NIST Cybersecurity Compliance
National Institutes of Standards and Technology, or NIST, compliance is a crucial element of information security. NIST develop and distributes standards, guidelines and additional publications that help federal agencies implement FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) requirements, as well as manage cost-effective programs aimed at protecting their data and information systems. It’s important for organizations to practice proper NIST Cybersecurity Compliance.
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In particular, NIST compliance entails:
- Developing FIPS, or Federal Information Processing Standards, in accordance with FISMA.
All FIPS are approved by the Secretary of Commerce and are required to be implemented by appropriate federal agencies. And since FISMA requires that federal agencies adopt and implement those standards, said agencies may not then waive their implementation and use.
- Guidance documents and additional recommendations, as they become available, are summarily issued via the NIST Special Publication (SP) 800 series. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policies, which include OMB Memorandum M-10- 15, Fiscal Year 2010 Reporting Instructions for the Federal Information Security Management Act and Agency Privacy Management, state that for everything other than national security programs and systems, agencies must comply with NIST guidance.
- Further security-related publications that include interagency and internal reports (NISTIRs) and ITL Bulletins also provide technical and additional information about NIST activities. But these publications are mandatory only when OBM directs them to be.
Overall, NIST is an important resource for technological advancement and security at many of the nation’s most innovative institutions. Because of that, NIST standards and guidelines are now prioritized in many high-tech industries.
Generally speaking, NIST guidance provides a clear set of standards that are recommended for information systems controls at federal agencies. The standards are endorsed by the federal government, and firms seek to comply with NIST standards because they are recognized as security best practices controls across a variety of industries. One example of a widely adopted NIST standard is the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.
NIST standards are developed from best practices adopted from numerous security documents, groups and publications, and are aimed at building a framework for federal agencies and programs that require strict information security measures.