The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cybersecurity framework is a set of guidelines and best practices for businesses to build out their cybersecurity compliance. The goal of the NIST cybersecurity framework is to help organizations better understand their risks and to put in place controls to mitigate those risks. 

The framework comprises five core functions: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. Each function includes a set of sub-controls that businesses can use to tailor their cybersecurity compliance program to their specific needs. 

The framework is voluntary, but many businesses adopt it because it provides a common language for discussing cybersecurity risks and controls. Additionally, the framework has been endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security as a tool that businesses can use to improve their cyber resiliency. The DHS also uses it as a guideline for creating cybersecurity regulations.

How Does the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Help My Business?

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework can help small businesses improve their cybersecurity posture in several ways.

  • Identify weaknesses in their current security procedures.
  • Develop more comprehensive and effective security policies and procedures. 
  • Prioritize investments in cybersecurity based on their unique needs. 
  • Improve communication and collaboration among different departments and functions within the organization. 
  • Benchmark their progress over time and track their performance against others in their industry.

If a business is unsure how to implement the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, they should contact a cyber security service provider like SHOCK I.T., who can help build proper cybersecurity procedures and enforce them. Our team has extensive experience assisting businesses in implementing the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, and we would be happy to help your organization get started. 

Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on digital infrastructure, the need to protect this infrastructure from cyberattacks is more important than ever. Despite this, many critical infrastructure systems remain vulnerable to attack. 

Several steps can be taken to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity. One is to strengthen perimeter security, making it more difficult for attackers to gain initial access to systems. Another is to implement security controls and monitor systems for suspicious activity. It is also important to have a plan in place to respond to a successful attack. 

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework was designed to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity more efficiently. When businesses implement plans to prevent cyber threats, they are much more likely to protect and retain their important data. 

Identifying Cybersecurity Events

The goal is to identify your vulnerabilities to protect yourself from hackers. First you’ll need to make a list of all equipment and software used, including laptops or smartphones.

The number of devices you have can help identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Make a list and check if they’re vulnerable or not to cyber attacks like hackers getting into your system with malware, keylogging software, etc.

A comprehensive cybersecurity policy should spell out roles and responsibilities for employees, vendors, and anyone else with access to sensitive data. By doing so, companies can help to ensure that everyone understands their role in protecting sensitive information. For employees, this might include encrypting company email messages and never sharing passwords with anyone. 

For vendors, it might mean ensuring that all software is up to date and that only authorized personnel have access to systems. Anyone else with access to company data might require two-factor authentication or limit access to only the necessary information.

Implementing Cyber Security Policy to Protect your Data

It is important to control who has access to your network and devices to keep your data safe. You can do this by using security software to protect your data and encrypt sensitive information. It’s also crucial to conduct regular backups of your data in an emergency. 

Another way to help keep your data safe is to update your security software regularly and have formal policies to dispose of old electronic files and devices. It’s also important to educate everyone who uses your computers and devices about cybersecurity.

Detect Any Data Breaching

It’s crucial to monitor for any unauthorized devices and software. You’ll need to regularly check your network for unauthorized users or connections to protect your company’s information. 

USB drives, for example, can easily be used to copy sensitive data without your knowledge. Similarly, unauthorized software can be installed on your system without your permission and can be used to collect personal information or invade your privacy.

Investigate any unusual activities on your network or by your staff. If you suspect that your network has been compromised, take immediate action to secure your systems and data.

Have a Plan to Respond to Cyber Security Attacks

In the event of a data breach, it is important to take several steps to minimize the damage and protect those who may be affected. First, it’s crucial to notify any customers, employees, or other individuals whose data may have been compromised. This will help them take steps to protect themselves, such as changing passwords and monitoring their accounts for suspicious activity. 

It’s also important to keep business operations up and running. This may require additional staff or working longer hours, but it is essential to maintain customer trust and prevent further disruptions. You’ll also have to report the attack to law enforcement and other authorities – ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice and helping to prevent future attacks. 

Properly Recovering From a Cyber Attack

Cyber attacks can be devastating to businesses, large and small. In the wake of an attack, it’s important to take steps to repair the damage and prevent future threats. Assess the damage to your equipment and network. Identify which parts of your system are affected and need to be repaired or replaced. 

Then, take steps to restore normal operations. This may involve reconfiguring equipment, reloading software, or rebuilding data files. To learn and improve from the incident, you’ll need to put in place measures to prevent future attacks. This may include installing security patches, updating antivirus software, and changing passwords. 

Partner With a Cyber Security Compliance Expert

Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small businesses. In fact, according to a recent study, 43% of all cyber attacks target small businesses. This is simple: small businesses often lack the budget and resources to invest in robust cybersecurity measures. 

Small businesses can easily target hackers looking to steal sensitive data or ransomware. This is why partnering with a cyber security compliance expert is critical for small businesses.

An expert can help you identify vulnerabilities in your system and recommend steps to mitigate the risk of an attack. They can also provide ongoing monitoring and support to ensure that your business stays safe from cyber threats. 

SHOCK I.T. is a leading provider of cybersecurity compliance services. We have helped countless small businesses protect their data and comply with cybersecurity regulations. 

We can also help your organization build the proper NIST cybersecurity framework for your business. We have a team of experienced and certified professionals who can assess your organization’s cybersecurity compliance and develop a customized plan to improve it. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you secure your business.