NIST 800-171 Compliance Consultant Services
At RSI Security, we are experts in guiding you through the process of achieving NIST 800-171 compliance by implementing security measures for defense against cyber incidents.
United States Department of Defense contractors that collect, store, or transmit Covered Defense Information (CDI) or Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) are required to comply with NIST compliance regulations 800-171 as of December 31, 2017. All prime contractors and their subcontractors must comply with NIST 800-171 or risk losing their corresponding government contract.
What is NIST 800-171 Compliance?
NIST 800-171 Compliance is an adherence to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Special Publication 800-171, Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations. The NIST SP 800-171 framework comprises 110 unique Requirements, spread across 14 Requirement Families. Compliance requires implementing all of them and validating implementation via self or third-party assessment.
Who does NIST 800-171 apply to?
NIST SP 800-171 compliance is required for all DoD and government-adjacent organizations that process sensitive classes of information, such as CUI. Full implementation of SP 800-171 is required for CMMC 2.0 compliance at Level 2 or higher, and other organizations to whom the CMMC does not apply may also be required to implement some or all of NIST SP 800-171.
Benefits of Being NIST 800-171 Compliant?
The benefits of being NIST 800-171 compliant include full protection of sensitive data, ensuring eligibility for DoD and government-adjacent contracts. In some cases, organizations can secure preferred contractor status, granting long-term stability in workflows.
Consequences of NIST 800-171 Non-Compliance
Organizations that need to achieve NIST 800-171 compliance for DoD or governmental contracts may fail to secure contracts without it. Organizations who fail to maintain compliance after being rewarded a contract risk losing the contract and damaging their relationship with the DoD or other governmental entity. In some cases, penalties or criminal charges may be applied.
How Do I Become NIST 800-171 Compliant?
To achieve or maintain NIST SP 800-171 compliance, work with a service provider to implement all 110 Requirements across all 14 Requirement Families. Then, conduct a self-assessment or an assessment validated by an assessor organization recognized by the governmental agency with whom you intend to work to meet your NIST 800-171 compliance consultant needs. In the case of CMMC implementation, seek out a C3PAO.
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NIST 800-171, DFARS, & CMMC Compliance
Examples of DoD information qualifying as CUI include:
RSI’s experts assist federal government contractors in understanding the risks of storing CUI data in their system and identify potential liability if their sub-contractors mishandle CUI.
Via our assessment and gap analysis services, as well as through intensive vulnerability scans and penetration tests, we can guide you through NIST 800-171 compliance policies so that your systems are either out of liability scope or are fully compliant with regulations.
NIST 800-171 Compliance FAQs
There are 110 Requirements, spread across 14 Requirement Families as such:
- Access Control – 22 Requirements
- Awareness and Training – 3 Requirements
- Audit and Accountability – 9 Requirements
- Configuration Management – 9 Requirements
- Identification and Authentication – 11 Requirements
- Incident Response – 3 Requirements
- Maintenance – 6 Requirements
- Media Protection – 9 Requirements
- Personnel Security – 2 Requirements
- Physical Protection – 6 Requirements
- Risk Assessment – 3 Requirements
- Security Assessment – 4 Requirements
- System and Communications Protection – 16 Requirements
- System and Information Integrity – 7 Requirements
The NIST SP 800-171 Requirements do not specify particular controls that may be used to satisfy them. However, NIST provides mappings of Requirements to relevant ISO/IEC 27001 Controls in Table D-14, Mapping System and Information Integrity Requirements to Controls.
The CMMC is required for DoD contractors specifically; it comprises three Levels of increasingly robust and complex security controls. Level 1 corresponds to 17 practices of the NIST SP 800-172, whereas Level 2 requires full implementation of all 110 SP 800-171 Requirements. At Level 3, organizations must also implement a selection of requirements from SP 800-172.
NIST SP 800-53, Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations, is a risk management framework. It applies broadly to organizations of all sizes and across all industries, regardless of their relationship to governmental entities. It comprises 20 groups of Controls, including many that overlap with Requirement Families in NIST SP 800-171.
Yes. SP 800-171 requires organizations to encrypt CUI at rest.
Yes. NIST SP 800-171 is based on FIPS, SP 800-53, and various other NIST frameworks. One example of a FIPS requirement is that CUI at rest must be encrypted using FIPS-validated cryptographic controls.