A cybersecurity framework is a set of norms, principles, and best practices for dealing with hazards in the digital environment. They usually pair security goals, such as preventing unauthorized system access, with controls, such as requiring a login and password. Companies that seek to comply with state, industry, and international cybersecurity standards are frequently required to use cybersecurity frameworks, or are, at the very least, highly urged to do so.
With the cybersecurity compliance frameworks that seem to be getting more complex every day, it might seem confusing to manage them all. But with a little guidance, your business’ cybersecurity compliance can go a long way.
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Frameworks vs. compliance: What’s the difference?
Meeting numerous procedures to secure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data is what cybersecurity compliance entails. Governing organizations generally create compliance responsibilities with related penalties if proof of compliance cannot be verified.
Frameworks, on the other hand, are a set of best practices that serve as the foundation for creating or improving information security operations. There are no formal consequences for failing to apply a framework, but there are several benefits to doing so. Frameworks help you keep track of your company’s cybersecurity environment.
Assessing which frameworks apply to your organization
While cybersecurity frameworks offer a set of best practices for establishing risk tolerance and implementing controls, selecting which one is right for your company may be challenging. Furthermore, many legislation refers to many standards or frameworks.
The ISO 27001, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework are among the most widely used cyber risk management frameworks today. But which ones you’d need to follow?
To develop a cyber risk management strategy, you must first understand the sorts of data your company gathers, where it is housed, and who has access to it. Organize an audit to identify assets by categories, such as software, applications, intellectual property, and stored data, such as employee and customer information, and to calculate the cost of recovering any lost or stolen assets. This step requires knowing your company assets well and being in close contact with your departments.
Mapping out a compliance strategy
Working across several compliance frameworks may be complicated and time-consuming. However, with planning and a strategy in place, many time and cost-saving methods may be used to make the compliance process as painless as possible.
- Coordinate staff and duties: As your IT compliance program grows, you’ll need to enlist the help of more employees. As the scope grows, keeping everyone on the same page and going in the same direction will become more challenging, therefore communication will be crucial.
- Identify locations where various frameworks overlap: Many security compliance frameworks contain standards that overlap. You can start with the all-encompassing NIST Cybersecurity Framework and fill in any gaps in your industry-specific laws to make the process easier. According to a recent poll, over 48% of respondents said they map their control systems to the NIST Cyber Security Framework standard.
- Give importance to audits: If you want to gain certification for a certain standard, you’ll need to hire a certified auditor and set up an audit plan. Certain auditing and certification processes are costly. However, they can also help you save money and time by securing your cybersecurity environment.
Managing multiple compliance frameworks – tips and tricks
Define your implementation objectives precisely
Getting certified compliant for a framework is frequently the easiest part. Following and maintaining the procedures and processes that have been established is more complicated. Consistent governance and review are required for this. It’s doubtful that you’ll be able to keep the certifications or compliance you earned if you don’t have the motivation to maintain the systems and procedures that support and uphold your implementation phase.
Focusing on the long-term aim of increasing your firm’s maturity and the resulting advantages helps your organization to realize far more benefits than those provided by a compliance certificate.
Talk about the change in daily terms
Employees will struggle to grasp and connect with legal documents that are full of complicated industry language and broad corporate objectives unless they work in the legal or compliance department. Documents must be simply understood by every member of your team, whether they work in IT or customer care, if you want to engage and inspire them to complete the duties assigned to them.
Keep a record of framework updates
Over time, frameworks and rules are modified. Depending on the complexity of your compliance environment, keeping up with changes across many frameworks and upgrading your compliance program is essential when it comes to being your company’s security.
Keep an eye on the outcome
It’s critical to evaluate the efficacy of your program once you’ve implemented the framework across your business. The framework’s efficacy should be measured against the project’s initial objectives as well as the particular control criteria established during the implementation phase.
To wrap things up
Overall, most people will agree that there is no such thing as an easy way out of cybersecurity, and realizing that you require repeatable security across many frameworks is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cybersecurity. Managing your company’s cybersecurity frameworks is a journey that never ends, with new threats emerging every day.