Do you know about NIST and what their guidelines can do to benefit your business? If not, it’s time to get educated.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and related technology through research and development. They support greater development and application of practical, innovative and secure technologies to enhance our country’s ability to compete more effectively on the world stage.
What does this have to do with your business? — If you adopt NIST standards, your business will be more competitive and secure.
The next time your IT team advises you to comply with NIST, listen. While you may think that overarching IT authority will limit your company’s effectiveness, the exact opposite is true. Governance and innovation are not mutually exclusive concepts when it comes to your business.
Risk, Compliance and Regulation
NIST provides standards and metrics for maintaining organizational effectiveness and information security. By adopting these policies along you’ll reduce confusion and provide your IT and business teams more time to focus on process optimization and growing your business.
However, even the most innovative, NIST-compliant organizations can’t innovate and compete if they use aging technology systems. To operate productively and lead the force in innovation requires a peak-performing, secure IT infrastructure, along with the adoption of NIST compliance controls.
Creating a framework for governance can be difficult as complexities evolve and IT assets are being introduced at an expanding rate. When risk isn’t adequately controlled and governance rules aren’t followed, you open yourself up to of both foreign and domestic hackers who have the resources to find holes in your security practices. This is why you need the assistance of an IT Managed Services Provider who is versed in NIST best practices.
NIST recognizes the critical need for cybersecurity standards and best practices for organizations like yours. Following NIST’s cybersecurity standards can enhance your ability to address current and future computer and information security challenges.
Big Data and Security
The heavy reliance on data translates into more opportunities for hijacking information as it moves between locations—And the additional endpoints in today’s businesses add risk factors that are difficult, if not impossible, to control. The vast quantity of data points from online sales transactions, social media and mobile activities make organizations like yours a primary target for cybercriminals interested in learning more about your expansive network of individuals.
Governance provides a way to secure data and provide customers and employees with a higher level of comfort knowing that their personal information is being protected.
Federal Information Processing Standards
NIST has created a set of guidelines called Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) that are the gold standard of managing data for U.S. federal agencies. Since these standards are endorsed by the U.S. government, any contractors and companies in their employment must actively be engaged in maintaining these specifications and best practices.
These stringent security measures ensure that anyone doing business with the U.S. government is in full compliance with all other standards including HIPAA, FISMA (Federal Information Security Modernization Act) and Sarbanes Oxley (SOX).
NIST Compliance Examples
While this is not a full overview of what brings an organization into NIST compliance, below are a few of the steps you can take to comply with standards for FISMA:
- Security controls must be continuously monitored.
- Baseline controls must be documented in a written plan, with risk assessments to refine the standards.
- Security professionals must document any data protected under FISMA.
- Any information systems used for processing must be authorized, with full security controls applied.
- Ongoing performance monitoring is crucial to maintaining full compliance.
Becoming NIST compliant may be challenging for smaller IT teams, but there are myriad benefits if you do this. Even if you aren’t actively conducting business with the U.S. government, these regulations may help stop aggressive cyberattacks and protect your customers from being the victim of a data breach.
Alternatively, NIST compliance does not ensure that your organization will be safe from cybercriminals, internal attacks or simple negligence — but it can help. Monitoring of NIST and other standards by a competent Managed Services Provider is one way you can provide a higher level of security than can be provided by internal IT teams.
Innovation and competitiveness can only flourish when your IT systems are fully supported, structured and secure. When your IT teams aren’t spending their time chasing outliers or managing non-compliance issues, they can better support the growth of your business.
Let Intelice Solutions help your organization in Maryland and Virginia find the ideal measure of governance to support your competitiveness, innovation and security. Contact our IT Process and Security Professionals at (301) 664-6800 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can accelerate your company’s growth potential.