In 2022 alone, the FBI reported over $10 billion in internet crime losses. In response to this ever-growing threat, it’s especially important to strengthen your cybersecurity posture.
What’s the best way to protect yourself? Many organizations choose to take an approach based on well-known cybersecurity frameworks and supporting standards. For our customers, we find the most successful of these frameworks to be the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) Cybersecurity Framework (“CSF”). This provides a proven model to evaluate organizational capabilities and apply strategic improvements.
NIST CSF Five Functions
What is the NIST CSF and how can following these standards help strengthen the cybersecurity of your organization?
The framework is divided into five key functions (Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover).
- Identify – Develop an organizational understanding to manage cybersecurity risk to systems, assets, data, and capabilities.
- Protect – Develop and implement the appropriate safeguards to ensure delivery of services to protect the organization’s critical assets from cybersecurity threats.
- Detect – Develop and implement the appropriate controls to identify the occurrence of a cybersecurity events/incidents as they occur. This includes implementing monitoring and detection systems to alert the organization to potential threats and allow it to respond quickly.
- Respond – Implement the appropriate responses to act against detected cybersecurity incidents. This includes having a well-defined incident response in place to ensure the organization can effectively address cyberattacks. It also gives the organization the power to effectively contain, investigate and remediate in order to mitigate/minimize the damage of a potential breach.
- Recover – Implement the appropriate activities to maintain plans for resilience and to restore any capabilities impaired by a cybersecurity incident, including implementing measures to restore normal operations and mitigate the impact of the incident on the organization.
This list represents high-level definitions of each of the five functions. For full descriptions of the control categories and sub-categories that support these functions, please review Appendix A: Framework Core of the NIST CSF.
Benefits of NIST CSF
The foremost benefit of adopting cybersecurity standards is helping to prevent or minimize cyberattacks. The combination of adopting and conforming to proven cybersecurity controls makes it more difficult for attackers to penetrate your environment, and provides capabilities to mitigate and respond to cyberattacks when they do occur.
Additional benefits of tailoring NIST CSF to your organization includes but is not limited to the following:
- NIST is a common language which provides understanding across your organization to communicate, identify and address cybersecurity threats and issues
- May be adopted and customized by organizations of any size (e.g., large, medium and small) and across any industry to help meet the needs of organizations in their current state, whether their cybersecurity capability is mature or virtually nonexistent
- Assists with education and awareness of the security staff responsible for protecting your organization from cyber-attack exploitation
How QED National Can Help
Applying proven cybersecurity frameworks such as NIST CSF can be a tall task even for well-funded organizations. With decades of experience providing cybersecurity services (including assessments, definition of roadmaps, incident response, and training/mentoring client staff in best practices), QED National helps public sector, private sector and 500 Fortune customers align their capabilities to proven cybersecurity frameworks.
As an award-winning cybersecurity advisory firm, QED National has an impressive portfolio of security offerings and a deep understanding of the changing threat landscape. Utilizing industry standards, guidelines, best practices, (e.g. NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO 27000 family, etc.) and world class technologies, QED National customizes solutions to address specific risks and needs for its clients.Furthermore, QED National leverages strong relationships with its rolodex of strategic technology partners who specialize in cybersecurity tools and solutions. These partnerships include but are limited to industry leaders such as Mandiant, Splunk, Check Point Software Technologies, Veracode, Tenable, Commvault, Schneider Electric, Dell EMC, etc.
QED National customizes solutions to fit the precise needs of its clients, particularly in helping them mitigate cybersecurity risks. QED National not only advises clients on which methods and technologies to consider, but we’re also capable of implementing these technologies, as proven through its successful experiences and engagements with valued customers.
Past engagements have supported clients in numerous and varied industries such as Human Services, Healthcare, Transportation, Construction, and more. Some of the work provided to these organizations have included:
- Advisory services to ensure proper security measures were established and aligned to NIST CSF and Special Publication 800-53 Rev. 4
- Training and mentoring of Cybersecurity officers and staff
- Providing testing of various applications and systems, and to identify risks, and areas for improvement
- Advising on advanced understanding of business processes, internal control risk management, IT controls and related standards
- Performing well controlled vulnerability exploitation/penetration testing on applications, network protocols, and databases
- Assessment of independent Audit and Security Assessment reports
- Providing a detailed review of existing security governance policies, standards and procedures
Through the success of its cybersecurity engagements and the relationship developed with its clients, QED National has cemented its reputation as a well-respected, trusted advisor for its clients.
Aligning your organization to reputable cybersecurity frameworks can be a challenge, but with the assistance of trusted IT consultants the process becomes easier and achievable. QED National’s comprehensive approach is based on proven cybersecurity frameworks such as NIST CSF to best prepare and support clients in preventing and responding to cyber threats.
For more information about QED National’s Cybersecurity services, please contact us at (212) 481-6868, or [email protected].