The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that develops technical standards and guidelines to promote innovation and improve the competitiveness of American businesses. NIST also publishes a number of security-related documents and frameworks that are widely used in the cybersecurity industry, including the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF).
The NIST CSF is a voluntary framework that provides a set of best practices and guidelines for improving an organisation’s cybersecurity posture. The framework is designed to be flexible and customisable, so that organisations can tailor it to their specific needs and goals. The NIST CSF is based on five high-level cybersecurity principles:
- Identify: This principle involves understanding an organisation’s assets, vulnerabilities, and potential impacts from a cybersecurity perspective. It also involves establishing clear roles and responsibilities for cybersecurity within the organisation.
- Protect: This principle involves implementing controls and safeguards to protect an organisation’s assets and systems from threats. It includes measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and access controls.
- Detect: This principle involves establishing processes and systems to detect and respond to potential cybersecurity threats in a timely and effective manner. It includes monitoring for suspicious activity, conducting regular security assessments, and implementing incident response plans.
- Respond: This principle involves having a plan in place to effectively respond to a cybersecurity incident and minimise the potential impact. It includes identifying and containing the source of the incident, restoring affected systems, and communicating with stakeholders.
- Recover: This principle involves having a plan in place to recover from a cybersecurity incident and return to normal operations as quickly as possible. It includes identifying the root cause of the incident, implementing corrective measures, and reviewing and improving the organisation’s cybersecurity posture.
By following these principles, organisations can improve their cybersecurity posture and reduce the risk of potential cybersecurity incidents. NIST’s CSF is a widely-recognised and respected framework that is used by many organisations to guide their cybersecurity efforts.