National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 outlines cybersecurity-related requirements government contractors. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) published a three-page interim rule to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS).​ These requirements protect the confidentiality of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in non-federal systems and organizations. If you are a government contractor, failure to meet these requirements will result in the loss of your contracts.  

For a full list of requirements, refer to the NIST 800-171 publication: https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-171/rev-2/final

Netsurion Managed XDR for NIST 800-171 Compliance 

Netsurion Managed XDR combines SIEM, log management, proactive threat hunting, and guided incident response to effectively meet the requirements outlined in NIST 800-171 compliance. With comprehensive monitoring, analysis, and reporting capabilities organizations can identify and manage their assets, establish access controls, protect resources, and respond promptly to incidents. 

By leveraging Netsurion Managed XDR, organizations can establish a robust cybersecurity framework aligned with the NIST 800-171 guidelines. This enables them to effectively manage risks, detect and respond to threats promptly, and enhance their overall cybersecurity posture. 

Using Netsurion Managed XDR to meet NIST 800-171 Requirements 

Control 3.1: Access Control

3.1.1 – Limit information system access to authorized users, processes acting on behalf of authorized users, or devices (including other information systems).

Netsurion Open XDR provides you with role-based access control for audit logging/alerts/reports, account management or changes, as well as mechanisms to centrally review access activities.

3.1.2 – Limit information system access to the types of transactions and functions that authorized users are permitted to execute.

Netsurion Open XDR provides you with role-based access control (RBAC) for audit logging/alerts/reports, account management or changes.

3.1.3 – Control the flow of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in accordance with approved authorizations.

Netsurion Open XDR provides you with monitoring activities for file and application access, USB monitoring, and email metadata analysis.

3.1.4 – Separate the duties of individuals to reduce the risk of malevolent activity without collusion.

Netsurion Open XDR provides reporting and alerting on attempts to cross role boundaries, and on changes to configuration that affect separation of duties.

3.1.5 – Employ the principle of least privilege, including for specific security functions and privileged accounts.

Netsurion Open XDR provides network connection monitoring, application execution, and records and monitors system logon activities.

3.1.6 – Use non-privileged accounts or roles when accessing non-security functions.

Netsurion Open XDR provides process execution, application installs, and command execution, which are reported dependent on OS/application auditing.

3.1.7 – Prevent non-privileged users from executing privileged functions and audit the execution of such functions.

Netsurion Open XDR can capture the event logs that Windows creates when privilege/administrative functions are carried out, such as DNS changes and changes to system files.

3.1.8 – Limit unsuccessful logon attempts.

Netsurion Open XDR provides the capability to alert and report on login failures. Access to the console is linked to the Active Directory (AD) with password controls that are generally a function of AD.

3.1.9 – Provide privacy and security notices consistent with applicable CUI rules.

Banner can be displayed upon logon to the console. Baseline configuration checks can determine non-compliant systems.

3.1.10 – Use session lock with pattern-hiding displays to prevent access/viewing of data after period of inactivity.

Netsurion Open XDR connection sessions time out after a period of inactivity, which is generally a function of Active Directory. A screensaver hides contents from being viewed.

3.1.11 – Terminate (automatically) a user session after a defined condition.

Netsurion Open XDR sessions time out after a period of inactivity.

3.1.12 – Monitor and control remote access sessions.

This control is related to remote access. Netsurion captures and reports on remote desktop sessions and VPN logs. Automated behavioral analysis provides contextual information based on time of data, multiple user connections, and after-hours usage

3.1.13 – Employ cryptographic mechanisms to protect the confidentiality of remote access sessions.

SSL is used to remote access by Netsurion Security Operations Center (SOC) personnel. Netsurion monitors connection type, SSL/TCP.

3.1.14 – Route remote access via managed access control points.

Netsurion Open XDR provides contextual data on activities from remote access control points for designated systems and produces alerts/reports.

3.1.15 – Authorize remote execution of privileged commands and remote access to security-relevant information.

Netsurion Open XDR provides contextual data on activities, and monitors where, when, “who did what?”, and “who tried to do what?”. Role-based access restricts access to privileged functions.

