Compliance Standards Library

NIST 800-53

  • Updated

What is NIST SP 800-53?

  • NIST SP 800-53 (Rev. 5) is the entire catalog of the most detailed and comprehensive security and privacy controls maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 
  • With over 1100 controls, NIST 800-53 provides end-to-end security & privacy program guidance for information systems that store, process, or transmit federal information. As a framework, it is detailed, flexible, and comprehensive and provides a comprehensive baseline for developing a secure organizational infrastructure.
  • When paired with one of our NIST implementation partners, Vanta’s NIST 800-53 framework can be used to significantly uplift and increase the effectiveness and maturity of a well-established security program. 

Who should follow NIST SP 800-53?

  • Organizations who are contractually obligated to demonstrate NIST 800-53
  • Organizations with the resources to take on the complexities of the NIST 800-53 framework

Why should my company follow NIST SP 800-53?

  • Following NIST 800-53 can significantly improve the overall security posture of your company and highlight your organizational readiness, maturity, and commitment to security and privacy.

Is there an overlap between NIST SP 800-53, NIST SP 800-171, and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF)?

  • At a high level, NIST 800-53 and NIST 800-171 provide security controls for implementing the NIST CSF. Each framework has a different complexity and difficulty, given the purpose of each publication. 
  • For example, while NIST 800-53 can work in any environment, it’s intended for high-risk ones where the risk of compromise far outweighs protection costs. NIST SP 800-171 is designed for organizations doing business with the US Department of Defense (DoD) that process, store, or transmit Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). NIST 800-171 and NIST 800-53 controls may look at similar information but through different lenses.
  • NIST CSF references NIST SP 800-53, ISO 27001, and other standard guidance frameworks. Given its references and focus on control intent, it’s possible to leverage direct control language, guidance, and mapping between NIST CSF, NIST 800-53, and NIST 800-171.