What Is NIST, and Why Is It Important to Your Business?
Cybersecurity is a priority for every business. Even if you are not in the tech sector, chances are your business relies on a software or tech product that stores sensitive data. Hackers are getting more and more sophisticated every day, and the number of cyberattacks on businesses continues to increase each year. Microsoft reported that it blocked 13 billion malicious and suspicious emails in 2019. That number spiked by 35% in the first half of 2020 due to the government shutdowns and the rise of the stay-at-home economy.
Therefore, every business needs to protect itself from malicious characters — no matter if you have 50 employees or 500. But, if you’re not in the IT space, it can be difficult to know how to keep yourself invulnerable to attack. There is an organization called NIST that sets standards for cybersecurity in the U.S., and companies are expected to follow these protocols if they want to keep their sensitive data protected. Here is a look at NIST and why every business should be aware of what it is.
What Is NIST?
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a non-regulatory agency founded by Congress in 1901. It was created to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness in the private sector. NIST researches the latest technology and issues protocols companies can follow if they want to compete in the marketplace. They set guidelines on cybersecurity procedures for U.S. businesses and function as a science laboratory and research center. NIST compliance is not mandatory unless your company does business with certain federal agencies like the Department of Defense. But the protocols are easy to implement if you know what you’re doing and can save your business countless amounts of money by protecting against a potential data breach.
Why Is NIST Important to Your Business?
Data privacy is a growing concern amongst consumers, and your business will suffer if the public can’t trust you to store their personal information. It can take decades to build a solid reputation, but one small security breach can destroy it in an instant. If you are a major company, NIST compliance is a must because your competitors will likely have a dedicated IT department that can implement the necessary protocols. Customers naturally gravitate toward the brands they feel they can trust the most, and if you are reckless with their data, you are likely to lose your audience over time.
Data is one of the most precious commodities in today’s world, and it’s of the utmost importance to keep it protected. Aside from damaging your reputation, you could lose thousands if not millions of dollars and be vulnerable to costly lawsuits if you are not careful with your customers’ data. Plus, it can be devastating to your business if important communications and trade secrets are leaked to competitors or the public.
If you need help making your company NIST compliant, come see us at LaScala IT Solutions. We provide business IT services to mid-sized companies and large corporations. We are experts in NIST compliance, and we know how to implement the proper protocols into all of your communication and data systems. Give us a call today if you need an IT company that can handle the complex cybersecurity needs of large organizations.