NIST 800-171 and 800-53


New member
Are they the same? Different? Similar? I think I saw that if you are 800-53 compliant you're automatically 800-171 compliant, too. Is that true?


Staff member
Great question Katherine! NIST SP 800-53 and NIST SP 800-171 are different but they do have similarities:
  • NIST SP 800-53 is a bit more stringent and it details how the government's IT systems need to be protected. It's over 400 pages with 212 different security controls.
  • NIST SP 800-171 provides guidelines for government contractors. It's a little less dense, with about 125 pages of rules and just over half the number of security controls (109).
That being said, there is some overlap, especially where cybersecurity is concerned. For example:
  • Access control
  • Configuration management
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Accountability
  • Information integrity
And to answer the last part of your question, it is true that if you are 53 compliant, you also have 171 covered.
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