Essential cybersecurity assessment frameworks

A standard framework is a set of tested guidelines and practices to engage with a specific Vulnerability in an Organisation. IT security management as a service has some sophisticated frameworks to assist an organisation from external threats and enhance protection. These frameworks allow organisations to introspect their cyber landscapes to anticipate their protection from the overall attack surface. Cybersecurity assessment is used as a tool to discover the strengths and weaknesses of an organisational threat fabric thereby giving a detailed insight for the C-Level executives to take a proactive approach in choosing an optimal roadmap for immediate threats and future security priorities. subsequently, after choosing a suitable framework concerning the size and scale of an organisation and its operations, every firm should get compliant with the chosen framework. Every organisation has some internal policies and a compliance structure which acts as key fundamentals for the smooth functioning of an organisation.
Although getting compliant looks like a simple task, the elephant in the room lies in getting compliance with the best framework without disturbing or overriding a company’s fundamental internal policy framework. Hence, it is always better to choose a framework that complements a company’s business policies. On the other hand, numerous cybersecurity assessment frameworks are used, according to an organisation’s scope and scale of operations. Of these ISO 27001, NIST, cyber essentials are most sophisticated frameworks identified all over the world. Apart from cyber protection, these assessments and certifications make organisations reliable and resilient thus enhancing trust and reputation.

NIST Framework

With a mission to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness, the U.S government with the partnership of private entities and academicians has prepared this voluntary framework. The Framework is voluntary guidance, based on existing standards, guidelines and practices for organizations to better manage and reduce cybersecurity risk. In addition to helping organizations manage and reduce risks, it was designed to foster risk and cybersecurity management communications amongst both internal and external organizational stakeholders. The Framework’s Core is a set of cybersecurity activities, desired outcomes, and applicable references that are common across critical infrastructure sectors.
 
The Core represents industry standards, guidelines, and practices in a manner that allows for communication of cybersecurity activities and outcomes across the organization from the executive level to the implementation/operations level. This Framework Core consists of five concurrent and continuous Functions—Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover. When considered together, these Functions provide a high-level, strategic view of the lifecycle of an organization’s management of cybersecurity risk. An organization can use this Framework to determine activities that are most important to critical service delivery and prioritize expenditures to maximize the impact of the investment. This Framework guides how awareness of real and potential threats and vulnerabilities can be used to enhance an organization’s cybersecurity program.
 Some other guidelines from NIST to help with cybersecurity includes:
  • NIST SP 800-39 (defines the overall risk management process)
  • NIST SP 800-37 (the risk management framework for federal information systems)
  • NIST SP 800-30 (risk assessment process)
  • NIST Privacy Framework 1.0 (a tool for improving privacy through enterprise risk management)
Source: https://www.nist.gov/

UK's Cyber Essentials:

Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed and industry-supported scheme that helps businesses protect themselves against the growing threat of cyber-attacks. This framework provides a safer internet space for organisations of all sizes, across all sectors. Cyber Essentials is considered the best first step to a more secure network, protecting you from 80% of the most basic cyber security breaches. There are two levels within the cyber essentials frameworks.
 
Cyber Essentials is a foundation level certification designed to provide a statement of the basic controls your organisation should have in place to mitigate the risk from common cyber threats.
 
Cyber Essentials Plus is the highest level of certification offered under the Cyber Essentials scheme. It is a more rigorous test of your organisation’s cyber security systems where our cyber security experts carry out vulnerability tests to make sure that your organisation is protected against basic hacking and phishing attacks.
 
Source: https://www.cyberessentialsonline.co.uk/about-cyber-essential
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