• 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 companyā€™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

CMMC Training

Our CMMC Overview Course simplifies CMMC. Enroll so you can make informed decisions!