The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has provided guidelines and standards for enhancing data security. Most recently, NIST has released the NIST 800-171 Rev.3 draft, viewed as a major step in increasing cybersecurity practices. In this blog, we’ll dive into the critical implications of the NIST 800-171 Rev.3 draft and how it can be adapted into organizations’ strategies to comply with regulations, including preparing for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).
Understanding the NIST 800-171 Rev.3 Draft
NIST 800-171 is not a new concept, as it has been law since 2017 and is the standard for safeguarding Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in non-federal systems and organizations. NIST’s commitment to addressing emerging cyber threats and streamlining existing guidelines is signified by the release of the Rev.3 draft. Here are some of the fundamental changes created by the draft:
- Expanded scope: The updated draft expands the covered information to include additional CUI elements that widen the net for compliance requirements.
- Enhanced controls: The Rev.3 draft introduces new, refined controls to align with evolving threats and industry best practices.
- Simplified language: The guidelines have been made more accessible through clearer, more concise language to facilitate better understanding and implementation.
Moving Forward with CMMC Planning
CMMC builds upon NIST 800-171 to introduce a tiered approach to cybersecurity and focuses on assessing and certifying an organization’s security practices. But how does the NIST 800-171 Rev.3 draft align with CMMC planning?
- What remains true is that DFARS -7012 contractually requires NIST 800-171 (current Rev. 2) compliance NOW… and significant risk to non-compliance with the False Claims Act and contractual consequences for failing to comply.
- What DoD contractors should focus on NOW is the implementation of NIST 800-171 as it exists today… with an eye to meeting or upgrading to Rev. 3 requirements when they are incorporated in contracts in the future.
- If DoD contractors are focused on when third-party auditors (C3PAOs) may begin CMMC certification audits, they are missing the point and putting their businesses at risk.
SSE’s Expertise in NIST 800-171 and CMMC Compliance
At SSE, we stand ready to assist organizations with compliance. We offer expertise in data security and compliance, meaning we are well-equipped to guide organizations through the intricacies of NIST 800-171 and prepare them for successful CMMC certification. Our tailored solutions and hands-on approach ensure your organization’s sensitive information is safeguarded against emerging threats. Stay ahead in cybersecurity – contact SSE today for an initial consultation.
Check out our comprehensive guide for more information on NIST 800-171 Rev.3 draft and CMMC planning.
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