Cybersecurity is a serious concern for many of today’s companies and organizations. For the federal government, it is perhaps one of the most important. When criminals target the federal government, they not only can access sensitive information about citizens, but they can also put our nation’s security and economy at risk. This information cannot be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
The Federal Information Security Management Act, or FISMA, puts forth rules to ensure agencies are able to protect sensitive data and government infrastructure. Velox Systems assists with FISMA compliance, so government agencies can ensure their information and information systems are not at high risk.
What Is FISMA?
In 2002, the United States government passed FISMA. The law requires all federal agencies to create, document, and implement plans to protect information and technology. This law set forth federal data security standards and rules that these agencies had to follow. The guidelines, set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), require specific types of security, approves specific cybersecurity vendors, and sets forth standardized risk assessment processes for these agencies.
Under FISMA, an agency’s role defines its level of security based on how much risk it has. Agencies that store large amounts of consumer data, for instance, will have a higher risk level than those that work only in a small government role. Agencies that are in control of national security issues will have the strictest security requirements.
Do You Need FISMA Compliance?
If your organization secures and supports information systems federal government agencies use, then you are required to follow FISMA compliance standards. If you are a government agency or work with a government agency, you are also required to be FISMA compliant.
How to Be FISMA Compliant?
To comply with FISMA, you must have system security plans in seven key areas. These include:
Information System Inventory — Federal agencies and their contractors must inventory all of their information systems. If those systems integrate with others within the network, those integrations must also be inventoried.
Risk Categorization — Information and information systems are listed in order of risk after a risk assessment. This allows the most sensitive information to receive the highest possible security.
System Security Plan — Each organization has to have a security plan that outlines security controls, policies, and timetables. This needs to be regularly updated.
Security Controls — FISMA suggests specific security controls but does not specify which ones have to be in place. Getting consulting for FISMA compliance can help organizations choose the right security controls for their specific needs.
Certification and Accreditation — FISMA has a four-phase process that allows agencies and organizations to get certification and accreditation.
Monitoring – Continuous monitoring of security issues is the final part of FISMA compliance.
Benefits of FISMA Compliance
FISMA compliance helps keep data secure. While this is required for federal agencies, it can also be helpful for the private sector that wishes to do business with the federal government. Maintaining FISMA compliance ensures they can land government contracts when the opportunities present. It also ensures that private companies are using security best practices.
Government agencies or private companies that are under government contracts that do not remain FISMA compliant face penalties. At the very least they risk losing federal funding or a renewed contract. Getting a citation for lack of FISMA compliance also hurts a company’s reputation.
Schedule FISMA Compliance Services from Velox Systems
Velox System offers IT consulting for FISMA compliance. If you are in need of help to maintain compliance, our consulting services will help you understand how to meet these strict standards.
We can assist with setting up and implementing system security plans, implementing those plans. Our managed IT services will then monitor your technology to ensure it remains compliant at all times. We also offer risk assessments to help you analyze your security risk. Reach out today to discuss FISMA compliance needs for your agency or private business.