NIST 800-171: 7 Benefits of Having a Compliant Environment (Part 3)
Achieving complete NIST 800-171 compliance does more than just deflect fines and maintain funding eligibility. The requirements organizations must comply with are best practices that organizations should be utilizing regardless as it truly enhances a given organization’s ability to provide trustworthy services. Below are 7 benefits organization’s are likely to experience if they have a compliant environment.
- Protect important assets such as sensitive systems, proprietary information, and PII:
NIST 800-171 is a cybersecurity framework that provides a list of best practices in the form of controls that an organization can use to strengthen the security posture of their networks and systems. While no method is fool-proof at stopping data breaches from happening, being compliant to the NIST 800-171 standards does help an organization to become more cognizant of how to protect important information and how to efficiently recognize if a breach has occurred.
- Avoid damage to reputation:
Breaches can not only take a negative impact on your bottom line, it can also damage your company’s reputation. Ponemon Institute conducted a study where they followed the share values of 113 publicly traded companies for 30 days before a data breach and 90 days afterward. The study found that the average share value dropped by 5%.
- Avoid loss of customers:
The same Ponemon Study mentioned in the section above found that 31% of consumers surveyed stated that they would discontinue their relationships with an organization after it had been breached. 65% of consumers reported a loss of trust in organizations that suffered one or more breaches.
- Meet the qualifications for working with Federal agencies and receiving funding from them:
NIST 800-171 guidelines have become incorporated into contracts and other funding agreements. If your company is not NIST 800-171 compliant, the government can terminate the contract as well as bar your company from being eligible to compete in future contracts until compliance is met.
- Appear more security-conscious than competitors:
From a marketing perspective, imagine being able to tout that your company is a security-focused company that is NIST 800-171 compliant. Such news would be a relief for potential clients and it would garner their trust as more and more companies fall victim to data breaches.
- Avoid downtime resulting from security incident and response process:
In the event that a data breach does occur, being NIST 800-171 compliant will mean that your company has the proper processes and procedures in place to quickly and effectively respond to an incident. Faster detection and response times can help to minimize the impact that a data breach has on the organization as well as the downtime that an organization experiences post breach.
- Avoid legal and financial repercussions:
If an entity is found to be non-compliant and suffers a breach, the affected parties may seek to recover damages through litigation activities. Also, if any government data is found to be compromised as a result of breach of a non-compliant entity, the agency could pursue legal action and charge fines as well.