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[ISN] NIST puts its security guidelines in one basket


By William Jackson
GCN Staff
05/07/07 issue

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a 
database to help agencies collect data needed to assess information 
technology security programs and produce reports for action plans.

The Program Review for Information Security Management Assistance 
database, which can be downloaded at prisma.nist.gov, is part of PRISMA, 
a tool NIST developed for reviewing the complex information security 
requirements and posture of federal information security programs. It 
brings together guidelines from NIST publications, federal standards, 
best practices and requirements in the Federal Information Security 
Management Act.

PRISMA provides a framework for an independent, in-house review of the 
maturity of an agency’s information security program. It requires 
documentation of security policies, procedures and implemented controls.

It also requires a review of the agency’s organizational structure, 
culture and business mission. After the assessment, the PRISMA team 
identifies problems and develops a weighted list of corrective actions.

The PRISMA framework was released in January in NIST Interagency Report 
7358. The database, which is in Microsoft Access 2003 and can help 
generate a report in Microsoft Word, was made available in April.

If you are having trouble finding guidelines or standards for your IT 
security assessment, NIST also has released a “Guide to NIST Computer 
Security Documents,” a PDF that indexes the more than 250 publications 
the NIST Computer Security Division issues.

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