NIST Special Publication 800-30, "Guide for Conducting Risk Assessments," provides guidance for organizations to conduct risk assessments of federal information systems and organizations. It amplifies the guidance in NIST Special Publication 800-39, which describes the organizational risk management process.
Definition and purpose
The purpose of NIST 800-30 is to assist organizations in conducting risk assessments to:
- Identify vulnerabilities and threats to their information systems and assets.
- Evaluate the potential impact of risks on the organization.
- Prioritize risks for mitigation and response.
- Develop and implement risk mitigation strategies.
- Improve overall cybersecurity posture and resilience.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the governing body responsible for the 800 series of publications, including NIST 800-30.
NIST 800-30 was published in 2012 and has had no major updates.
While NIST 800-30 is designed for federal agencies to meet the requirements of FISMA, state, local, and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations are encouraged to use these guidelines as well.
Controls and requirements
NIST 800-30 doesn't provide a specific list of controls or requirements. Instead, it offers a methodology for conducting risk assessments. Organizations may use other NIST publications such as NIST SP 800-53 for specific controls and requirements.
Please refer to the official NIST 800-30 publication for more details.
Audit type, frequency, and duration
Since NIST 800-30 is a guide for conducting risk assessments and not a compliance standard, it does not dictate specific audit types, frequencies, or durations.
It does not dictate these aspects for risk assessments either. Instead, it recommends organizations employ risk assessments on an ongoing basis throughout the system development life cycle. Typically, the frequency is determined by the evolving threat landscape and changes in the organization's environment. The duration of a risk assessment can also vary widely, depending on the complexity of the organization and the scope of the assessment.