NIST 800-171 "Easy Button" - Compliance For Small & Medium Businesses
We listened to our customers and created the NIST 800-171 Compliance Program (NCP), based on the growing demand from small and medium businesses that want a simplified approach to NIST 800-171 compliance. The NCP is a streamlined product that is made up of other tailored ComplianceForge products to specifically address NIST 800-171 compliance needs.
In simple terms, the NCP gives you everything you need to comply with NIST 800-171 - cybersecurity policies, standards, procedures, a System Security Plan (SSP) and a Plan of Action & Milestones (POA&M). We also provide a pared-down version of our NIST 800-171 Compliance Criteria (NCC) product to provide simplified compliance guidance.
Affordable NIST 800-171 Compliance Documentation
The NCP is comparable to the NIST 800-171 Compliance Bundle #1 that provides the NIST 800-53 based version of these products, but offers a price break of over $700!
ComplianceForge took existing documentation and pared it down for smaller organizations that do not need or want the complexity of NIST 800-53 when complying with NIST 800-171. The NCP includes the following documents as part of its own unique bundle:
- NIST 800-171 Compliance Program - Microsoft Word document that addresses NIST 800-171 policies and standards.
- Cybersecurity Standardized Operating Procedures (CSOP) - Microsoft Word document that contains cybersecurity procedures that correspond to the policies and standards.
- System Security Plan (SSP) - Microsoft Word document that is a simplified version of our SSP product.
- NIST 800-171 Cybersecurity Program Mapping - Microsoft Excel document that contains several components:
- Plan of Action & Milestones (POA&M) template.
- Mapping from the NCP to NIST 800-171, NIST 800-53, NIST 800-160, ISO 27002 and NIST CSF.
- Methods to comply with NIST 800-171 (essentially a pared down NIST 800-171 Compliance Criteria (NCC) spreadsheet)
- Roles and responsibilities (corresponds to the Cybersecurity Standardized Operating Procedures)
- Cybersecurity Awareness Training - Microsoft PowerPoint template to provide cybersecurity awareness training.
The NCP is designed for companies that do not need or want to use the NIST 800-53 framework to manage NIST 800-171 compliance needs. This can significantly reduce complexity for companies that need to comply with NIST 800-171.
What Problem Does The NCP Solve?
- Lack of In House Security Experience - Most smaller contractors lack expertise in NIST 800-171. Tasking your managers, IT personnel or security staff to research and write comprehensive documentation is not a wise use of their time. The NCP is an efficient method to obtain comprehensive compliance documentation that can be implemented by either your in-house staff or outsourced IT vendor. Most small contractors cannot afford tens of thousands of dollars in consultant fees to help become compliant with NIST 800-171, so the NCP is designed with affordable compliance in mind to give your business the NIST 800-171 compliance documentation it needs.
- Compliance Requirements - NIST 800-171 is a reality for companies in scope for DFARS and FAR. The NCP is designed with compliance in mind, since it focuses on reasonably-expected security requirements to address the NIST 800-171 controls. The documentation contained in the NCP gives you everything you need to comply with NIST 800-171 from policies to standards to procedures to templates for your System Security Plan (SSP) and Plan of Action & Milestones (POA&M).
- Audit Failures - Without being able to demonstrate compliance with NIST 800-171, your organization will likely lose government contracts - it is as simple as that. The NCP is a tool that can jump start your organization towards being compliant with NIST 800-171 requirements.
- Vendor Requirements - It is very common for clients and partners to request evidence of a security program and this includes policies and standards. The NCP can provide this evidence!
How Does The NCP Solve It?
- Clear Documentation - The NCP comes in editable Microsoft Office format (e.g., Word, Excel and PowerPoint), so it is customizable for your needs.
- Time Savings - The time savings are immense, as compared to writing something equivalent of the NCP yourself or hiring a consultant to write it for you!
