• Requirement

    Protect the confidentiality of backup CUI at storage locations.

  • Discussion

    Organizations can employ cryptographic mechanisms or alternative physical controls to protect the confidentiality of backup information at designated storage locations. Backed-up information containing CUI may include system-level information and user-level information. System-level information includes system-state information, operating system software, application software, and licenses. User-level information includes information other than system-level information.

More Info

  • Title

    Protect Backups
  • Domain

    Media Protection
  • CMMC Level

  • Related NIST 800-171 ID

  • Related NIST 800-53 ID


  • DoD Scoring Methodology Points


  • Reference Documents

    • N/A

  • Further Discussion

    You protect CUI to ensure that it remains private (confidentiality) and unchanged (integrity). Methods to ensure confidentiality may include:

    • encrypting files or media;
    • managing who has access to the information; and
    • physically securing devices and media that contain CUI.

    Storage locations for information are varied, and may include:

    • external hard drives;
    • USB drives;
    • magnetic media (tape cartridge);
    • optical disk (CD, DVD);
    • Networked Attached Storage (NAS);
    • servers; and
    • cloud backup.

    This requirement, MP.L2-3.8.9, requires the confidentiality of backup information at storage locations.


    You are in charge of protecting CUI for your company. Because the company’s backups contain CUI, you work with IT to protect the confidentiality of backup data. You agree to encrypt all CUI data as it is saved to an external hard drive [a].

    Potential Assessment Considerations

    • Are data backups encrypted on media before removal from a secured facility [a]?
    • Are cryptographic mechanisms FIPS validated [a]?

NIST 800-171A Assessment Guidance

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