National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Secure your business with CyberHoot Today!!!

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a division within the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes innovation and industrial competitiveness, and recommends a set of vital cybersecurity standards for information systems, in addition to developing Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS).

Standards, guidance documents, and recommendations from NIST provide a useful security framework for federal agencies, as well as any organizations they contract with that handle Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). NIST is taking steps to clarify standards and recommendations to help individuals and businesses deal with the increasingly complex world of cybersecurity and more sophisticated attacks.

The current NIST Cybersecurity standard is documented in NIST Special Publication 800-171, a document titled “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations” that lists more than 100 requirements and over 300 controls, all designed to protect confidentiality across a range of industries. This standard is the foundation of the recently ratified CMMC or Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program for defense industry companies. The requirements, according to, apply “to all components of nonfederal information systems and organizations that process, store, or transmit CUI, or provide security protection for such components.”

What does this mean for an SMB or MSP?

SMBs and MSPs should be having a cybersecurity framework to guide their program development (CMMC, HIPAA, PCI, etc.) and ensure they secure their people, data, and company. CyberHoot utilizes the NIST framework for its risk assessments, training, testing, policy governance, and incident response. Work with your service provider to determine what the best framework is for your business, as some may need to be compliant with the aforementioned standards. 

CyberHoot’s Minimum Essential Cybersecurity Recommendations

The following recommendations will help you and your business stay secure with the various threats you may face on a day-to-day basis. All of the suggestions listed below can be gained by hiring CyberHoot’s vCISO Program development services.

  1. Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
  2. Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
  3. Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
  4. Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts. Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, and deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
  5. In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections) or prohibiting their use entirely.
  6. If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
  7. Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.

Each of these recommendations, except cyber-insurance, is built into CyberHoot’s product and virtual Chief Information Security Officer services. With CyberHoot you can govern, train, assess, and test your employees. Visit and sign up for our services today. At the very least continue to learn by enrolling in our monthly Cybersecurity newsletters to stay on top of current cybersecurity updates.

To learn more about NIST, watch this short 3-minute video:


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