Small businesses that do not fall under any specific regulatory purview are often unsure which cybersecurity protections apply to them. RG Technologies examined several cybersecurity frameworks before landing on NIST. Based on our experience, any company dealing with confidential or sensitive information can benefit from NIST 800-171 compliance. Sensitive information includes: Personal Information (PI/PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), Payment Card Information (PCI), Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), and proprietary information.

What is NIST?

To effectively validate the performance of your security program, you should measure it against a set of standards — this is where organizations like the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) come in. Well regarded for its cyber risk management and information security frameworks, NIST developed its Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) in 2014 to offer an easy-to-understand risk management methodology for the 16 sectors of critical infrastructure. It has since been globally adopted at organizations large and small, far beyond the critical infrastructure industry.

  1. Identify: Develop an understanding of your business and potential cybersecurity risks to align efforts with risk management strategy and needs.
  2. Protect: Take appropriate precautions, and work to limit the impact of a potential cybersecurity incident.
  3. Detect: Identify incidents in a timely manner through continuous monitoring.

4. Respond: Take action if an event does occur, and try to contain the impact of the event.

5. Recover: Engage in the right activities to be resilient in the face of future attacks and restore any affected systems to normal operations as quickly as possible.

Implement Cybersecurity Best Practices for Your Small Business

Every small business is unique, with varying amounts of data that they need to protect. For RG Technologies, that means safeguarding valuable information about our clients’ IT infrastructure. Implementing the NIST-800 171 framework is essential for creating the policies and controls around keeping your data safe.

Following the NIST cybersecurity framework forced us to update some legacy configurations. We needed to do this in order to meet today’s stricter cybersecurity standards. Some tasks take a little bit longer, like logging in with 2FA instead of simply typing in a password. Trust us when we say “It’s worth it.”

These types of decisions are why it’s so important that the security mindset come from within your organization. Every small business needs a customized solution to manage their particular risks and implement controls specific to their systems. Yours does too.

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