Interagency Standards

NIST seeks cybersecurity guidance

concept cybersecurity art

The National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a request for information in the Feb. 26 Federal Register asking for comments to help develop a cybersecurity framework and guidance.

The RFI, which was called for under President Barack Obama's executive order on cybersecurity, seeks input from critical infrastructure operators; federal, state and local government agencies; standards-setting organizations; and other interested parties. The responses will help officials develop a cybersecurity framework that will consist of a set of voluntary standards and best practices, according to a NIST release.

As part of the solicitation process, NIST will also hold stakeholder meetings, with the first one scheduled for April 3 at the agency’s Gaithersburg, Md., headquarters.

In the RFI, officials note that they are requesting "information to help identify, refine and guide the many interrelated considerations, challenges and efforts needed to develop the framework."

Andy Ozment, the White House’s senior director for cybersecurity, said the creation of guidelines hinges on a collaborative partnership among government, industry and other stakeholders.

"A framework is essentially a collection of standards," Ozment said Feb. 22 at an AFCEA cybersecurity event in Washington. "It's not one particular standard -- 'Here's how you configure your Wi-Fi to secure it' or, at a higher level, 'Here's how you do risk management in cybersecurity.' It's a collection of standards that we think constitute the core cybersecurity best practices. This is only going to work if we find out from the companies most affected in cybersecurity what they're doing and how they're affected."

Responses to the RFI are due by 5 p.m. ET on April 8 and should be sent to cyberframework@nist.gov with the subject line "Developing a Framework to Improve Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity."

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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