What Is NIST?
NIST, also known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, establishes technology, standards and metrics that the science and technology industries are encouraged to adhere to. NIST has a major impact on businesses in both the public and private sectors. This is because NIST compliance is known to provide the best security practices for protecting business data, one of the most important priorities any organization can have!
What Does NIST Do?
The goal of NIST is to help organizations keep their data and information secure and safe, protecting critical data from both insider threats and attacks from the outside. This applies to all data, not just federal.
However, for businesses that provide services to the federal government, NIST compliance is mandatory. Those that are non-compliant may lose the ability to do business with government agencies.
What Is NIST Compliance?
Because NIST outlines standards to make cybersecurity efforts consistent, businesses that work with the U.S. government or agencies within the government must pay close attention to these guidelines. Why are these guidelines important for these specific organizations? That’s easy. Government agencies and their contractors deal with highly sensitive data that can easily be targeted by hackers.
NIST offers a number of resources, such as Security Awareness Training, to help companies comply with cybersecurity recommendations while still managing costs. Furthermore, NIST’s information technology guidelines allow companies to meet government expectations and successfully protect their data.
Who Should Comply With NIST Standards?
Quite frankly, ALL companies should be concerned with cybersecurity — however, NIST compliance is particularly important for companies who conduct business with the U.S. government. For example, government agencies or outside contractors who provide the government with goods or services. In fact, even subcontractors of the government may be required to meet NIST standards.
Why is NIST Compliance Important?
Data breaches have serious consequences. Some common consequences of non-compliance with NIST standards include:
- Reputation Damage
- Criminal Charges or Lawsuits
- Decrease In Productivity
- Business Closure
Aligning with NIST standards could give your business a major advantage over your competition. Many companies feel more confident if their contractors take every step necessary to protect their data. As a result, being a business with the highest levels of cybersecurity standards is an attractive quality to potential clients!