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FISMA Compliance: Benefits and How To Achieve It

Data security tops every business’s whiteboard when the discussed topic is general company improvements. Regardless of whether you are a big or a small company looking to become very successful, if data security is paramount in your eyes, you’ve probably heard of Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

FISMA is especially important for businesses that are working with government sensitive data, and even though it’s not necessary for all companies, every single one can enjoy the benefits. It requires federal agencies to develop, document, and implement systems that support the agency’s operations and a program that will secure valuable information.

To further expand on the topic of how being FISMA compliant can benefit you, read on to learn all the major advantages listed below.

Monitoring and security assessment

Companies today face more threats and problems than ever before.

Nowadays, to save a large portion of their budget, companies are shifting their operations online. However, the digitalization of all information is being stored in databases, which runs the risk of being victim to cyber-attacks. Malicious individuals will try to target your data and either steal it for profit or destroy it to cause your company harm.

Luckily for you, these risks can be mitigated with FISMA compliance and by carefully analyzing the generated FISMA report. A FISMA report provides information regarding the company’s online security.

The report is valid for 12 months after it has been issued and you can present it to companies you plan on working on to further solidify your claims of professionalism.

Raising awareness and training your employees

A trained workforce is a productive workforce.

In this case, a trained workforce is the shield that protects your business from cyber-attacks. With a FISMA report in your possession you can make all your employees aware that cyber-attacks are possible and if successful, they can potentially set back the whole business operation indefinitely.

Each employee will know their role and responsibility if your company becomes the subject of a cyber attack which will make for a solid defense. You can also find government-provided training programs that you can use to further instill cybersecurity knowledge among your employees.

Avoid penalties and fines

If you are working with federal agencies there are rules you must follow. Otherwise, you might face hefty fines. However, not every business needs to be FISMA compliant.

But if you are storing government information, you will have to comply with all the rules and regulations set by FISMA and ensure that no information leaks.

Close deals fast

As a business, your top priority is to always generate profits.

Being FISMA compliant can help your business grow its client base organically. When prospective clients notice your dedication to professionalism and security, they won’t think twice to sign a contract with your business.

If you understand how the business world works, you know that even the slightest advantage can play in your favor. Most businesses will try to save a little bit of money on their cyber security. However, if you make sure that your company is cyber-attack resilient, you will gain an edge and grow much faster than your competitors.

FISMA requirements

Being FISMA compliant will bring a lot of benefits. However, you will have to follow some regulations, including:

A list of all the IT inventory

You will have to keep a concise list of inventory of all your IT systems. In addition to that, you will have to list every software and hardware update.

Risk assessment

FIPS 199 (Federal Information Processing Standards) determines how all agencies categorize their risk and security requirements. This document can be used as a guideline for how all agencies can maintain high levels of security.

Anytime a company changes or updates its software or hardware, they are required to perform a three-tiered risk assessment with the help of RMF (Risk Managment Framework)

Security plan

FISMA requires all agencies to have a set plan so that in the event of a cyber-attack, all the employees are prepared to take the right steps.

Regular security reviews

FISMA requires all agencies to conduct an annual review of their cyber security. Agencies must demonstrate that they are capable of analyzing the data, monitoring, and using all the installed systems.

Bottom line

Becoming FISMA compliant is not easy, but it’s well worth it. Nowadays, proceeding without a solid cyber security plan is a complete gamble. And to mitigate attacks or to outright eliminate them, you will have to find the right strategy. One such effective strategy is provided by the FISMA. If you are considering shifting your operations online, make sure that you are FISMA compliant right from the very start.

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