THE NIST 800-171 Compliance

NIST stands for National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST 800-171 Compliance was established after FISM (Federal Information Security Management Act) was passed in 2003.It is a unit of US Commerce Department. It promotes and maintains measurements standards. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created Special Publication 800-171 to help protect Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).Its goal was to protect the Legal information of Business man, citizens, and government. The NIST is a key resources for technological advancement and security at many of the country’s most innovative organizations. As such NIST 800-171 Compliance standards and guidelines has become a top priority in many high tech industries today.

A Definition of NIST 800-171 Compliance

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is non-regulatory government agency that develops technology, merits, and standards to drive innovation and economic competitiveness at U.S based organizations in the science and technology industry. As part of this effort, NIST produces standards and guidelines to help agencies meet the requirements of Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). NIST also assists those agencies in protecting their information and information System though cost effective programs. Specially, develops Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) in congruence with FISMA. The Secretary of Commerce approves FIPS, with which Federal agencies must comply federal agencies may not waive the use of standards. NIST also provides guidance documents and recommendations through its Special Publications. The Officer Management and Budget (OMB) policies require that agencies must comply with NIST guidance, unless they are national security programs and systems.

NIST 800-171 Compliance at a Glance

Generally speaking, NIST guidance provides the set of standards for recommended security controls for information system at federal agencies. These standards are endorsed by the government, and companies comply with NIST standards because they encompass security best practice controls across a range of industries an- example widely adopted NIST 800-171 Compliance standards is the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. NIST standards are based on best practices from several security documents, organizations, and publications, and are designed as a framework for federal agencies and programs requiring stringent security measures.

In many case complying with NIST guidelines and recommendations will help federal agencies ensure compliance with order regulations, such as HIPAA, FISMA, or SOX. NIST guideline are often developed to help agencies meet specific regulatory compliance requirements NIST has outlined nine steps for NIST 800-171 compliance:

  • Categorize the data and information you need to protect
  • Develop a baseline for the minimum controls required to protect that information
  • Conduct risk assessments to refine your baseline controls
  • Document your baseline controls in a written security plan
  • Roll out security controls to your information systems
  • Once implemented, monitor performance to measure the efficacy of security controls
  • Determine agency-level risk based on your assessment of security controls
  • Authorize the information system for processing
  • Continuously monitor your security controls

NIST 800-171 Compliance Benefits

The initial benefit of NIST 800-171 Compliance is that it helps to ensure an organizations infrastructure is secure. NIST also lays the foundational protocol for companies to follow when achieving compliance with specific regulations such as HIPAA or FISMA. It’s important to keep in mind, however that complying with NIST is not a complete assurance that your data is secure. That’s why NIST guidelines begin by telling companies to inventory their cyber assets using a value-based approach, in order to find their most sensitive data and prioritize protection efforts around it.