Most organizations in the United States comply with NIST standards when it comes to technological advancement and cybersecurity. NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework and the related Special Publication 800-171 are the leading standards for cybersecurity in the country. They are also the foundation for many other stringent security programs and certifications, such as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. Therefore, you must know more about these top industry standards and guidelines.
1. Definition of NIST
NIST, or the National Institute of Standards and Technology, creates standards, metrics, and technology intended to further economic competitiveness and innovation in the technology sector in the United States. One of the things that this agency does to meet its goals is to create guidelines for cybersecurity. It also helps by offering cost-effective programs for other agencies to use to help promote cybersecurity.
Additionally, NIST also created the Federal Information Processing Standards. These are standards that are in effect for any government agency, with no exceptions. Similarly, it offers the 800 series, which are standards private companies and organizations can rely on to improve their cybersecurity. Complying with the 800 series is one way to ensure that contractors and organizations can work with sensitive government information.
2. NIST Standards at a Glance
Basically, the NIST Special Publications are a set of security best practices recommended for federal agencies. Most companies comply with these practices since the federal government endorses them, and the standards make cybersecurity practices adaptable to any industry. In addition, the controls found in these documents have been adopted from a variety of security publications, organizations, and other documents and are perfect for government agencies and other companies that need to maximize their security.
For the most part, being NIST compliant is a great way to ensure that you also comply with other security standards. In fact, NIST developed its guidelines with the ability to meet other industry requirements in mind. Fortunately, meeting the NIST guidelines can be done with basic planning and remediation skills. In short, it involves categorizing your information, developing security controls, conducting risk assessments, documenting your efforts, and monitoring your processes.
3. Benefits and Drawbacks of Compliance
The biggest plus from NIST compliance includes knowing that your infrastructure is secure. You will have little to worry about as far as anyone accessing and stealing your information. Aside from this, being NIST compliant can help you comply with other security requirements, such as HIPAA. It can also serve as the foundation for the CMMC certification, necessary for contractors looking to work for the Department of Defense.
It’s important to remember that data is not completely secure when you meet basic NIST requirements. Complying with NIST standards can sometimes make companies slack off when it comes to cybersecurity. Therefore, you must remember to prioritize protection around certain data groups that you have deemed most important.
4. NIST 800 Series at a Glance
The most common set of requirements that government agencies and contractors follow is the NIST 800 series, which outlines the process for reporting incidents to officials, monitoring practices, identifying risks, and prioritizing cybersecurity efforts. While several guidelines are well known, such as the NIST 800-53, you should peruse the frequently asked questions page on the CMMC website to see the most important for different industries.
NIST standards are important for companies that are looking to protect their digital information. It is also a requirement for federal agencies and contractors working for the government. By meeting these requirements, you can ensure that your infrastructure is important and meet other industry security minimums. This means that your cybersecurity processes will be top-notch, and you will have little to worry about when it comes to meeting other requirements.