It is a set of controls, rules, and policies designed to help design and implement a fully functional cybersecurity program. While there are many cyber security frameworks developed to help guide entities in developing their internal controls, the two common ones are the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and the ISO-27000. There are frameworks out there that are industry-specific and while others can be generally applied in virtually all sectors. In some cases, clients may use more than one framework in order to concretize their security programs. However, the NIST is recognized as the nationwide gold standard for designing a formidable cybersecurity program.
NIST is an acronym for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is funded by the federal government that is charged with the responsibility of developing frameworks to guarantee cybersecurity across industries. While different frameworks have some underlying differences in terms of their structure and the type of controls in place, they share certain common elements.
Functions of a Cybersecurity Framework
The primary functions of a cybersecurity framework include identifying, protecting, detecting, responding, and recovery. According to a survey conducted by Tenable, a reputable IT consortium, approximately 70 percent of the firms said they have implemented the NIST framework owing to its enormous strength and because it is largely considered as the industry’s best gold standard.
Identify: It is concerned with laying a solid groundwork that can guarantee an effective cybersecurity program. Here, it guides on risk assessment, inventorying IT infrastructure, and establishing a comprehensive risk management protocol and working strategy. This will help ensure that your most critical data or areas are protected fully.
Protect: This function deals with implementing technology and creating strategies geared toward providing adequate protection against data infiltration. It goes ahead to include training and creating awareness on security and deploying tools such as anti-virus and access controls.
Detect: It is necessary to detect potential cybersecurity threats that your organization may be prone to. It helps to avoid realizing what went wrong long after proprietary information has spilled over to the dark web.
Respond: regardless of whether or not your cybersecurity protocol and controls are strong, incidents may still happen. Therefore, the control function of your cybersecurity framework ensures that your organization is able to respond in a manner that is effective, rapid, and accurate to a cybersecurity incident. Remember that a delay of even a second matter when an incident occurs, so prompt response is essential.
Recover: After an incident occurs, it can be difficult to recover from the effects of the incident. For instance, if your data is infiltrated, and customer information compromised, you will have a rough moment trying to restore confidence and manage brand reputation. This function provides for planning for recovery before the occurrence of a cybersecurity incident and testing whether or not your recovery process is effective.
If you are yet to deploy the recommended cyber security framework in your IT system, chances are you are already facing huge challenges and possibly you are a security target. To help avoid potential attacks from grounding your network, it is advisable to get a highly reputable firm to help you customize the NIST in order to suit your needs.