How to Choose the Right Security Framework for Your Business

Security frameworks are organizational systems that enable companies to protect the integrity of their computer networks and data. Such tools are becoming more important due to: 

  1. The rise in the prominence of cybercrime and hacking
  2. The increasing value of company and customer data
  3. The growing regulatory and industry-specific cybersecurity compliance challenges
  4. The need for companies to protect their brands

Unfortunately, only a small minority of companies are currently adopting a cybersecurity framework. These are some of the options available to you and how they can protect your business long term.

Choose A Framework Suitable For Your Enterprise

The first step is to think about which framework is most suitable for your enterprise. This will depend very much on your industry and the current level of cybersecurity compliance requirements. As you will see below, many businesses will need to adopt multiple frameworks. 

  • PCI DSS: PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It governs how companies must handle sensitive payment information when taking money from customers. It applies to all companies who collect and transmit cardholder data (that means virtually every business will need to comply with PCI DSS). 
  • ISO 27001: Some companies will also need to adhere to the international ISO 27001 standard which applies to the management of information security systems. Firms that achieve ISO 27001 demonstrate that they are following best practices. Companies wanting to achieve this award must submit to independent, external auditing. 
  • CIS Critical Security Controls: CIS is a security framework in which companies implement a list of twenty controls to prevent common causes of cyberattacks. Volunteers designed many of these standards across a range of professions and industries. 
  • NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Standards: This framework from the National Institute of Standards Technology is a voluntary standard that aims to mitigate cybersecurity risks based on recent guidelines and best practice. It is flexible and has been applied to overseas as well as domestic companies. 

Ensure That You Can Comply With Multiple Cybersecurity Regulations

Because businesses and government contractors are under increasing threat of cybersecurity attacks, they need to make sure that they comply with existing regulations. Firms can use the ISO 27001 toolkit to learn more about where their obligations lie and how they can fulfill them. 

Companies will need to comply with the following regulations as a bare minimum: 

  • NIST SP 800-53 and companion document NIST 800-171
  • ISO 27001

Other regulations may apply, depending on the industry. For those struggling to figure out how to comply from a technical perspective, there is now plenty of support out there. Many companies offer assessments that include things like gap analysis to see whether you’re falling short, plus system security plans to help identify the boundaries of your information systems and networks. Many will also provide you with a plan of action, showing you what you should do next. 

With data breaches growing, it has never been more important for companies to protect their organizations from cyber crime.