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A Guide To Preparing For A NIST 800-53 Audit

For organisations required to comply with NIST 800-53 as a federal agency or vendor within the US federal government’s supply chain, it’s necessary to prepare for a NIST audit. Here are some helpful steps to get you ready for audit and make compliance a breeze.

1. Create a NIST 800-53 compliance risk management assessment

One of the benefits of the NIST framework for controls is that guidance is provided for the creation of a risk assessment.

2. Design and implement access controls in line with NIST compliance requirements

Controls may be prescribed by the contracting organisation, which should be supported within the risk assessment. NIST 800-53 offers detailed guidance on how to design, implement and operate the relevant controls.

3. Monitor your controls

A structured and frequent approach to control monitoring will ensure that any issues are identified quickly and efficiently.

4. Prepare for a third-party audit

When it comes to auditing, Hicomply’s platform is an invaluable tool in helping you store all of your audit documentation in one place. By helping you to organise all aspects of governance, risk and compliance, you can present all required information clearly and efficiently.

5. Create an action plan and deadlines for measuring success

Once you have identified any compliance gaps or areas for improvement, it’s time to put the steps in place to carry out remedial work and document progress ahead of a future audit. This is made easy with Hicomply’s NIST 800-53 solution – helping you to avoid a raft of spreadsheets and host of other documentation.

6. Submit for your ATO (Authorisation to Operate)

A NIST ATO demonstrates that your organisation is aligned with FISMA and FIPS 200. To achieve this approval you’ll need to complete a NIST audit.

7. Repeat the risk assessment

Monitoring and managing your risk profile regularly is essential to any secure and responsible organisation. Plan to repeat risk assessments at regular, defined intervals.

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