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Who Needs To Be FISMA Compliant?

Who Needs To Be FISMA Compliant?


FISMA is a federal legislation that outlines a structure for managing information security within federal agencies. The act necessitates that federal agencies must create, execute, and sustain information security programs to prevent unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of their information and information systems. This article will explain what you need to know about FISMA including who needs to be FISMA compliant.

The basics of FISMA

Enacted in 2002, FISMA, also known as the Federal Information Security Management Act, is a federal legislation that provides a structure for managing information security within federal agencies. Its primary objective is to safeguard federal information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. To meet its provisions, FISMA mandates federal agencies to establish, execute, and uphold information security programs.

FISMA has several crucial provisions that outline the responsibilities of federal agencies for managing information security. These provisions include establishing requirements for creating and implementing security programs, conducting annual reviews and reporting of these programs, and identifying and assessing risks to information and information systems. Additionally, FISMA mandates that federal agencies must create and implement policies and procedures to mitigate the risks identified during the assessment.

Another key provision of FISMA is the requirement for federal agencies to comply with the security standards and guidelines issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The NIST is responsible for developing and updating security standards and guidelines, and FISMA requires agencies to use these standards in developing their information security programs.

Who needs to be FISMA compliant?

The short answer to the question “Who needs to be FISMA compliant?” is:

  • Federal agencies
  • Contractors and third-party service providers working with federal agencies
  • State and local government agencies receiving federal grants or funding
  • Private sector organizations handling sensitive federal information

Here is a closer look at what FISMA compliance means for each of these groups.

Federal agencies

Federal agencies are required to comply with FISMA provisions and are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining information security programs to protect their information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.

In addition to adhering to NIST security standards and guidelines, private sector organizations that handle sensitive federal information must evaluate and address risks to their information and information systems. They must also develop policies and procedures to mitigate those risks. Meanwhile, federal agencies must ensure that their information security programs are effective by conducting annual reviews and submitting reports.

Contractors and third-party service providers working with federal agencies

FISMA provisions also apply to contractors and third-party service providers working with federal agencies. These entities often have access to sensitive federal information and information systems, highlighting their role in safeguarding against potential threats. FISMA requires such entities to create and maintain an information security program that aligns with the security standards and guidelines established by NIST.

Contractors and third-party service providers must identify and assess risks to the federal information and information systems that they are responsible for and develop policies and procedures to mitigate those risks. They must also implement controls to safeguard federal information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.

To ensure compliance with FISMA provisions, federal agencies are required to include information security requirements in their contracts with contractors and third-party service providers. They must also conduct regular assessments of the information security programs of their contractors and third-party service providers to ensure they are meeting the established security standards and guidelines.

State and local government agencies receiving federal grants or funding

State and local government agencies that receive federal grants or funding are also required to comply with FISMA provisions. While these agencies are not considered federal agencies, they may still have access to sensitive federal information and information systems, making them potential targets for cyber attacks.

State and local government agencies that receive federal grants or funding are required by FISMA to evaluate and mitigate the risks to their information and information systems. This includes creating and implementing policies and procedures that adhere to the security standards and guidelines established by NIST. Furthermore, these agencies must conduct annual reviews and reports of their information security programs to ensure they remain effective.

Private sector organizations handling sensitive federal information

Private sector organizations that handle sensitive federal information are also required to comply with FISMA provisions. This includes organizations that contract with federal agencies or receive federal grants, as well as those that handle sensitive federal data on behalf of federal agencies.

FISMA mandates that these private sector organizations establish and maintain an information security program that aligns with the security standards and guidelines set forth by NIST. This includes identifying and assessing risks to their information and information systems, developing and implementing policies and procedures to mitigate those risks, and adhering to security standards and guidelines established by NIST.

 

Related Resources:

What You Need To Know About GDPR Colocation
What You Need To Know About HIPAA Colocation
Hybrid IT Security: Safeguarding Your Business
What You Need To Know About Implementing A FISMA Data Center
What you need to know about managed disaster recovery services
Private Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): What You Need to Know
What You Need to Know About the Cloud for Retail: Enhancing Customer Experiences
Choosing an IT Disaster Recovery Solution: Key Factors to Consider
Why Are Cybercrimes On The Rise?

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