NIST 800-171 Compliance: What is it and How a Consultant Can Help
Federal contractors that access, use or store certain federal data on their computer systems are covered under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SP800-171. This standard helps federal contractors ensure data security by providing consistent security practices.
If your organization handles unclassified sensitive federal information and houses this data in nonfederal information systems and environments, you likely are required to comply with NIST SP800-171.
The federal government frequently must work with contractors to help carry out designated missions and business operations. Protecting controlled unclassified information (CUI) that must reside in nonfederal information systems is of high importance to the government.
The requirements of NIST 800-171 are meant to ensure the government’s ability to work with nonfederal systems for efficiency.
We offer NIST 800-171 compliance consulting services in Alexandria, VA to help you become a compliant entity. Our NIST 800-171 compliance consultants can help you navigate the process of becoming compliant so you can continue doing business under the new system.
Overview of NIST 800-171
The federal government relies on contractors for various functions, but the use of external service providers for technology solutions presents a level of risk for federal information. CUI data is marked as such by federal agencies.
Markings alert holders of data that the information requires special handling and protection. Also, markings can identify if only part of a record requires controlled handling. NIST 800-171 provides the compliance framework for federal contracts, such as those for the Department of Defense.
For example, effective December 2017, all research projects under the Department of Defense are required to comply with NIST 800-171.
How NIST 800-171 impacts your company
Federal programs to protect CUI data, such as NIST 800-171, seek to help contractors understand confidentiality requirements for certain records and how to best ensure the privacy of covered information.
From the nonfederal perspective – that of a private business, party or organization working with a federal department or agency – CUI standards are requirements to maintain in good standing as a contractor.
These requirements cover 12 different types, including basic and derived requirements. These include:
As you can see, this is a comprehensive list of information security measures. The requirements have a double benefit. First, adhering to them is necessary for continued participation as a federal contractor.
But, secondly, and more importantly, these requirements follow stringent data security practices. By following the requirements of NIST 800-171, organizations effectively adhere to best practices in data security.
It’s also evident that these comprehensive requirements can be difficult to learn and incorporate into operations. This is where partnering with a consultant who is knowledgeable in these requirements and other federal data security regulations can be of great value. Working with a consultant such as E-N Computers can help your business to change the way your company approaches cybersecurity and can help strengthen security practices to ensure compliance with federal requirements.
If you currently are a contractor doing work covered by NIST 800-171, or if you would like to enter this field, you need to comply. Don’t leave compliance up to guesswork. Ensure that your practices keep federal CUI data secure with compliance consulting services from E-N Computers.
Contact a specialist today to see how E-N Computers can be an asset in your organization’s data protection strategy.