NIST 800-171 Standards: Why SMBs Need Them?

Posted by Gretchen Thomas on August 6, 2021
Cybersecurity, Managed Services, NIST Assessment

Does your small business provide resources to the Federal Government or the Department of Defense (DoD)? If so, you have had to jump through many hoops. You have had to legally qualify as a small business and officially register as a government contractor. And in order to register, you have had to comply with all the laws and regulations in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).

And some of those regulations that you most likely know about are the NIST 800-171 standards, the cybersecurity guidelines for government contractors. Not only are the NIST standards helpful to businesses working with the government, but they are also a valuable resource for small businesses in general.

What is NIST 800-171 Compliance?

Adherence to the NIST 800-171 standards is vital to your organization’s wellbeing

While these standards may seem like just another hoop to jump through, on closer inspection adherence is vital to your organization’s wellbeing as well as the government’s. This is true because of the fact that we are fighting a new type of war against cybercriminal gangs. These gangs are engaging in cyber-terrorism through ransomware attacks on our businesses, our government, and our nation. And it only seems to be getting worse.

Read about how the Biden administration is seeking to rally allies and the private sector against the ransomware threat.

Threat actors working 24/7 to break into our computer networks

Did you know that threat actors are trying to break into our computer networks 24/7?

Check out this live cyberthreat map

They are looking for vulnerabilities like:

  • weak passwords
  • unmanaged service accounts and automated tools
  • permission inheritances that are not functioning properly

Vulnerabilities in business networks are common and threat actors know it. Because of that, businesses cannot afford to be negligent in cybersecurity. And we need to work together to protect sensitive information and proprietary data. In today’s Internet-connected business world we are all connected. Bad actors who hack into one business’s network, can then access other networks that they are connected to. To strengthen our defenses, it is critical to increase our cyber awareness and establish effective security controls.

Advantages to implementing the NIST SP 800-171 standards

It is also important to know that implementation of the NIST cybersecurity standards results in an advantage over competing contractors. This is true because government entities are required to do business with contractors that are diligently working to implement these standards. The more secure your network, the more you have to offer them.

The good news – you are not alone!

The good news is that you don’t have to figure it out by yourself. As an IT Company that specializes in helping businesses improve their cybersecurity, Integrinet IT can reduce the time, money, and stress it would take you to do it alone. We understand the technical lingo and guidelines in the NIST standards. So if you work with the Federal Government, we can assess your current cybersecurity compliance level against these standards and then help prepare you for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).

We would love to help you. Give us a call! Utah (385) 316-7202 or Idaho (208) 510-0967.

Read more about our NIST Assessment & CMMC Services.

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