Building a robust cybersecurity program is often difficult for any organization, regardless of size. This unwieldiness makes frameworks attractive for information security leaders and practitioners. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is the top choice of many organizations. See why it should be a cornerstone for your cybersecurity plans.
Benefits of the NIST CSF you need to know
There are four reasons you should consider joining the host of companies and cybersecurity leaders adopting the NIST framework:
- Superior and unbiased cybersecurity: The NIST Cybersecurity Framework is widely considered an industry best practice and has one of the most comprehensive, in-depth set of controls of any framework in the US today.
- Enable long-term cybersecurity and risk management: The NIST CSF supports a more adaptive and responsive posture of managing cybersecurity risk. Continuous compliance is a superior strategy that supports response and recovery functions. While this can seem daunting, the right tools enable a smooth continuous compliance approach.
- Bridge the gap between technical and business-minded stakeholders: The NIST CSF enables an integrated risk management approach to cybersecurity management that can be aligned with business goals. The result is better communication and decision-making throughout your organization. Security budgets will be better justified and allocated. Adoption develops a common language for both business and technical stakeholders to share, resulting in improved organizational communication from practitioners to the Board.
- Built for future regulation and compliance requirements: Organizations and government agencies that implement the NIST CSF are in a better position as regulations and laws change. New regulations like NYCRR 500, CMMC, and the insurance industry’s Model Law use the NIST CSF as a foundation for their compliance standards guidelines. This trend impacts private industries beyond critical infrastructure and will likely continue for all industries.
The great concern for many CISOs and security leaders is the rise in compliance requirements across industries and geographies. The NIST CSF is one of the most reliable security measures for building and iterating a cybersecurity program to prepare for updates to existing standards and regulations.
NIST framework strengths and weaknesses
The NIST CSF contains valuable information for companies and system administrators to start to harden their systems and institute best practice procedures for many cybersecurity concerns. Following the recommendations by NIST can help prevent cyber-attacks and protect personal and sensitive data.
However, two pitfalls of the NIST framework highlight the ongoing security challenges companies face today.
- The rise of the cloud: The NIST framework doesn’t reflect contemporary approaches to cloud computing.
How NIST currently approaches on-prem, monolithic clouds is sophisticated enough, but most companies today do not manage or secure their own private cloud infrastructure. Instead, they use a public cloud with SaaS or PaaS offers in which third-party companies take legal and operational responsibility for managing their entire cloud.
The NIST CSF doesn’t deal with shared responsibility. The CSF assumes an outdated and more discreet way of working. Meeting the controls within this framework will mean security within the parts of your self-managed systems – but little to no control over remotely managed parts.
- The RBAC problem: The NIST framework comes down to obsolescence. The rise of SaaS and PaaS models means that staff roles are multiple and complex. The NIST CSF, developed almost a decade ago, has a tough time dealing with this. It recommends that companies use Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) to secure systems, an unwieldy suggestion in cloud security management.
Instead, organizations need to consider the NIST-endorsed Functional Access Control, which prescribes specific functions or capabilities to an account instead of the default functions provided by a prepopulated role in the organization’s directory service, allowing more control over the privileged rights granted to a user.
Why should your organization use the NIST cybersecurity framework?
The CSF provides a common language and systematic methodology for managing cybersecurity risk. It includes organization-adjustable activities to be incorporated into a cybersecurity program and meet any organization’s needs. It is designed to complement, not replace, an organization’s existing cybersecurity program and risk management processes.
The NIST CSF provides organizations with opportunities to strengthen existing procedures and implement new strategies with cost-effective prioritization, communication of improvement activities among organizational stakeholders, and expectation setting with suppliers and partners. Demonstrating NIST CSF standards indicates the organization is taking security seriously and paves the way for additional certifications and scoring based on the model.
DTS provides tailored, scalable cyber solutions based on the NIST CSF for small- and medium-sized organizations. We use top resources and cyber expertise to help protect people and data. Our approach is consultative and education oriented. Feel confident that your NIST-based solution is strong, reliable, and helping to drive a culture of security that’s compliant. Contact us at sales@consultDTS.com for a free security consultation call to get the process started.