Guidelines to scope requirements as per NIST CSF in a multi-cloud organization

(NIST) The National Institute of Standards and Technology (CSF) Cybersecurity Framework provides guidelines and best practices to help organizations manage cybersecurity risks in their cloud-based IT systems. NIST 800-53 is the specific requirement for companies using multiple cloud providers.

Scoping requirements for NIST CSF and Cloud NIST 800-53 can be daunting for companies using various cloud providers. This guide will facilitate an overview of the NIST CSF, discuss the importance of scoping requirements, and provide tips on practical scope requirements for NIST CSF in the cloud.

Considerations before scoping the requirements:

1.  Scoping the proper requirements ensures your cloud environment is adequately secured and compliant. A thorough understanding of the NIST CSF and Cloud NIST 800-53 requirements is essential to scope the right set of requirements.

2.  Once you understand the different types of security controls and the associated risks, the next step is to identify any specific requirements that apply to each cloud provider to ensure all the applicable security controls are in place.

3.  Whilst scoping NIST CSF requirements for the cloud, it’s vital to identify the specific cloud services used. This could include Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and other cloud-native services. After identifying the type, it is easier to scope the appropriate NIST CSF requirements for each service.

Steps to follow when scoping the requirements:

1.  Understand the scope of your cloud environment:
Organizations should consider the scope of their cloud environment and identify any potential risks. This will allow organizations to determine the specific requirements of NIST CSF that should be scoped.

2.  Identify the resources necessary to implement NIST CSF:
Organizations should identify the resources needed to implement the requirements of NIST CSF. This may include personnel, hardware, software, and/or cloud services.

3. Understand the roles & responsibilities:
It’s essential to understand the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders in scoping the NIST CSF.

4.  Develop a plan to implement NIST CSF:
Organizations should develop a plan to implement NIST CSF, including assigning personnel to specific tasks, setting timelines for implementation, and determining the resources necessary to implement the requirements.

5.  Monitor progress and continually assess risks:
Organizations should monitor their progress in implementing NIST CSF and continuously assess their cloud environment for potential risks. This will ensure that the organization meets the requirements of NIST CSF and proactively addresses any security issues.

For organizations using multiple cloud providers:

In addition to the above steps, it’s important to note that there may be differences between the NIST CSF requirements for each provider. For example, some cloud providers may have different logging requirements or encryption standards. It is important to take out time to understand these differences and to ensure that the requirements are met across all cloud providers.

Finally, it is recommended to ensure that the NIST CSF requirements are being met continuously. This includes conducting regular security assessments to ensure that all security controls function properly and that any environmental changes or updates are properly addressed. This is especially important for organizations that are using multiple cloud providers, as the security requirements may differ from one provider to another.


Understanding and scoping NIST CSF requirements for the cloud is essential for any organization looking to increase its security posture and reduce its risk of cyber-attacks. It is important to note that the NIST CSF is a living document, so it is constantly being updated to reflect the latest security trends and threats. Scoping requirements for NIST CSF in the cloud can help organizations ensure their cloud environment is secure and compliant with applicable regulations and standards.

By taking the time to understand different types of security controls, identifying the specific requirements for each cloud provider, and creating a security plan that outlines how the requirements will be implemented, you can ensure that your cloud environment is secure and compliant.

Author - Charu Balodhi