NIST SP 800-82 Revision 3 highlights and key differences

Published Oct 05,2023

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the final version of Special Publication 800-82 Revision 3. In this blog, we’ll give a high-level overview of the NIST SP 800-82 cyber security framework and look at the core updates and improvements covered in Revision 3, as compared to the previous 2 versions. 


NIST SP 800-82 background 

NIST Special Publication 800-82 is a cyber security framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States. Revision 1, released in 2013, and Revision 2 in 2015, provided guidance on how to secure industrial control systems (ICS), which are used in critical infrastructure sectors like energy, water, transportation, and manufacturing.  


The industrial control system (ICS) version of the NIST 800-53 came about from the need to introduce security countermeasures into an ICS environment. Initially, ICS, DCS, or SCADA systems had no similarities to information technology (IT) systems as they ran proprietary protocols and specialised hardware and software.  


As proprietary control systems were replaced with commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware and applications, the possibility of cyber security vulnerabilities and risks were introduced. Although the COTS hardware and applications were fine to work in IT, the ICS required different precautions and needed to be tailored to meet the requirements prioritised by safety, availability, integrity, and confidentiality. 


NIST SP 800-82 Revision 3 

The latest version of NIST SP 800-82 Revision 3 (initial public draft) released 7 years after Revision 2 in April 2022, which introduced several important updates and improvements from previous versions. The final release was in September 2023.   


NIST SP 800-82 Revision 3 was renamed to Guide to Operational Technology (OT) Security. The name update from Industrial Control System (ICS) to Operational Technology (OT) reflects an expanded scope beyond just industrial control systems (ICS) such as oil and gas, energy, mining and more, to additionally include:  


  • Building automation systems 
  • Transportation systems 
  • Physical access control systems 
  • Physical environment monitoring systems 
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) 




10 highlights and key differences of NIST SP 800-82 Rev. 3 

Let’s delve into the major highlights and key differences that the final version offers from previous revisions.  


  1. Coverage

The scope of the framework has broadened to encompass more systems than what are considered the domain of the traditional ICS to include:  

  • Building Automation Systems (BAS) 
  • Transportation systems, such as heavy and light rail, and metro systems 
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)  


  1. Risk management

Revision 3 emphasises the importance of risk management for OT systems, introducing the concept of risk management frameworks to incorporate hazard analysis. This helps organisations identify and prioritise potential cyber security threats, vulnerabilities, and failure scenarios.  


  1. Integration.

NIST SP 800-82 Revision 3 aligns with the NIST Cyber Security Framework (NIST-CSF), providing a cohesive approach to managing cyber security across an organisation. This integration lets organisations leverage existing CSF practices and frameworks to secure their OT environments.  


  1. Response plan

This version places greater emphasis on incident response and recovery. It provides detailed guidance on developing and implementing robust incident response and recovery plans specific to OT environments. This includes procedures for reporting incidents, conducting investigations, and recovering from attacks.  


  1. Supply chain

Revision 3 highlights the importance of supply chain security for OT systems. The guidelines provide recommendations for managing supply chain risks, including: 

  • Vendor selection 
  • Procurements 
  • Ongoing monitoring 


  1. Security controls

It provides a set of security controls that organisations can use to secure their OT systems which aligns to the updated NIST 800-53 Rev 5 document. These controls are based on established standards and best practices that cover areas such as access control, incident response, and network security.  


  1. Security assessment

NIST SP 800-82 Revision 3 recommends organisations conduct security assessments to identify vulnerabilities in their OT systems. The guidelines provide a methodology for conducting assessments and analysing the results.  


  1. Cyber security training

There is a new emphasis on the importance of cyber security training for personnel who work with OT systems. The guidelines provide recommendations for training programs that cover topics such as security awareness, incident response and secure configuration management.  


  1. Cyber security program

NIST SP 800-82 R3 refers to the ISA-62443-2-1 standard as a suitable cyber security program to be used in OT environments. It also gives guidelines on how to fulfill the cyber security requirements described for each element of the cyber security program.  


  1. Threat monitoring

Revision 3 emphasises the need for continuous monitoring and threat intelligence that is tailored to OT. It provides guidance on implementing security controls and tools to detect and respond to potential threats in real-time. This proactive approach enables organisations to stay ahead of emerging threats. 



Need guidance on implementing the right cyber security framework for your organisation?   


As organisations navigate the complex landscape of cyber threats, the importance of selecting the right cyber security framework cannot be overstated. The latest version of NIST SP 800-82 (Revision 3) presents an enhanced and more comprehensive framework for securing OT systems. It incorporates a risk-based approach, aligns with the NIST Cyber Security Framework, and addresses emerging technologies and supply chain security.


As a trusted provider of comprehensive cyber security solutions, Secolve provides the expertise and guidance necessary to navigate the intricacies of these frameworks. We understand the unique challenges faced by organisations across various critical infrastructure sectors and can assist you in selecting, implementing, and optimising the right framework for your specific needs.  


Contact us today to learn more about how we can empower your organisation to navigate the ever-evolving cyber landscape and stay one step ahead of potential threats!