The National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF) provides a set of standards and guidelines for businesses looking to improve their cybersecurity posture. Many businesses across different industries use it as a baseline cybersecurity framework because it is comprehensive, well vetted, and applicable to organizations of all sizes. In this blog, we'll discuss why your business needs a baseline framework like the NIST CSF.
What is a baseline cybersecurity framework?
A baseline cybersecurity framework may be understood as the minimum security standards that businesses should comply with to secure their data, apps, and devices. These standards must be oriented toward specific goals and not compromise the efficiency of an organization's operations.
What are the benefits of using a baseline cybersecurity framework?
Various organizations have different needs and face different types of cyber threats, so the exact standards that work for one company may not be effective for another. However, cybersecurity frameworks like NIST CSF offer a foundation that businesses can build upon and customize to meet their unique requirements. Using such frameworks as a baseline offers the following benefits:
An understanding of your current cybersecurity posture
The first step in cybersecurity planning is understanding your businesses’ current cybersecurity posture. This involves identifying gaps in your current cybersecurity defenses and the risks that threaten your organization because of these specific vulnerabilities. Understanding your current posture thus enables you to set realistic goals that will truly benefit your business over time.
A baseline framework lays down the security levels you should aim for and which controls you need to implement to achieve these goals. For instance, NIST CSF's Implementation Tiers are used as benchmarks that organizations should reach as they augment their cybersecurity. This way, baseline frameworks reduce guesswork and provide businesses with a clear starting point on their way toward cybersecurity maturity.
Less time spent on planning
Having a baseline cybersecurity framework as comprehensive as NIST CSF can save you time on creating a cybersecurity roadmap from scratch. This is because cybersecurity frameworks typically provide templates and checklists of the most important security controls that businesses should implement. In fact, the NIST CSF website offers downloadable documents and spreadsheets explaining each of the framework’s five core cybersecurity functions and the security controls relevant to these.
More time addressing cybersecurity risks
Time is precious in cybersecurity and the sooner you begin, the more you reduce your company's risk of falling victim to cyber attacks. Rushing to get started, however, can have severe pitfalls. For one, putting cybersecurity controls in place without a solid plan can lead to serious gaps in your defenses.
It’s crucial to use a comprehensive cybersecurity framework as a baseline for your cybersecurity planning. By doing so, you can be confident that you're not missing any key cybersecurity components. You ensure that all the most important cybersecurity controls are accounted for so that you can begin addressing risks more effectively.
A blueprint for continuous improvement
The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing and new threats are constantly emerging. As such, businesses must continuously adapt their cybersecurity posture to stay ahead of the curve.
A cybersecurity baseline framework provides a blueprint that companies can use to regularly review their cybersecurity posture and make the necessary improvements. For example, NIST CSF's continuous monitoring program helps businesses identify any new risks and take steps to address them before they cause any damage.
How can Charles IT help?
Implementing and complying with cybersecurity frameworks can be a taxing endeavor that can take your attention away from other crucial matters, such as managing and growing your business. Cybersecurity experts like Charles IT can help by doing the heavy lifting for you.
Our specialists have years of experience helping businesses comply with different security frameworks. Because of this, we have what it takes to assist you in creating a comprehensive cybersecurity plan based on the NIST CSF and your business's goals. We follow a three-step process that uncovers gaps in your current posture and gives you access to the right services for addressing these vulnerabilities.
Make your organization more secure by contacting our Charles IT's experts today!