These guidelines were designed to safeguard sensitive information that is shared between the U.S. federal government and its contractors or partners.
NIST 800-171 provides a framework for implementing security controls to protect CUI from unauthorized access, disclosure, and loss. It outlines a comprehensive set of 14 families of security requirements that cover various aspects of information security, including access control, incident response, risk assessment, system and communication protection, and more. These requirements are derived from NIST’s flagship publication, NIST 800-53.
Organizations that handle CUI, such as defense contractors, must adhere to the requirements outlined in NIST 800-171 to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information. Compliance with these guidelines helps mitigate the risk of data breaches, intellectual property theft, and other security incidents that could have significant consequences for both the organization and the federal government.
Since its publication, NIST 800-171 has become a widely recognized standard for information security in the U.S. defense industry and beyond. Compliance with NIST 800-171 is often a contractual requirement for organizations working with the federal government, and failure to comply can result in penalties or the loss of contracts.
Overall, NIST 800-171 plays a crucial role in establishing a baseline for protecting CUI and promoting cybersecurity best practices in organizations that handle sensitive information on behalf of the U.S. federal government.