Strategies to Choose the Right Cybersecurity Risk Framework


Business leaders need to develop a greater understanding of the compliance requirements and regulations that apply to their industry. These guidelines have real value because they can make it easier to build a framework that enables a company to more clearly understand where it stands in terms of risk.

In partnership with the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), executives, including board members, have a responsibility to contribute to the development of the appropriate framework for cybersecurity. This framework must be transparent, detect where security gaps exist and provide metrics that are suitable for the company. Additionally, the information in that framework must be understandable by non-security professionals so that they can use it to evaluate and approve cybersecurity-related initiatives.

A CISO can gain by leveraging tools and industry standards to develop a comprehensive framework that non-security enterprise executives can follow. By doing so, it can guide how security flaws and vulnerabilities are found and fixed in a context that is appropriate for business.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cybersecurity Risk Framework?

The key concern for a business is how to choose and apply the best cybersecurity framework to guide the development of its own policies. This decision is primarily influenced by three factors: the organization’s size and maturity, industry-relevant issues, and knowledge of its internal business processes.

Size of the Company

Larger businesses often already have clear guidelines for mandatory compliance with various regulatory controls. Additionally, publicly traded corporations are obliged to provide reports in order to comply with financial laws, such as those set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission for private equity purchases or public M&A. Both of these sources will include some cybersecurity audit intelligence that will be useful as input for the framework.

Due to the maturity and resources of the enterprise, IT and security teams are smaller, and processes are more constrained in smaller organizations. This frequently leads to overlapping regulatory obligations, such as a CISO who is in charge of both security and compliance. Since there are fewer stakeholders from which to gather the policy information and a less onerous and bureaucratic approval process, overlaps can be useful for mapping out enterprise processes.

Industry Relevance

Depending on what is essential in the particular industry, different security control issues are given varied weights of importance. A cybersecurity framework like the PCI DSS does a great job of highlighting the problems with many typical security policies that are required to protect client data in the retail industry. However, the manufacturing industry may not be a good fit for PCI DSS because the organization may be completely housed on-premises with little to no connectivity to an outside network. In this situation, security concerns center on safeguarding crucial corporate intellectual property; therefore, a more industry-neutral framework like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CFS) may be a preferable place to start.

Business Processes

Companies far too often simply consider cybersecurity from the standpoint of external factors. They fail to consider the vulnerabilities that their own routine internal operations can introduce.

Understanding the internal processes for storing, processing, and transmitting data help to clarify which security measures and controls are required at each point of the data life cycle.

Large enterprises will have internal procedures that are well-codified. Smaller businesses may not have ever formally defined their internal business procedures because they may have developed naturally over time. If cybersecurity is a concern, it’s time to contact the IT head or CISO to lay out the processes in the beginning.

Also Read: Ways to design and implement IoT-centric cybersecurity posture

Cybersecurity Preparedness

Some executives might initially believe that requesting a usable cybersecurity compliance framework is taking cybersecurity concerns too far. But it isn’t. Security frameworks and financial analysis should both be built on models for data that are industry-recognized, acknowledged, and usable by non-expert management and fiduciaries. In today’s business world, executive and board decisions should give equal weight to both financial and security information.

It’s time for CISOs, board members, and executives to view regulations as allies rather than enemies in the development of cybersecurity preparedness.

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