CyberStrong for DFARS NIST SP 800-171
Defense Contractors: Accelerate NIST SP 800-171 Compliance
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Security Experts Talk Public & Private Cyber Requirements

Rick Tracy, CSO of Telos Corporation and Matt Barrett, Program Manager of the Cybersecurity Framework (NIST), talked about improving government and industry cooperation in the cybersecurity landscape on The Bridge last Sunday.

Jim McCarthy, The Bridge host, gave an optimistic introduction, "it is refreshing that the cybersecurity initiative enjoys bi-partisan support and rationale discourse. Today’s episode of The Bridge proves that not every issue must be contentious.”

Contributions from both guests were informative and engaging. As Program Manager of the Cybersecurity Framework, Barrett explained the framework's five focus areas: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover, and said these areas not only define the framework's backbone but also apply to IT risk management. He also stated firmly that "Cybersecurity can't be combatted by cybersecurity professionals alone". Barrett spoke about the need for communication from the Board level on downward - from senior executives to technologists. He said that the second version of the NIST CSF will be issued this fall, with the final version following in 2018.

Tracy brought up the NIST SP 800-171 regulation that has many companies scrambling to prepare for the December 2017 deadline. The requirement protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) poses a threat to any organization working with the DoD or handling such information. "Many companies are concerned about the impact of what this regulation will have on their businesses from the resource perspective- and what companies will have to spend to implement the regulation". He said that the industry is closely watching NIST evolve and is seeing the impact it is having on businesses.

The NIST framework is comprehensive, and has numerous advantages, and is becoming a true gold standard of security across all industries. It's true, that due to the DoD's tightening up of cybersecurity, those who fail to comply run the risk of losing their contracts, and those who succeed in complying - and especially those who comply before or on the deadline and thus are not required to report a lack of compliance - are putting themselves in an adventageous position from a competition standpoint.

The guests agreed that communication between government and private sector security professionals needs to increase, and that flexibility, customization, and a tool for cybersecurity measurement is in order.

We are seeing the upward trend for NIST across public and private sectors, from the DFARS regulation to NIST 800-53 and more. Consider measurability and management a priority and contact CyberSaint to talk about steps to NIST adoption and NIST SP 800-171 compliance: info@cybersaint.io.

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