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NIST 800-171: What Is It And Why Would I Need to be Compliant?

When controlling and securing non-confidential, federal information, private organizations are expected to meet specific regulatory standards. NIST 800-170 outlines a set of specifications that are intended to protect this federal data, and which are a requirement for many government contracts. Here’s what you need to know about NIST compliance.

What is NIST Compliance?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) creates technological standards in order to govern the consistency of data reproduction and management. While this is only part of what the NIST does, it’s relevant to regulation and compliance. Through the NIST, science and technology industries are able to improve both their competitiveness and their innovation, by ensuring that they are all meeting the same consistent standards. The NIST sets these specifications for compliance, and these specifications need to be followed for organizations that work with certain entities, such as government and federal agencies.

Related to NIST 800-171, the NIST also develops standards for federal information processing. Federal agencies need to follow these standards, while private organizations have a choice as to which standards they follow. The NIST is also able to provide best practices, including recommendations, for companies that are interested in achieving NIST compliance.

Compliance with NIST 800-171

NIST 800-171 refers to the Draft Special Publication “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations.” This document is intended to protect any information from federal governments that are being utilized throughout systems and networks that are non-federal. When federal data has to be used in non-federal organizations, NIST 800-171 is used to standardize security and usage.

NIST 800-171 deals with the processing, storage and transmission of federal information that isn’t classified, as other standards and specifications control classified information. It further identifies the security protection that needs to be provided for this data. Companies that are going to deal with this information need to maintain their standards to avoid fines and penalties, as well as withdrawn contracts.

Why Do You Need NIST Compliance?

NIST SP 800-171 compliance is required by some contracts with the Department of Defense. Any organization that deals with non-confidential federal information will need to maintain their compliance to continue their contracts. Even organizations that don’t deal with the Department of Defense may find it beneficial to explore these security and data management standards.

Do you need to learn more about NIST 800-171 compliance? For more information about maintaining the compliance required by the Department of Defense, check out the NIST 800-171 specifications and regulations.

To learn more about NetLogix technology solutions for your business, contact us today.

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