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Ensuring Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Security: The Role of Nist 800-171

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Compliance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology special publication 800-171 is mandatory for specific organizations in the US. These are organizations that process and store sensitive information for the government. Such institutions include universities, contractors in the defense department, and research institutions. NIST 800-171 aims at guiding non-federal agencies in protecting controlled, unclassified information throughout their business interactions with the government.

If your business handles sensitive government information, you must ensure it meets NIST 800-53 standards. You should create a strong system security plan that governs the handling of critical information. In this article, we delve into understanding the role of NIST 800-171 in providing information security.

Let’s get to it.

What Is NIST 800-171, and Why Does It Matter?

NIST 800-171 is a special publication that offers guidelines on protecting sensitive and unclassified information shared between non-federal entities and the U.S. government. It was published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in June 2015.

If you are looking for a particular contract from the Department of Defense in the US, then your business must have proof of meeting the NIST 800-171 standards. Failure to meet these standards means the business cannot qualify for the contract. The Department of Defense considers the business not secure enough to deal with sensitive information in the government.

What Is the Role of NIST 800-171?

The main purpose of NIST 800-171 is to enhance the security posture of the federal government’s information system. The framework achieves that through the following:

Security Requirements

NIST 800-171 has 14 security requirement families. The families cover different facets of information security that institutions should adhere to. They include:

  • Authentication,
  • Identification,
  • Audit and accountability,
  • Configuration management,
  • Access control,
  • Incident response,
  • Awareness

The families collectively create a holistic approach that addresses important aspects of cyber security.

Protection of CUI

NIST 800-171 protects controlled unclassified information (CUI) from creation to when and how it is stored to how it is transmitted. After that, it gives guidelines on how the information should be destroyed. It has measures that organizations should follow to ensure unauthorized access, maintain confidentiality, and ensure data integrity.

Basic and Derived Security Requirements

There are two groups of security requirements in NIST 800 -171, basic and derived security requirements. Important security controls to be implemented lie under basic requirements. The following are some of the examples of basic security requirements:

  • Putting strong access control and user authentication processes
  • Ensuring regular updating of software to handle the known vulnerabilities
  • The use of encryption to secure the date that is at rest or in transit
  • Working on security awareness and training programs for the employees
  • Having well-outlined incident response processes and reporting mechanisms

On the other hand, derived requirements offer additional detail that must be tailored to the organization’s risk assessment and needs. They are meant for the unique risks experienced by any organization based on their unique nature of business operations. Examples of these requirements include:

  • Executing specific intrusion awareness and prevention procedures for particular threat vectors
  • implementing physical security measures for locations where sensitive data is stored
  • Using multi-factor authentication to access critical systems
  • Creating mechanisms that help prevent data loss for specific CUI types

System and Security Assessment

The framework ensures that organizations conduct regular system and security control assessments. It helps them take note of any weaknesses and vulnerabilities. That way, these organizations can ascertain that their security measures are up-to-date and effective.

Risk Management

The security publication has great emphasis on the relevance of risk management. It instructs organizations to assess risks and implement effective control measures. They should also monitor their security posture and consistently update it to address emerging threats efficiently.

Security Plan and Documentation

The publication requires that organizations develop a system security plan outlining their security measures. There must be proof of ways in which the measures align with the requirements in the NIST SP 800-171. When organizations document their security policies, practices, and procedures, they abide by the rules of transparency and accountability.

Incident Response

The guidelines in the NIST SP 800-171 recommend that all organizations prioritize incident planning and execution. They should have planned what to do when there is a new security threat. It is about detecting, reporting, and responding effectively to security threats.

Continuous Improvement

The publication advocates for continuous improvement. It requires organizations to continuously learn from every security incident they experience and conduct regular assessments to refine the measures they have put in place to safeguard information over time.

The post Ensuring Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Security: The Role of Nist 800-171 appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/businesses/security/ensuring-controlled-unclassified-information-cui-security-role-nist-800-171/

7 thoughts on “Ensuring Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Security: The Role of Nist 800-171”

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