There are seven steps to take in order to ensure your business is prepared for a NIST 800-171 assessment:
1. Identify and Address Gaps
Once you have identified the requirements, it’s time to identify any gaps between your current security posture and what is required by NIST 800-171. Start by creating a gap analysis document that outlines the differences between your existing configuration and the expected controls under NIST 800-171. This can help you prioritize the workload, as well as identify any areas where additional training may be needed.
2. Update Your Security Policies and Procedures
Once you have identified the gaps between your current security posture and what is required by NIST 800-171, it’s time to update your security policies and procedures accordingly. Be sure to review the NIST 800-171 Best Practices and drafts for guidance. If you have any questions or concerns, consult with a security professional or someone familiar with NIST 800-171 requirements that can help ensure your policies are compliant.
3. Monitor Your System’s Security Regularly
Once you have identified gaps between your current security posture and what is required by NIST 800-171, and have updated your policies accordingly, it’s important to monitor your system’s security regularly. This can be done manually or through the use of automated tools such as a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution. Such solutions can help detect potential threats, as well as monitor for any changes to the system’s security.
4. Provide Employee Training
Providing employee training is key to ensuring your organization’s compliance with NIST 800-171 requirements. This should include both general security awareness and specific training on the requirements of NIST 800-171. Be sure to provide refresher training on a regular basis to ensure employees remain up-to-date with security best practices.
5. Invest in the Right Technologies
Investing in the right technologies is key to ensuring your organization meets NIST 800-171 requirements. Consider investing in a comprehensive endpoint protection solution that provides features such as malware detection, intrusion prevention, and data leakage protection. You should also consider investing in a SIEM solution that can help you monitor your system’s security on an ongoing basis.
6. Implement Strong Access Controls
Ensure strong access controls are implemented to protect your organization’s sensitive information. This includes implementing multi-factor authentication for all user accounts, as well as implementing least privilege access models. You should also consider implementing encryption to protect your data both in transit and at rest.
7. Test Your Security Posture Regularly
Finally, testing your security posture on a regular basis is essential to ensuring compliance with NIST 800-171 requirements. This can include conducting penetration tests, vulnerability scans, and security audits. Be sure to review the results of these tests to ensure your organization is meeting its compliance goals.
By following these steps and investing in the right technologies, you can help ensure your business is prepared for a NIST 800-171 assessment. Being compliant with NIST 800-171 requirements will help protect your organization’s sensitive information and ensure the security of your systems.