What is a Cybersecurity Framework?

A cybersecurity framework is a collection of instructions and best practices—think of them as steps in a process—designed to help an organization mitigate risks in the digital world. There are many such frameworks, as different industries may have various levels and possibilities of risk.

Risk management frameworks may be tailored to each business, with a clear eye on the potential risk areas. Before discussing creating a framework, let’s look at some different types. 

What Different Types of Cybersecurity Framework are There? 

We will be looking at a specific cybersecurity framework in more detail, the NIST Framework, but it’s important to be aware that there are others. Many are industry specific. For example, PCI DSS—Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard—is constructed for companies accepting and processing card payments.

COBIT is another framework for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies or, in simple terms, the IT industry. We recommend you research the many different types and talk to providers to find the right one for you. Next, we would like to talk about building your cybersecurity framework.

How do I Build a Cybersecurity Framework? 

Designing and building a cybersecurity network is a careful process. First, you need to ensure that everything is in place. It is generally considered that five steps are involved in building a cybersecurity framework, so let’s briefly look at each:

Step 1: Setting your goals. An in-house brainstorming session is a good way of deducing what you hope to achieve. Get the IT department and others together to discuss the level of vulnerability in security that you are aware of.

Step 2: Creating your cybersecurity profile. We will discuss this in more detail when we look closely at the NIST framework. 

Step 3: Assessing your current position. Read about creating a risk assessment matrix via that link, and you will understand how to do so.

Step 4: Gap analysis. This is where you create a ‘heat map’ highlighting the vulnerability areas in your information security system. Next, a full audit of your IT network is required to understand where the main network security risks are.

Step 5: Implementing the NIST cybersecurity framework.

What is the NIST Framework? 

So, what is NIST, and why is it one of the more popular cybersecurity frameworks? The National Institute of Standards Cybersecurity Framework was developed in 2014. It is considered a highly effective cybersecurity program due to its high security standards, and, using the implementation steps above, it can be tailored for many different industries and businesses. It was developed by a group of industry professionals and academics by executive order from the US Federal Agency regarding homeland security.

NIST is enabled using a set of Framework Implementation Tiers. These are broadly split into three groups: Risk Management Process, Integrated Risk Management Program, and External Participation. Therefore, when tailoring a NIST cybersecurity framework to your data protection goals, you need to concentrate on these areas.

We recommend you head to this link—all about NIST Framework—for more detailed information on how the framework can benefit you. 

How Does a Framework Operate? 

As with others, the NIS framework operates in five distinct areas to keep on top of your network security. These are: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. The framework constantly searches for potential breaches, and when it ‘sees’ any suspicious cyber incident, it will kick into action.

Those in control will be informed, and the system will help in managing cybersecurity risk. 

Will the Right Cybersecurity Framework Help Avoid Security Risks? 

Continuous cyber risk monitoring through the cybersecurity framework will protect your business as best as possible against potential cyber threats. However, it is essential to understand that cybersecurity threats are not static. New methods always emerge; hence you will need to put the right people in place to monitor the latest threats and update your approach to cybersecurity risk management.

How Can I Mitigate Cyber Risk? 

Installing a cybersecurity framework such as NIST CSF is the first step, but you cannot stop there. As we mentioned above, many cyber threats need to be addressed. No system can be 100% protected, as clever people will always look for new ways to break in.

This is why continuous cybersecurity risk monitoring of all areas of your data protection system is essential. Ensure you have a dedicated team looking out for unusual cyber activities.

What Kind of Threats Will A Cybersecurity Framework Protect Against? 

There are many types of cybersecurity threats. However, the following are the most common:

    • Malware: malicious code is entered into the system to cause damage or enable an outsider to access your data in the case of spyware.
    • Ransomware: among the most common- involves a hacker closing down or disabling your network and demanding payment for the key to restart it.
    • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): often used as a distraction when other attacks are being made, a DDoS attack sends an overwhelming amount of traffic, slowing down the network.
    • Corporate Account Takeover (CATO): involves a hacker impersonating a business to extract fraudulent payments.
    • Spam and Phishing

How can RiskRecon by Mastercard Help Me?

RiskRecon is here to help with all your cybersecurity framework needs, and we invite you to a free 30-day trial with no obligation to purchase.