NIST 800-53 (FISMA) Compliance with ESP


Protecting Federal Information Systems.

All projects that are funded by the Federal Government that collect, store, process, use or transmit data must comply with FISMA (the Federal Information Security Management Act). For many institutions seeking governmental grants for their project, the projected added cost and logistics of meeting FISMA cyber security compliance requirements (described in NIST 800-53) may outweigh the benefits of securing the funds.

With Elemental Security Platform (ESP) required NIST 800-53 (FISMA) compliance levels can be easily met – within days of the initial installation of the solution.
ESP is a flexible, scalable, multi-purpose, end-point oriented security and compliance automation solution that offers a rich variety of user-friendly, low-maintenance information security controls, as well as auditable compliance and risk management features – all pre-designed to follow the control sets outlined in NIST 800-53. The desired compliance levels are achieved and maintained through ESP’s automatic deployment, consistent monitoring and pervasive enforcement of cyber security controls on the individual endpoints. This results in eliminating hundreds or thousands of man-hours of manual work, faster time-to-compliance, less effort to demonstrate compliance to auditors and a more proactive approach to security and compliance issues overall.


ESP multi-tool functionality can help you to address the following steps of the NIST-defined FISMA compliance process:

Categorize the information to be protected.

With ESP, this can be done by identifying the types of systems that host applications that store protected data, or that host the type of documents that need to be protected, and then grouping those machines together to create a special “in-scope” security group that will be logically separated from the rest of the network.

Select minimum baseline controls and implement those controls to the appropriate information systems

ESP provides out-of-the-box NIST 800-53 policy templates that include hundreds of technical controls outlined in NIST 800-53, already pre-populated to meet requirements of different chapters of the standard. ESP administrators can select, deploy, and enforce those technical controls with just a few clicks of the button. With ESP custom grouping capabilities, the necessary controls can be implemented only on those machines within the scope of FISMA requirements.

Document the controls in the security plan

ESP automatically documents all implemented policies, their exception, and their enforcement outcomes.

Assess the effectiveness of the controls

ESP automatically calculates compliance scores and allows you to see which controls are fully implemented and which still need to be addressed.

Determine agency-level risk to the mission

ESP provides out-of-the-box risk assessment capability that could be customized to align with your business-case priorities and calculate their value to the organization and their business loss potential.

Monitor the security controls on a continuous basis

ESP is one of only platforms to offer an ongoing, continuous monitoring of the compliance levels for each technical control at the endpoint level.

How is Elemental different?

Unlike other approaches that require laborious manual maintenance, lack correlation, or address only specific aspects of NIST 800-53 requirements, Elemental brings an entirely new approach to security compliance based on groundbreaking concepts and technologies. The result is a policy-based solution that delivers faster time-to-compliance, fewer resources needed to achieve and maintain compliance, and a fully documented, audit-ready list of implemented controls.

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