- Alignment With Leading Practices - The NCP has direct mapping to several leading cybersecurity frameworks, including:
- NIST 800-53
- ISO 27002
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF)
- NIST 800-160
- Secure Controls Framework (SCF)
Product Example - NIST 800-171 Compliance Criteria (NCP)
Our customers choose the NIST 800-171 Compliance Program (NCP) because they:
Don't take our word for it - take a look at the example below to see for yourself the level of professionalism and detail that went into it.
Cost Savings Estimate - NIST 800-171 Compliance Program (NCP)
The process of writing cybersecurity documentation can take an internal team many months and it involves pulling your most senior and experienced cybersecurity experts away from operational duties to assist in the process, which is generally not the most efficient use of their time.This also requires involvement from your internal team for quality control and answering questions, so the impact is not limited to just the consultant's time being consumed. In addition to the immense cost of hiring a cybersecurity consultant at $300/hr+ to write this documentation for you, the time to schedule a consultant, provide guidance and get the deliverable product can take months.
When you look at the costs associated with either hiring a consultant to write cybersecurity documentation for you or tasking your internal staff to write it, the cost comparisons paint a clear picture that buying from ComplianceForge is the logical option. Purchasing the NCP offers these clear advantages:
When you factor in approximately 375+ hours of a cybersecurity consultant and the internal staff time to perform reviews and refinements with key stakeholders, purchasing a NCP from ComplianceForge is approximately 4% ($108,000+ savings) of the cost as compared to hiring a consultant to write it for you!
When you factor in 590+ hours of internal staff time to research, write and peer review cybersecurity documentation, purchasing a NCP from ComplianceForge is approximately 8% ($49,000+ savings) of the cost as compared to writing your own documentation!
FAR vs DFARS Implications for NIST 800-171
NIST 800-171 isn’t just for Department of Defense (DoD) contractors.
In addition to DoD contractors that had to comply with NIST 800-171 by the end of 2017, US Federal contractors are increasingly being required to comply with NIST 800-171. We often hear from DoD and US Government contractors that they do not know where to start, but they just know that NIST 800-171 is a requirement they cannot run from. Both DFARS and FAR point to NIST 800-171 as the expectation for contractors to implement a minimum set of cybersecurity capabilities.
The NCP addresses both Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and Non-Federal Organization (NFO) requirements. Many people overlook the NFO requirements that are listed in Appendix E of NIST 800-171, but the NCP includes both CUI and NFO controls so that you have complete coverage for NIST 800-171 compliance documentation.
Work Smarter and Not Harder - NIST 800-171 Scoping Considerations
NIST 800-171 allows contractors to limit the scope of the CUI security requirements to those particular systems or components that store, process or transmit CUI. Isolating CUI into its own security domain by applying architectural design principles or concepts (e.g., implementing subnetworks with firewalls or other boundary protection devices) may be the most cost-effective and efficient approach for non-federal organizations to satisfy the requirements and protect the confidentiality of CUI. Security domains may employ physical separation, logical separation, or a combination of both.
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We put together a guide to help companies scope their computing environment to help identify what is in scope for NIST 800-171 and was falls outside of scope.
When you look at NIST 800-171 compliance, it has some similarities to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). If scoping is done poorly, a company's Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) can encompass the enterprise's entire network, which means PCI DSS requirements would apply uniformly throughout the entire organization. In these scenarios, PCI DSS compliance can be prohibitively expensive or even technically impossible. However, when the network is intelligently designed with security in mind, the CDE can be a small fraction of the company's network, which makes compliance much more achievable and affordable. NIST 800-171 should be viewed in the very same manner.
We feel that NIST 800-171 should be viewed in the very same manner. This guide is meant to help companies identify assets within scope for NIST 800-171 and potentially find ways to minimize scope through isolation or controlled access.
Consulting Services Are Available
If you need consulting services, ComplianceForge does have experts available to consult with you on your specific NIST 800-171 compliance needs.