NIST Cloud Computing Program


The NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) is an initiative by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aimed at promoting the effective and secure use of cloud computing. NCCP focuses on developing standardized terms, guidelines, and best practices for agencies, organizations, and individuals adopting cloud services. Additionally, the program seeks to foster a broader understanding of cloud computing technology, security, and governance to facilitate its widespread adoption.

Key Takeaways

  1. The NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) is an initiative by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which aims to promote the effective and secure use of cloud computing by developing technical standards, guidelines, and strategies.
  2. NCCP focuses on three main areas: standards development and coordination, research in emerging technologies and trends, and outreach and engagement with the cloud computing community, including both the private and public sectors.
  3. Through the NIST Cloud Computing Program, NIST has created the NIST Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap, NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture, and the NIST Cloud Computing Security Reference Architecture, which serve as helpful resources for organizations considering the adoption of cloud computing solutions.


The NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) is crucial because it plays a key role in the development and implementation of standardized, secure, and consistent cloud computing services.

As cloud technology accelerates digital transformation across various industries, NCCP ensures interoperability, portability, and security of cloud-based solutions while promoting innovation and economic growth.

The guidelines and standards established by NIST provide a framework that not only helps businesses build trust and confidence in cloud services but also fosters a competitive market for current and emerging providers.

Overall, NCCP’s contributions are vital for the widespread adoption and success of cloud computing across both public and private sectors.


The NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) is a strategic initiative to promote and facilitate the widespread adoption of cloud computing. It is primarily focused on fostering the development of open standards and driving coherent policies that would guide the secure integration of cloud services across government and industry sectors.

The NCCP, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is particularly essential in enhancing the understanding of cloud computing’s scope and potential applications while identifying and addressing the challenges it presents. The NCCP operates by providing guidance, research, and recommendations to foster a balanced cloud computing ecosystem.

The program achieves its goals through close collaboration with stakeholders from the government, research communities, and cloud providers. By developing unbiased and scientifically robust metrics, the NCCP ensures the reliability, security, and interoperability of cloud systems.

Additionally, it aims to support the development of cloud-based applications and services that cater to various fields such as healthcare, finance, public safety, and smart cities. Altogether, the NIST Cloud Computing Program not only contributes to the growth of information technology, but also shapes the wider landscape of the digital society, transforming the way we communicate and conduct business.

Examples of NIST Cloud Computing Program

The NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) aims to promote the development of cloud computing standards and guidelines for the effective adoption, implementation, and usage of cloud services. Here are three real-world examples related to the NCCP:

NIST SP 500-292: NIST Cloud Computing Reference ArchitectureThe NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture (NIST SP 500-292) is a real-world example of the products developed under the NCCP. It provides a high-level conceptual reference model that can be used by organizations for effectively understanding and designing cloud systems. The reference architecture outlines guidelines for cloud service providers, consumers, and other stakeholders to securely access, manage, and protect cloud environments. This is instrumental in helping organizations align with standards to ensure secure collaboration in the cloud computing ecosystem.

NIST SP 800-145: NIST Definition of Cloud ComputingAnother example is the NIST Definition of Cloud Computing (NIST SP 800-145), a widely recognized publication that provides a clear and concise definition of cloud computing. In this publication, NIST outlines essential cloud characteristics, service models (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS), and deployment models (private, public, community, and hybrid). This document has become the foundation for many cloud computing-related discussions, acting as a universally referenceable definition of cloud computing in industry, education, and government contexts.

Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to assessing, authorizing, and continuously monitoring cloud products and services for federal agencies. FedRAMP is closely related to NIST security standards, as it relies on the NIST SP 800-53 for secure cloud computing and the NIST Risk Management Framework for risk assessment and authorization. By streamlining the process of assessing and authorizing cloud service providers, FedRAMP helps federal agencies adopt cloud services faster while ensuring compliance with NIST security guidelines.

NIST Cloud Computing Program FAQ

1. What is the NIST Cloud Computing Program?

The NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) is an initiative by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aimed at promoting the adoption and effective use of cloud computing technologies by providing guidance, recommendations, and resources to both users and providers of cloud services.

2. What are the primary objectives of the NIST Cloud Computing Program?

The primary objectives of the NCCP are to accelerate the federal government’s adoption of cloud computing, build public trust in cloud technologies, and develop a set of standardized and secure cloud computing solutions. This is achieved by providing technical guidance, promoting research and development, and collaborating with various stakeholders in the industry.

3. Who can benefit from the NIST Cloud Computing Program?

Both government and non-government organizations can benefit from the NCCP’s resources and guidance. This includes federal agencies looking to transition to the cloud, cloud service providers seeking to develop secure and standardized offerings, and end-users who want to use cloud services securely and effectively.

4. What are some key publications by the NIST Cloud Computing Program?

Some key publications by the NCCP include the NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture (NIST SP 500-292), the NIST Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap (NIST SP 500-291), and the NIST Cloud Computing Security Reference Architecture (NIST SP 500-299). These publications provide valuable guidance on cloud architecture, security, and standardization practices.

5. How does the NIST Cloud Computing Program promote security in cloud computing?

The NCCP develops and promotes security best practices, as well as guidelines for secure cloud deployment and operation. They also work on developing security reference architectures and contribute to the creation of security standards for cloud computing. By collaborating with government bodies, cloud service providers, and industry stakeholders, the NCCP helps to address the security challenges associated with cloud computing.

Related Technology Terms

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Cloud Computing Reference Architecture (CCRA)
  • NIST Special Publication 800-145
  • NIST Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide
  • Federal Cloud Computing Strategy

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