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Guidelines for Protecting Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) Firmware



Shirley M. Radack


This bulletin summarizes the information presented in NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-147, BIOS Protection Guidelines: Recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The publication was written by David Cooper, William Polk, Andrew Regenscheid, and Murugiah Souppaya of NIST. The guidelines assist organizations in protecting the security of their systems and in preventing the unauthorized modification of BIOS firmware on PC client systems. Modern personal computers (PCs) rely on the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) to perform fundamental systems functions when the computer is turned on. The bulletin discusses the contents of the publication, including the security concerns and threats to BIOS firmware, security practices for a secure BIOS update process, and the management best practices, which complement the security guidelines. References are provided to NIST publications that support system BIOS developers, vendors and user organizations.
ITL Bulletin -


authentication, BIOS, Basic Input/Output System, boot firmware, cyber security, Federal Information Processing Standards, Federal Information Security Management Act, FISMA, information security, information systems, information technology (IT), integrity protection, NIST Special Publications, product vendors, security controls, security plans, security policies, system BIOS, threats, vulnerabilities


Radack, S. (2011), Guidelines for Protecting Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) Firmware, ITL Bulletin, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created June 28, 2011, Updated January 27, 2020