If you’ve ever contemplated working for a government agency, you’ve likely heard of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) rules. These are recommendations and laws that government agencies, contractors, and subcontractors must follow to reduce cybersecurity risk and protect sensitive data.
Adhering to NIST standards might be beneficial even if your business does not deal with a government agency.
What is NIST Compliance?
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences laboratory and a non-regulatory federal agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It was created to help the United States better compete with economic rivals.
NIST plays a role in developing standards for various products and services, such as nano-devices, disaster-resistant buildings, cybersecurity frameworks, and global networking.
One of the most widely known branches of NIST is the Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC), which provides resources for information security, cybersecurity, and information privacy.
Cybersecurity professionals are most familiar with NIST Special Publications (NIST SPs), which address standards for cybersecurity programs. The most common NIST publications for professional security consumption are the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), and NIST Special Publications such as NIST 800-171 and 800-53.
The main role of NIST today is to influence and guide cybersecurity frameworks in the U.S. federal government.