Contributed by George Mack, Content Marketing Manager, Check Point Software.
In today’s cyber landscape, threats are rapidly growing in volume and sophistication. In turn, organizations now have to purchase and manage an over-complicated mix of tools and solutions to protect network infrastructure. Making matters worse, organizations are contending with a paucity of cyber security resources and personnel.
Standardized processes can help simplify security management. Cyber security frameworks provide a standardized approach to managing security risks, mitigating vulnerabilities and improving overall security posture.
As organizations continue to integrate new technologies into their IT environments, and continue to contend with resource scarcity, staying-up-to-date with the most critical cyber security frameworks should be a number one priority for security executives.
Cyber security frameworks
The following frameworks serve as guides to help organizations take a planned approach to cyber security. They offer best practices, and processes for businesses to help streamline cyber security operations.
Frameworks are crucial when it comes to reducing the burden of decision-making, as well as decreasing the complexity of cyber security management in the long run. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t use frameworks, but simply patch together whatever tools or solutions best serve their needs at a given point in time.
In this article, we will review top recommended cyber security frameworks that will help reduce cyber risk and improve business efficiency.
1. Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM)
The Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) serves as a comprehensive playbook for companies looking to manage their cloud security. It outlines security controls across 17 domains. Within these domains, the CCM provides specific control objectives and requirements, offering a detailed roadmap through which organizations can enhance their cloud security posture.
From assessing data encryption practices to ensuring compliance with industry regulations, the CCM serves as a valuable resource, allowing organizations to navigate the complexities of the cloud landscape with a focus on security best practices.
Furthermore, the CCM provides a matrix indicating the cloud service model type (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) or cloud environment (public, hybrid, private) that each CCM control applies to. It makes reference to the shared responsibility model, determining which of the two cloud parties (CSP or CSC) is responsible for the management and assessment of the given control.
2. MITRE ATT&CK (Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge) Framework
The MITRE ATT&CK (Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge) framework provides insights into the cyber attacks that threat actors deploy. This framework categorizes and documents various techniques, procedures, and behaviors utilized by threat actors across different stages of the cyber kill chain. The matrix refers to several categories, such as initial access, execution, persistence, privilege escalation, credential access, and more.
By mapping out the lifecycle of an attack, ATT&CK aids cyber security professionals in understanding, analyzing, and defending against a variety of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. It serves as a valuable resource for security teams, enabling them to improve their cyber resiliency by understanding what gaps they may have in their IT defenses.
3. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework is a robust set of standards and best practices, designed to improve the overall cyber security posture of organizations.
This framework provides a structured approach to managing and mitigating cyber security risks. It consists of five core functions — Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover — that guide organizations in fortifying their cyber security processes.
The NIST framework is widely recognized for its flexibility, scalability, and relevance across nearly any industry. By aligning with these principles, companies can better prioritize and manage their cyber security efforts, promoting a proactive approach to defending critical assets.
4. Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Framework
The CMMI provides a structured and systematic approach to enhancing an organization’s maturity levels across various business domains, including software development, project management, and service delivery.
The CMMI framework encompasses best practices and guidelines that enable organizations to refine their processes. CMMI principles allow organizations to enhance their capabilities, mitigate risks, and align their practices with industry standards, ultimately achieving higher levels of maturity and ensuring sustained continuity in a rapidly evolving business landscape.
Cyber security frameworks are extremely valuable tools for organizations to use in navigating the modern threat landscape, especially as systems and information become more complex.
By implementing these frameworks, businesses can establish a proactive stance against cyber threats while maintaining cyber resiliency and operational efficiency. Embracing these frameworks is not just a necessity; it’s a strategic step toward improving your overall security posture in the face of ever-evolving cyber threats.