Source:pages.nist.gov

Why NIST is So Important for the Science and Technology Field

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NIST matters in many spheres of our lives. But, as its name suggests it excels in the fields of science and technology. If you’re unaware of what this abbreviation means let’s start there. It stands for The National Institute of Standards and Technology. This institution was founded back in 1901 and since then it is a leading body in terms of setting standards and working on improving the technology that surrounds us. Back in the day, it was installed to get the US on the same level of development as the European superpowers.

Today, NIST is seen as the biggest partner to most organizations who are looking to be innovative and create progress in the fields of technology, and security, and it provides resources to help any development in these fields. But, nothing comes for free in this world. As such, this organization has a strict set of rules, standards, and guidelines that need to be followed if you want their assistance. It simply isn’t easy to be a leader in the high-tech sector without NIST backing you. Complying with their guidelines is a priority for any company that wants to succeed in any science and technology sector.

What Is Its Function?

Source:nist.gov

As we said, their focus lies on numerous guidelines they offer in the terms of all technical matters and matters tied to tech and science. In today’s time and age one of the aspects, they are most focused on is the data. We live in an age when information matter the most, so it’s no wonder that NIST found its way to thrive in this department and create guidelines for its ideal functioning. Anyone who wants to get involved in the fields that are covered by NIST guidelines such as technology, science, data, cybersecurity, and similar fields needs to comply with them. Also, Neurotechnology is an example recipient of standards and guidelines set by this organization that need to be followed if you want to excel and be well accepted, progressive, and innovative in such a delicate field.

What is NIST Compliance?

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As you could already understand NIST cover many different fields. It is an organization that’s more than a  century old, and in that timeframe, they have managed to grow to the extent we see today. That’s why most of the development in the US and even further than that goes through their offices and laboratories. Being in compliance with them and the standards they set means that you need to find a way to be in line with one or more of their publications. Considering how fast our society and its field develop, these publications are updated almost every day. This is what makes the process of complying with their guidelines so important and to an extent even complicated.

While NIST is a government organization, and it’s closely tied to the US governing institutions it equally sets the standards for both government organizations and private companies. In the spheres of technology, science, and data the entire sector is connected. This is why NIST sets standards that apply similarly to everyone involved in the process of complying. Many companies in the domains we mentioned work directly with the US government, which makes it twice as important to have everything in order, regardless of the department you cover.

So, if you want to have their blessing, you need to comply with one or more of their standards. Considering that NIST falls under the US Department of Commerce, even your small business will need to be in line with some of their standards. Considering that they do not only have already established standards but that are developing new ones in the process, various industries wait for the standards to come their way especially when it comes to terms of data and security. If you’re still not convinced that your business needs to comply with these standards you’ll be reassured when you hear that these standards are based only on the best of practices.

Furthermore, NIST has the full backing of the US government which is a story for itself.  Also, they are more than eager to recommend and guide everyone to follow these standards at all costs. Companies and organizations all over the states are necks deep into these standards, and for all the right reasons. At the moment, if you’re head of any org or a business, there’s no reason not to comply if you want to excel in your domain, and especially if you want to create ties to the state.

Are There Benefits to Complying?

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Of course, there is. As we said, this is a body with close ties to the government. But, it’s not about connections. It’s about the real benefits your organization can achieve through complying with NIST programs. You’ll be glad to hear that there are more of them that’ll come your way if you focus on being in line with this organization. In more than one way they will aid you in securing your assets in the form of data, information flow, and intellectual property.

Furthermore, as we said, they’re a state-backed organization. What this means is that in addition to having their blessings you’ll be given access to other organizations and various other companies in the domain. This will allow you to excel more in complying with many other industry standards which will in return allow your business to grow. If you get to comply with everything that NIST represents in your domain, you will find ways to get in line with other standards such as SOX, HIPAA, or in some cases even FISMA.

On the downside, if your company doesn’t manage to comply with what NIST is seeking the chances that your business is going to get to work for the government are slim to none. They open many doors, but if you are non-compliant you’ll be facing a lot of locked ones too. So, if you do not want to face the downsides, comply, and all you’ll see in the future are the benefits of NIST compliance. It is because of this that NIST is so important for the science and technology field.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com

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