3.1.16 – Authorize wireless access prior to allowing such connections.

All network devices, including wireless access can be monitored for admin and other activities. Authorization process requires wireless controller, certificates, and captive portal.

3.1.17 – Protect wireless access using authentication and encryption.

Netsurion Open XDR detects the wireless configuration used by a workstation and will report on the settings of that access point.

3.1.20 – Verify and control/limit connections to and use of external information systems.

Netsurion Open XDR can monitor based on network connections and firewall rules and provides contextual data on the use of external systems.

3.1.21 – Limit use of organizational portable storage devices on external information systems.

Netsurion Open XDR provides visibility on endpoints for all user activities pertaining to USB devices such as connect/eject, and files copied and provides the ability to block portable storage device.

Control 3.3: Audit and Accountability

3.3.1 – Create, protect, and retain information system audit records to the extent needed to enable the monitoring, analysis, investigation, and reporting of unlawful, unauthorized, or inappropriate information system activity.

Netsurion Open XDR fully supports tracking, reporting, and alerting on all audit events generated by host systems. Audit events are those that are significant and relevant to the security of information systems. Netsurion provides a complete package of predefined reports and alerts based on systems/applications in use. This information is useful for incident response (IR) and demonstrating compliance activities.

3.3.2 – Ensure that the actions of individual information system users can be uniquely traced to those users so they can be held accountable for their actions.

Netsurion Open XDR supports tracking, reporting, and alerting on all audit events generated by host systems. Audit events are events that are significant and relevant to the security of information systems. Host systems audit records generally contain all the information,
including timestamp, login id, and status. Netsurion provides a complete package of predefined reports and alerts based on systems/applications in use. This information is useful in incident response and demonstrating compliance activities, e.g. privilege commands, session information.

3.3.3 – Review and update audited events.

Netsurion’s Security Operations Center (SOC) continuously monitors logs for volume and variety; and evaluates the efficacy of current logging conditions monthly.

3.3.4 – Alert in the event of an audit process failure.

Netsurion Security Operations Center (SOC) team alerts/reports when audit logs have been received with urgent notification for the highest priority and most suspicious events.

3.3.5 – Use automated mechanisms to integrate and correlate audit review, analysis, and reporting processes for investigation and response to indications of inappropriate, suspicious, or unusual activity.

Netsurion Open XDR delivers this service via automated tools and adds the Security Operations Center (SOC) team to reduce false positives and provide additional context and actionable intelligence.

For vulnerability assessment and risk management, the Netsurion supports hundreds of different manufacturer log feeds to provide organization-wide risk awareness across business, information systems, and security. The Netsurion Security Operations Center
(SOC) team provides expertise, discipline, and accountability for analyzing and prioritizing Indicators of Compromise (IoCs).

3.3.6 – Provide audit reduction and report generation to support on-demand analysis and reporting

Netsurion provides many standard reports and can create custom reports on an ad-hoc basis. Netsurion also supports customers in
the event of an audit or external investigation including exporting of event/log data or real-time discovery via screen sharing with your assigned Security Operations Center (SOC). Additionally, Netsurion provides audit log filtering and reporting capabilities.

3.3.7 – Provide an information system capability that compares and synchronizes internal system clocks with an authoritative source to generate timestamps for audit records.

This is a function of Active Directory. Validation is required on all devices to ensure they are synced correctly.

3.3.8 – Protect audit information and audit tools from unauthorized access, modification, and deletion.

Netsurion Open XDR has strict security policies in place to prevent unauthorized access to Security Operations Center (SOC) tools. Audit logs are cryptographically hashed upon archiving, and Netsurion agent-based logs are encrypted by default in transit and at rest.

3.3.9 – Limit management of audit functionality to a subset of privileged users.

Netsurion Managed XDR Enterprise supports Role-based Access Control (RBAC) that limits access of sensitive information and processes to privileged users with a need to know. Netsurion also enables User & Event Behavioral Analytics (UEBA) to monitor internal user actions and suspicious access.

