How to Meet NIST Guidelines by Nov. 30, 2020
The Department of Defense (DoD) recently issued a temporary rule that set the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) compliance deadline to November 30th, 2020. This interim rule requires all contractors to be NIST-certified by this date, meaning you must comply with the NIST Assessment methodology. After the end of November, all DoD contracts will require you to be fully NIST compliant. Since that is less than a month away, companies like LaScala IT can help you prepare and achieve certification.
Keep reading for more information about meeting NIST guidelines!
Is NIST Compliance a Requirement?
Historically, following NIST guidelines was recommended to help contractors securely maintain Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), but it has evolved into a requirement. If you have not been strategizing and managing these compliances to-date, you have quite a bit of catching up to do. Working with an IT company like LaScala IT can get you caught up and fast. Their team of professionals will help you understand and perform the following four NIST certification steps:
- Analysis: Verifying your current compliance.
- Remediation: Identifying and addressing any deficiencies.
- Certification: Reevaluating and confirming NIST compliance.
- Continuous Monitoring: Occasionally reassessing compliance and updating changes to the requirements.
Is It Possible to Manage Independently?
Given the right resources and cybersecurity experts in-house, it is possible to prepare for the assessment and achieve your certification in-house. The problem is you are up against an unforgiving date of November 30th. That means you must complete the entire process by the end of November, so it is a major risk to manage without outside assistance. The greatest challenge you will face when looking for a firm that specializes in IT compliance is guidance through the entire process. Most will conduct the assessment and certification but will not assist with the remediation and monitoring phases. When there is a shortcoming or a change, you may not even be aware and could fall out of compliance. The professionals at LaScala IT will help identify compliance issues and continue to monitor post-certification.
Who Must Meet NIST Compliance Standards?
Although all organizations will benefit from implementing the NIST compliance standards, those that work with the government should implement them, even if not working directly with the DoD. The following organizations must comply, including:
- Consulting companies with government contracts
- Government staffing firms
- Higher learning institutions
- Manufacturers selling to the government
- Manufacturers selling to government suppliers
- Procurement service companies
- Research institutions
- Service providers
Why Compliance Is Important
Ensuring you comply with these new requirements necessitates additional time and financial investments beyond your regular compliance efforts. However, there is a silver lining. By implementing fast NIST compliance, there is a high probability of reducing your competition. Quick compliance can easily be facilitated by professionals like LaScala IT.
As the defense sector continues to grow and become more difficult to operate in, smaller competitors will drop. Since NIST compliance requires additional resources, many contractors will not see a benefit in further investments, especially if they cannot afford the financial or resource cost. The result for your firm is less contractor competition for those who take the proper steps to become certified.
One additional benefit of proceeding with compliance is that your company will become more secure due to the required protocols of the process. This results in a higher trust from and greater value as viewed by your other clients, especially those who need to protect sensitive information.
Simply put, it is best to start your NIST compliance with a professional company like LaScala IT, who knows the inner workings of the process and can monitor for compliance changes in the future. The sooner you start the process and complete it ahead of the deadline, the sooner you will reap the benefits, so start today!
About LaScala IT
With a holistic approach toward cybersecurity, LaScala IT has created a philosophy based on best practices that use carefully selected technologies. The LaScala IT team does not limit their scope to data security; their clients’ devices, infrastructure, and staff also must be secured using a comprehensive technology system with these best practices. Their services include compliance management, cybersecurity assessments and training, cyber operation center, endpoint protection, firewall management, managed IT security, and penetration testing.