NIST sp 800-53 - CYBER Security Guide

 In this installment of our Data Protection 101 series, you will learn about the NIST Special Publication 800-53, an important component of FISMA compliance.

The NIST Special Publication 800-53 Definition

Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organization is the full title of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53, which is more often referred to by its acronym, NIST SP 800-53. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory organization under the United States Department of Commerce that was founded to promote and support innovation and research via the maintenance and development of a set of industry standards. The NIST Special Publication 800-53 is a collection of standards and recommendations that was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to assist federal agencies and contractors in meeting the criteria outlined in the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

Alongside the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology is tasked with developing Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). The National Institute of Requirements and Technology (NIST) releases guidance publications under its Special Publications (SP) 800 series to assist federal agencies in meeting these standards. The 800 series is a report that details the research and guidance conducted by the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL). The security controls or safeguards for government information systems and organizations are the subject of the NIST Special Publication 800-53.

The Reason Behind NIST Special Publication 800-53

The Standard for the Protection of National Infrastructure (SP 800-53) Guidelines were developed with the intention of enhancing the level of information system security used by the federal government. The principles may be applied to any part of an information system that is responsible for storing, processing, or transmitting data pertaining to the federal government. The most recent revision to the guidelines was published in April 2013 and was titled "Revision 4" by the Joint Task Force Transformation Initiative Interagency Working Group. This revision was published as part of an ongoing information security partnership between the United States Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, the Committee on National Security Systems, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal civil agencies in the United States.

The standards have been updated to reflect the dynamic nature of information security, and as a result, they now include coverage of topics such as mobile and cloud computing, insider risks, application security, and supply chain security.

SP 800-53 of the NIST Explained

The NIST Special Publication 800-53 offers a catalog of controls that, when implemented, will help to ensure that government information systems are both safe and resilient. These controls are the operational, technological, and managerial protections that are used by information systems in order to keep the integrity, confidentiality, and security of federal information systems intact.

The NIST standards use an approach to risk management that is multi-tiered and focuses on control compliance. SP 800-53 is meant to be used in conjunction with SP 800-37, which was formulated in order to direct federal agencies and contractors in the process of putting risk management strategies into action. SP 800-53 places an emphasis on the controls that may be used in conjunction with the risk management framework that is specified in 800-37.

The controls are separated into a total of 18 families and categorized as having either a low, moderate, or high influence on the system being controlled. The following are the families of security controls covered by NIST SP 800-53:

In addition, NIST SP 800-53 presents the idea of security control baselines, which functions as a beginning point for the process of selecting security controls. These baselines provide an overview of a number of important concerns, including as the operational and functional requirements of information systems as well as the most typical sorts of risks such systems face. A tailoring method is also provided to assist companies in selecting just those controls that are pertinent to the prerequisites of the information systems that are already in use within their respective environments.

The Advantages of NIST Special Publication 800-53

Compliance with NIST Standard Practice 800-53 and other NIST recommendations confers a variety of advantages. Maintaining compliance with NIST 800-53 is an essential part of FISMA compliance. It also helps to enhance the security of the information systems at your business by providing a basic foundation for establishing a safe organizational architecture. This is one of the ways that it contributes to this improvement. It is essential to highlight, however, that an organization's security program should not be limited to only adhering to the principles outlined by NIST. This should not be the exclusive focus of the program. Compliance with NIST SP 800-53 is a good place to begin, but the NIST recommendations itself suggest that you should evaluate all of your data and determine which of it is the most sensitive in order to further enhance your security policy.

NIST Special Publication 800-53 Compliance Recommendations

Examine: The first step in complying with NIST is gaining an awareness of the requirements. You need to have a solid understanding of the dangers that might potentially affect your data and information systems, as well as the areas in which they are presently vulnerable. A smart place to begin is by making use of systems that are able to automate the monitoring of NIST 800 series compliance. The most effective solutions in this market segment do analysis on regulated data such as PII, PHI, and PCI and then safeguard that data.

You need to educate your staff on the procedures they need to take in order to become NIST compliant, and you should do this as soon as possible. Your management team should be aware of the many management controls that are outlined in NIST 800-53 in particular. These controls may be found in the document. In a similar vein, the leadership of your operations should be aware of the operational controls that have been specified. There are other places that provide software solutions that can assist you teach your personnel on the most recent security needs and best practices in real time. These solutions may be found elsewhere. These prompts have the potential to keep users on their toes and minimize negligent activities that pose a danger to the security of the company.

Consider: A lot of businesses make claims about how seriously they take the protection of their customers' data and information, but if you don't have a mechanism to analyze the effectiveness of your security policies and procedures, how can you improve them? You should make use of technologies that provide you a method to measure and evaluate the security procedures that you have in place. After that, you will be able to continually iterate and enhance your security standards in order to combat the dangers that are always emerging in the world.

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