Control 3.4: Configuration Management

3.4.1 – Establish and maintain baseline configurations and inventories of organizational information systems (including hardware, software, firmware, and documentation) throughout the respective system development life cycles.

Netsurion Open XDR provides baseline configuration reports for Windows systems and detects and reports on changes. However, this is one part of configuration management. Baselines may be maintained for each system and deviations from baselines will be documented in Open XDR. Netsurion maintains a classification and categorization register of all assets configured in the IT environment.

3.4.2 – Establish and enforce security configuration settings for information technology products employed in organizational information systems.

This relates to security settings and require settings to documented, maintained and changes or deviations to security settings to be documented. Netsurion can report on changes to settings dependent upon the type of logs received. The internal vulnerability assessment and configuration management capabilities of Netsurion are required for configuration assessments.

3.4.3 – Track, review, approve/disapprove, and audit changes to information systems.

Audit events and changes can be monitored by the Netsurion Security Operations Center (SOC) team depending on the log data received. In addition, EventTracker provides a daily snapshot of changes to Windows systems with the Change Audit module.

3.4.8 – Apply deny-by-exception (unsafe list) policy to prevent the use of unauthorized software or deny-all, permit-byexception (safe listing) policy to allow the execution of authorized software.

Netsurion Open XDR provides operational telemetry to categorize and inventory installed hardware and software, and alerts on non-safe listed applications, suspicious processes, unpatched devices, vulnerabilities, and more.

3.4.9 – Control and monitor user-installed software.

Netsurion Open XDR provides operational telemetry to categorize and inventory installed hardware and software to control and monitor endpoints for user-installed software, applications, suspicious processes, unpatched devices, vulnerabilities, and more.

Control 3.5: Identification and Authorization

3.5.1 – Identify information system users, processes acting on behalf of users, or devices.

Netsurion Open XDR monitors endpoints for active processes on workstations and servers. The Netsurion SOC team can set alerts based on a custom set of variables.

3.5.2 – Authenticate (or verify) the identities of those users, processes, or devices, as a prerequisite to allowing access to organizational information systems.

Netsurion Open XDR can provide log data from Two Factor Authentication (2FA) systems, such as Okta or Cisco Duo.

3.5.3 – Use multi-factor authentication for local and network access to privileged accounts and for network access to non-privileged accounts

Netsurion logs information relating to privilege, non-privilege access for local and remote accounts. Netsurion also provides Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) as an added layer of security to all users, not just privileged users.

3.5.4 – Employ replay-resistant authentication mechanisms for network access to privileged and non- privileged accounts.

Active directory – Kerberos authentication is used as a mechanism for replay protection. Kerberos authentication is logged in Windows
and consumed in Netsurion.

Control 3.6: Incident Response

3.6.1 – Establish an operational incident handling capability for organizational information systems that includes adequate preparation, detection, analysis, containment, recovery, and user response activities.

The Netsurion Security Operations Center (SOC) team works with you to closely define your organizational objectives, establish alert and ticketing methodologies, provide monthly and quarterly analysis of your security posture, monthly and quarterly analysis of vulnerabilities
and your risk posture, as well as incident response activities and containment actions with endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities.

3.6.2 – Track, document, and report incidents to appropriate officials and/or authorities both internal and external to the organization

Above tools capture who/how/what was investigated, processes, and the tracking and reporting of incidents involving CUI to appropriate officials (an audit trail of the Incident Response flow).

3.6.3 – Test the organizational incident response capability.

Informed by Netsurion Logbook (Incidents) and Runbook (ops manual).

Control 3.7: Maintenance

3.7.1 – Perform maintenance on organizational information systems.

Netsurion Open XDR monitors systems for out-of-date software and configurations and provides reports and analysis with trends and graphs to track progress.

Control 3.8: Media Protection

3.8.2 – Limit access to CUI on information system media to authorized users.

Using Netsurion Open XDR to monitor Active Directory and access logs of workstations and servers, the Netsurion SOC Team
monitors events 24/7 and provides alerts where unauthorized users have attempted to access CUI on information system media.

