What Does Accreditation Mean?

Accreditation is the process of formally obtaining credibility from an authorized body. In terms of information security, federal agencies must adhere to the 2002 Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) for all activities related to information assurance.


An organization may consider itself accredited according to internal standards or elect to adhere to a more formal process with an independent entity, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Techopedia Explains Accreditation

Federal agencies must adhere to state agency regulations related to accreditation. Private businesses follow a similar process.

For example, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-37 may be used as a guide and tailored to organizational requirements. This type of accreditation process communicates established preventative measures and an understanding of associated IT security risks.

Other organizations are accredited through ISO/IEC 27001 – a standard that explains recommendations and requirements related to IS and risk protection.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…