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Why NIST 800-53, Revision 5 is a Very Significant Document for Information Security

Arlington Security Portal

Get Access to 100 + NIST RMF security and privacy policies & procedures, programs, and plan templates.

NIST SP 800-53, first released in 2005, is the underlying framework and the very fabric for which the entire National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework (RMF) is built upon.  The NIST RMF provides a flexible, holistic, and repeatable 7-step process to manage security and privacy risk and links to a suite of NIST standards and guidelines to support implementation of risk management programs to meet the requirements of the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA).

NIST 800-53, Rev. 5, stands as a cornerstone in the realm of cybersecurity and data protection. Its significance lies in its comprehensive framework for establishing security and privacy controls within federal information systems and organizations handling sensitive data. As a product of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), this document represents a culmination of extensive research, collaboration, and expertise from industry professionals and government agencies. Its importance stems from its role as a guiding light for organizations seeking to fortify their defenses against cyber threats and adhere to rigorous compliance standards.

Furthermore, NIST 800-53, Rev. 5, serves as a benchmark for best practices in cybersecurity and risk management, not only within the federal sector but also across industries worldwide. Its adaptable and scalable approach allows organizations of varying sizes and complexities to tailor their security programs effectively. By providing a robust set of controls and guidelines, NIST 800-53 assists organizations in mitigating risks, safeguarding sensitive information, and bolstering overall cybersecurity posture. Its widespread adoption underscores its importance as a foundational document shaping the landscape of cybersecurity standards and practices for years to come.

For each of the 7 steps within the NIST RMF, NIST SP 800-53 plays a vital role in their implementation and execution of various requirements.  NIST SP 800-53 is also the very framework used for FedRAMP and StateRAMP - two critically important cloud compliance programs that have been steadily growing in recent years.

Those ‘suite of NIST standards and guidelines’ rely heavily on the NIST SP 800-53 publication when undertaking the NIST RMF process, and in turn, when seeking compliance with the likes of FISMA, FedRAMP, NISP eMASS RMF, NIST 800-171, CMMC, and so much more. 

All federal agencies in the U.S. government have adopted the NIST RMF, and in effect, have adopted NIST SP 800-53 as the guiding publication for security and privacy controls. 

100 + NIST 800-53 Templates Available for Download for Federal Contractors

The solution for federal contractors is the Arlington Security Portal (ASP), an online repository of world-class, industry leading security and privacy policies & procedures, programs, plans – and other highly essential documents & templates developed specifically on NIST SP 800-53, Revision 5.

From Beginning to End, Complete Project Management for NIST RMF

With Arlington, we can manage your entire NIST RMF A&A process from beginning to end (i.e., from the initial scoping & gap assessment to post-Authorization to Operate (ATO) activities), providing essential services for getting you to the finish line in terms of your ATO.  Core services and solutions offered include the following:

  • Scoping & Gap (i.e., Readiness) Assessments
  • Remediation Services (Policy and Procedures writing)
  • Remediation Services (Technical and Operational)
  • System Security Plan (SSP) Development
  • Security Assessment Reports (SAR)
  • Continuous Monitoring (ConMon) Services

About Arlington

We are Arlington, a team of innovative, solution-oriented, highly agile, and well-versed professionals with decades of experience in working with America’s defense industry. From emerging cybersecurity regulations to helping our clients solve complex security & compliance solutions – and so much more – you can trust Arlington, the firm that’s Dedicated to Defense®.  Learn more at