3.8.7 – Control the use of removable media on information system components.

Netsurion Open XDR provides visibility on endpoints for all user activities pertaining to USB devices, including connect/eject, files copied, and provides the ability to block external storage device.

3.8.8 – Prohibit the use of portable storage devices when such devices have no identifiable owner.

Netsurion Open XDR can safe list specific USB devices, and alert on non-approved device serial numbers when these are connected to
endpoints (workstation, or server).

Control 3.11: Risk Assessment

3.11.1 – Periodically assess the risk to organizational operations (including mission, functions, image, or reputation), organizational assets, and individuals, resulting from the operation of organizational systems and the associated processing, storage, or transmission of CUI.

Netsurion Open XDR provides continuous scanning of your internal and external networks and endpoints for vulnerabilities and risks. Your risk posture is monitored 24/7 by the Netsurion Security Operations Center (SOC) team, with monthly and quarterly risk reports reviewed with your IT team.

3.11.2 – Scan for vulnerabilities in the information system and applications periodically and when new vulnerabilities affecting the system are identified.

Netsurion Vulnerability Management continually scans internal and external systems for vulnerabilities. The Netsurion agent leverages security controls benchmarking to provide a view into globally accepted configurations and provide analysis of your risk posture.

3.11.3 – Remediate vulnerabilities in accordance with assessments of risk.

Netsurion Security Operations Center (SOC) team works with you to prioritize critical vulnerabilities and assist with severity assessment and triage of vulnerabilities. The Netsurion Critical Observations Report (COR) also uses colored risk scoring that simplifies prioritization along with its comprehensive remediation recommendations.

Control 3.12: Security Assessment

3.12.1 – Periodically assess the security controls in organizational information systems to determine if the controls are effective in their application.

Netsurion Vulnerability Management conducts internal vulnerability assessments and completes host-based scans looking for potential vulnerabilities through security controls benchmarking and recommended configurations.

3.12.3 – Monitor information system security controls on an ongoing basis to ensure the continued effectiveness of the controls.

Netsurion provides for continuous monitoring of security controls on endpoints such as workstations and servers through security controls benchmarking.

Control 3.13: System and Communication Protection

3.13.1 – Monitor, control, and protect organizational communications (i.e., information transmitted or received by organizational information systems) at the external boundaries and key internal boundaries of the information systems.

Netsurion Open XDR generates net flow data at egress points to the public internet and can also work off span/mirror ports for key internal subnet/VLANs and provide monitoring and alerting based on the net flow data.

3.13.5 – Implement subnetworks for publicly accessible system components that are physically or logically separated from internal networks.

Subnets for publicly accessible system components that are physically or logically separated from internal networks are recommended to all our customers and partners.

3.13.14 – Control and monitor the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies.

VoIP traffic can be monitored by Netsurion Open XDR using an internal tap or span/mirror configuration. If the central server (Call Manager, etc.) is providing logs via syslog, that can be used for additional context and alerting.

Control 3.14: Systems and Information Integrity

3.14.1 – Identify, report, and correct information and information system flaws in a timely manner.

Detailed technical information on identified vulnerabilities and recommendations are provided by Netsurion to remediate the vulnerability. Reports of vulnerabilities, including those that relate to specific compliance requirements, are provided by the Netsurion SOC.

3.14.3 – Monitor information system security alerts and advisories and take appropriate actions in response.

Netsurion Open XDR ingests audit alerts from other security tools, such as anti-virus and firewalls, etc. Additional user context such as attacker tactics and techniques from the MITRE ATT&CK framework are layered onto the alert, helping you make informed decisions faster.

3.14.6 – Monitor the information system including inbound and outbound communications traffic, to detect attacks and indicators of potential attacks.

Netsurion monitors various audit logs to alert on unauthorized access and misuse by using the built-in behavioral analysis tool and log correlation capabilities. The agent logs all inbound/ communication and performs analysis to determine threats.

3.14.7 – Identify unauthorized use of the information system.

Netsurion monitors various logs and the agent logs perform reputation analysis of threats.