What is NIST?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is part of the US Department of Commerce. NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life.

NIST has a broad scope that includes developing technology, metrics, and standards that are necessary for various scientific disciplines. In the context of cybersecurity, NIST is widely known for its special publications, which are influential in setting security standards for government and private sector organizations, including the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, which provides a structure that organizations can use to identify, assess, manage, and mitigate cyber risks. It also publishes standards and guidelines for federal agencies to follow in order to comply with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), and these publications often become de facto standards used by organizations across industries.