:  Is NIST 800-171 compliance synonymous with CMMC Level 3?  They’re similar and even congruous, but CMMC Level 3 is more involved.  Kyle discusses the differences and gives insight on what else is needed.

Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about CMMC. What are the similarities and differences between NIST 800-171 and CMMC Level 3? Am I in compliance with NIST 800-171? Am I ready for the CMMC maturity Level 3 assessment? It depends. CMMC Level 3 requires an implementation of 130 practices, which includes 110 practices from NIST 800-171 plus 20 additional CMMC practices. CMMC Level 3 mandates all 130 practices to be completely documented and implemented in order to pass the assessment and get the certification. 

NIST 800-171 allows for POAM, CMMC does not

However, NIST 800-171 allows you to be in compliance without implementing all 110 practices, as long as you have a plan of action and the milestones POAM in place for the missing practices. This is a huge difference. If you have documented and implemented all 110 practices of NIST 800-171 without any POAM items, you just need to check and establish any of the missing 20 CMMC practices. In general, if you have already started NIST 800-171 compliance work, the effort for complying with CMMC Level 3 will be smaller. 

Map the NIST 800-171 practices to see the gaps

Therefore, to move from this 800-171 compliance to CMMC Level 3 assessment readiness, you should map the NIST 800-171 practices to CMMC Level 3 practices to clearly see the gaps. This exercise will allow you to evaluate and assign appropriate resources to close these gaps and achieve CMMC readiness in a more effective and more efficient manner. Feel free to contact us for CMMC questions or assistance to your CMMC preparation effort. You can reach us at CMMC@klcconsulting.net. My name is Kyle Lai, President and Chief Information Security Officer at KLC Consulting. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.


For more information about CMMC, click here


Please visit our channel on for other free resources and cybersecurity discussion topics, and LIKE and SUBSCRIBE!

And please visit us on

To visit the CMMC-AB website click here



Thank you for visiting our website!

TOP