An Information System is a crucial pillar for every organization. It houses vital data required for the running of the firm. This system faces numerous threats which if not countered in time can deal a massive blow to your firm, expose you to hackers who may use your information for malicious purposes or worse, ransomware, which can potentially delete all your data should you fail to pay a potentially exorbitant ransom.
Failure to secure your information systems will leave your system prone to information asset risks, infrastructure risks, project risks, applications risks, business continuity risks, and strategic and external risks. Reliability of computers and data appliances make up the infrastructural risks, while application risks encompass the performance of the whole system. Info or data risk entails loss, manipulation, and disclosure of classified copies of the firm’s information/files.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) strives to work with industries and science in pursuit of advanced innovation and elevation of quality of life. This is a docket under U.S. Department of Commerce and holds these three principles in a high degree of reverence; Measure, Innovate and Lead.
NIST offers services and resources to clients. These are categorized into Calibrations -A service that gives clients from the Makers and Accurate Measurements field precision instruments that help them attain high accuracy and quality in their products — generation of data for government, corporate and academic purposes, tailored towards innovation and improvement of livelihood. Standards and measurements are among the services offered by NIST. These lay a platform for technology to work smoothly by the provision of a common language for measurement and evaluation purposes, and protection of consumers through the implementation of market equity, the durability of products, and safety.
NIST has laboratories and facilities for research, innovation, and boosting economic security. These facilities enable them to have first-hand experience in handling modern technology and helping firms secure their systems using the most advanced and almost fool-proof methods. There is a publications docket that publishes and releases handbooks to the public so that they may familiarize themselves with the latest security trends, and steps they can take to ward off threats.
NIST has invested handsomely in infrastructure, equipment, and staff, which have brought it excellence in:
- Advanced communications
- Health and Bioscience
- Advanced manufacturing
- Forensic Science
- Quantum Science
- Technology Transfer
Risk Management Framework (RMF)
This is a policy and standard set by the U.S. federal government geared towards securing information systems and networks; which was developed by NIST. It is a 6-step cycle that seeks to secure your data and your firm’s communications systems entirely.
- Step 1. Categorizing the Information System
- Step 2. Choice of security controls
- Step 3. Implementation of the chosen security controls
- Step 4. Assessment of security controls.
- Step 5. Authorization of the Information system.
- Step 6. Monitoring Security controls.
For maximum safety, this cycle should be repeated whenever necessary. If a flaw is spotted in any step, it can be rectified before harm reaches your information systems and networks.
In the first step according to NIST RMF, it’s where determination on how critical the Information System is, and viewed from the worst-case scenario and negative impact on the firm, its mission and laid down objectives, and the system itself. The purpose of this step is to see what the firm stands to lose should its system be compromised.
Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) have impact level indicators, which will show you the extent of the damage inflicted should your information systems suffer data loss, which is classified as follows;
- Low impact level – This loss has a little negative impact on the firm.
- Moderate impact level – Here, the loss is significant, serious, and can be felt.
- High impact – High loss is not only catastrophic but also has a substantial negative effect on the organization.
All the RMF steps are complemented by input, either directly or indirectly from different NIST departments.
This department promotes the development and utilization of cutting-edge communication technologies — the more advanced the information and communication system of your firm, the less the risk of infiltration.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Incorporation of AI into your system is a big step towards reducing the risk. This docket strives to realize the highest potential of artificial intelligence, which comes in handy in flagging potential threats, and blocking and expelling them. AI minimizes running costs as it autonomously carries out scheduled tasks and is complemented by manpower.
Cybercrime is prevalent in this digital era, and a little security lapse can lead to significant losses of money and information. NIST is ever striving to implement privacy through the application of best practices and standards to ensure the States maintain optimum privacy and cybersecurity. NIST will help you ensure that your privacy won’t be invaded, or data stolen.
Leveraging Risk Management
NIST risk management is what your firm needs to guard your information systems against all threats, whether internal or external. Their diversification in additional security, technology, and communication places them strategically and hands them the innovation they need to create applications and software that excel in the ever-dynamic tech world. The well-laid-down steps make a risk assessment and management procedure that leaves very little room for doubt or failure. These steps are ever recurring to ensure that any fault that somehow slips through is identified and rectified during the recurring procedures.
Your communication and information systems are in a constant fight against threats, malware, and hackers. Failure to take the required steps to secure your systems will set you at imminent security risk, that might deal your firm such a heavy blow you may never recover. The risk of all your databases being held by ransomware, or your company information being exposed to your competitors, or details of your staff being exposed to the public can drive you nuts. Prevention will save you a whole load of trouble and keep your firm safe.
However, if you were unfortunate to be on the receiving end of these risks, and now you are considering rebuilding what was affected, it is prudent to involve NIST so that they help you form formidable security for your systems. If you are new to this and are considering having information systems for your future firms, you now know the role NIST risk management will play in securing your systems from threats