What is NIST 800-53 Compliance?

Are you familiar with NIST 800-53 compliance? If not, it might be time to learn what this means. Here are four things you need to know.  

NIST 800-53 Compliance

Are you familiar with NIST 800-53 compliance? If not, it might be time to learn what this means. Here are four things you need to know.  

You already know that information security should be a high priority for your organization. Protecting personal and confidential information is crucial in preventing hacking incidents and other data breaches that could nearly ruin your company’s reputation.

NIST 800-53 compliance is an integral part of having a robust information security structure. However, what does it stand for, and what does it include? If your firm is required to be FISMA compliant, then this is information that you really should be aware of. Here are four things you need to know about NIST 800-53 compliance.

NIST 800-53 Compliance Services In Atlanta

#1: What NIST 800-53 Means

It is essential to understand that NIST 800-53 is short for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53, Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organization. While this is quite the mouthful, it presents a framework of protocols that help organizations meet requirements set forth by the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

This framework is essential because it gives companies that work with the government a set of concrete standards for keeping specific amounts of classified information secure. However, even companies that do not handle federal contracts can follow these protocols for a more secure information structure.

#2: NIST 800-53 is About Information Security Controls

NIST 800-53 guidelines are mostly about information security controls. They are designed to work alongside NIST SP 800-37, which outlines various risk management programs for companies that do business with the government.

While all of NIST’s guidelines are pretty specific, they do not always cover all of the various aspects of a secure information framework. Thus, it is essential to integrate other aspects of information security into your overall plan.

#3: There Are Over a Thousand Different NIST 800-53 Controls

The most important thing to realize about NIST 800-53 is that there are actually over a thousand different controls you need to pay attention to. They are broken up into three classes that are deemed either low, moderate, or high risk. Then they are split up into eighteen different control families, including:

  1. Access Control
  2. Audit and Accountability
  3. Awareness and Training
  4. Configuration Management
  5. Contingency Planning
  6. Identification and Authentication
  7. Incident Response
  8. Maintenance
  9. Media Protection
  10. Personnel Security
  11. Physical and Environmental Protection
  12. Planning
  13. Program Management
  14. Risk Assessment
  15. Security Assessment and Authorization
  16. System and Communications Protection
  17. System and Information Integrity
  18. System and Services Acquisition

Each control group features a particular set of guidelines to help secure data more effectively in that given area and help increase the overall effectiveness of NIST 800-53 compliance.

#4: The Benefits of NIST 800-53 Compliance

Of course, there are benefits to complying with NIST 800-53. The first is that if your company works with the government and you are following these protocols. You are not at risk of being in breach of your contract.

Nevertheless, if you are a civilian firm, there are still pros in maintaining NIST 800-53 compliance. Not only will you have a robust information security framework, but being able to say that you are meeting these guidelines helps build trust with any customers you provide services to.

Should You Hire an Outside Contractor to Help with NIST 800-53 Compliance?

You are working with a professional IT contractor who is knowledgeable about the many facets of NIST 800-53 compliance is highly advised. Put, there are just far too many different sides to these requirements for an in-house tech team to cover adequately. By working with a provider that handles these types of issues daily, you can rest assured that your firm is following all appropriate guidelines.

Are you ready to learn more about making your company NIST 800-53 compliant? Please contact our team at Centerpoint IT to start the conversation.