By Ken Lynch, an enterprise software startup veteran
National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF) is responsible for coming up with policies that guide private sector firms in the United States. It improves the ability for these companies to prevent, detect and respond to cyber-attacks.
Functions of NIST CSF
The NIST CSF helps you to understand the risks of cybersecurity to the systems, people and other assets in your business. When you understand the cybersecurity risks that are present, you have the ability to direct resources to risk assessments and risk management methods that suit your business needs.
The NIST CSF has outlined the appropriate safety measures that reduce the impact of a cybersecurity threat. Protection means that you raise awareness, conduct thorough training, improve the security of your data and protect the processes of information.
Just as the name suggests, the NIST CSF lists activities that can help you to discover events of cybersecurity.
These are the appropriate actions that you should take in case of an incident of cybersecurity. It can also help your firm to decrease the severe impact of cybersecurity.
These are the measures that are taken to maintain the business objectives that are already in place. It also helps with restoring your business activities after an event of cybersecurity. Basically, it includes planning a recovery, improving the processes in your organization and communication.
Importance of NIST CSF
Now that you know that NIST CSF is neither standards nor regulations, you might wonder why the NIST CSF controls are important in your business. Basically, NIST CSF can be used in all businesses to provide a framework for managing cybersecurity risks.
You will not have to replace the cybersecurity measures that you already have since the framework complements them. In fact, NIST CSF tiers, profiles, and the core can be customized to meet your organization. That’s not all because the NIST Implementation Tiers shows you how well you are managing the risks.
The 7 Steps of Automating NIST CSF
As earlier said, the Cybersecurity Framework can be used in any firm irrespective of the size and the departments. Automation is important in unleashing all the potential of NIST CSF.
It is possible to think like this, “I have already adopted CSF, how will I automate its controls, know their progress and track the success?” The CSF offers the following steps that are needed to automate the cybersecurity plans:
- Prioritize and Scope: This means defining business objectives that connect with the structure of your cybersecurity. Different business processes have different tolerance to risks and various needs.
- Orient: After you have identified areas that you need to focus on, you will need to point out the regulatory requirements and the approach to risk management. This makes it easier for you to identify vulnerabilities that can easily affect the assets.
- Create a Current Profile: This is the categories of the framework core.
- Risk Assessment: This is similar to other risk assessments that you may have had before. You determine the possibility of occurrence of a risk and the impact that it may have. You should also look at new vulnerabilities that are available in a business environment.
- Create a Target Profile: Here, you will have to determine the outcome that you desire. You should also include eternal stakeholders of your business.
- Analyze and Prioritize on Gaps: This outlining the security gaps and determining the risks that they have to your success.
- Implementing an Action Plan: You will have to address any security gaps that you have up with. You will also have to monitor them until you meet your desired outcome.
Automating the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework helps you to find connections more quickly. It is important that you use the appropriate documentation if you are already using measures to control security risks.
Automating the NIST CSF will also assist you with showing transparency in your cybersecurity controls. You can choose to track the CSF controls using the spreadsheets but this is not a long-term solution.
Automating NIST Cybersecurity Framework makes it easy to change your compliance program in your chosen ISO 27001 controls, COBIT 5controls, your ISA 62443-2-1:2009 controls and how they connect with each other.
Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.