NIST 800-171 Consulting In Dallas

If you work with the government in any fashion, you may have heard the term NIST 800-171 referenced when you’re dealing with sensitive information. But what is NIST 800-171, why is it important to the government, and does your business really need to follow this specific standard? In this article, we’ll discuss this standard, including its history, why it’s important to the government, why you need to follow it carefully if you’re doing business with the government, and what you need to do to implement it into your IT and digital asset systems.

What is NIST 800-171? Dallas Texas Businesses Want to Know!

Let’s start with a definition of what NIST actually is, to begin with. Founded in 1901 by Congress to respond to challenges in the United State’s industrial competitiveness, NIST is the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This organization provides standards that companies need to meet when working with the government. Originally only focused on providing a standard for the federal government, the standard has also been adopted by tribal, state, and local governments across the country and foreign contractors who do business with the United States government.

For that reason, many IT companies use the term NIST to discuss concerns or system issues that a client may have when they’re working with the government regarding the client’s cybersecurity issues. Though the term is used generically, the IT company is typically referring specifically to the standards found in NIST 800-171. This standard specifically discusses and sets rules for cybersecurity protection protocols for businesses working with governments that use this standard and deal with controlled unclassified information or CUI.

We’ve recently put together a short video that gives you a quick overview of this information, which you’ll find below, but this article will go into further depth on this standard’s details.


CUI is information that the government considers to be sensitive but not necessarily classified in its scope. This is relevant to the interests of that government and is considered sensitive but is not strictly regulated, especially by the federal government. This information was previously included under several other terms, including For Official Use Only (FOUO), Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU), and Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES) classifications.

This can include information that you would not necessarily classify but would not provide public access by publishing it outside of a specific office. For example, a Dallas Texas automotive contractor may know how many pounds of pressure the front windshield of a Humvee can take before it buckles or shatters so that they can ensure that the windshields they produce will meet or exceed the technical specs of a project. Still, they won’t publish that information on their Facebook page.

To help determine how that information should be handled, NIST 800-171 was developed after the Federal Information Security Management Act, or FISMA, was passed in 2003, which required the formation of several security standards and guidelines to keep up with emerging cybersecurity threats. This act was passed in response to several well-documented cybersecurity breaches to prevent these problems from popping up again in the future.

Though the standard itself can seem confusing, it does provide superior cybersecurity protection, which is why many companies across the country and around the world strive to achieve this standard, whether they are large or small and whether they work with the government or not. NIST 800-171 provides superior protection of your Dallas, Texas company’s sensitive information, protecting you from not only cyber criminals but also industrial espionage and similar areas of concern.

If you’re confused over the terminology and specific standards in NIST 800-171, you’re not alone. That’s one reason we’re here; our experienced team of IT security professionals can help you strip away the confusing language and explain exactly what NIST 800-171 means. We can then help you ensure that your company meets this demanding standard without spending a lot of extra time and effort on the problem. Contact us today with any questions, for more information, or to schedule a consultation with our professional team.