The modern threat landscape is different today from what it looked like five years ago, ten years before that and twenty years prior. Cybersecurity, much like the technology that it seeks to protect is ever-evolving. Combined with the needs unique to your organization, as well as applicable compliance requirements, IT and Security teams have their work cut out for them when mitigating risks to the infrastructure while also maintaining a balance between data security and user privacy.
Thankfully, just like Maverick had Goose in Top Gun, organizations can leverage Security Frameworks to strengthen their security posture by:
- streamlining procedures
- minimizing risks
- achieving compliance
- enforcing best practices via policies
What is a Security Framework?
Webb cites Secureframe when answering the question above, “A security framework defines policies and procedures for establishing and maintaining security controls.”
Put simply: security frameworks act as a detailed guide that aids organizations in building and maintaining their security plan. Not unlike how blueprints help contractors build a home to specifications.
Importance of security frameworks in today's digital landscape
As mentioned previously, security is constantly changing and the needs, tools, strategies, practices and procedures to continue protecting devices, users and data within your organization need to adapt to these changes or risk being susceptible to threat actors, including potential data breaches and the dire consequences that come with it.
The role of a security framework in an organization is an easy one to explain: security frameworks provide a systematic approach to securing your organization against myriad risk factors by determining which policies, procedures and controls should be implemented – including how they should be configured – to provide the greatest level of protection across the enterprise.
Webb also goes into greater detail explaining how security frameworks fall into several categories and that within each category there exist several different ones, each providing a specific level of protection to match the unique needs of your organization. Furthermore, while some frameworks may provide more generalized protections against threats, other frameworks are designed to specifically address the needs of specific industries, for example, HIPAA for healthcare or FINRA for financial institutions.
Why are Security Frameworks important?
Security frameworks play a significant role in mitigating cyber threats by making the path to implementing security controls, policies and procedures easier. It eliminates the “guesswork” by answering commonly asked questions, such as:
- Which tools should we use?
- Why should we use these tools?
- What configurations should we use?
- How can these tools be used to achieve compliance?
Cybersecurity poses a difficult challenge for many an organization. The fact that security is a path, not a destination, does nothing to lessen the challenge of keeping endpoints safeguarded nor organizations compliant. But frameworks greatly reduce the burden placed on organizations by making determinations as to what to prioritize their focus on by establishing a system of sorts that IT and Security teams can utilize throughout the entire endpoint lifecycle.
For example, let’s consider a financial institution that provides investment services to its clients. Because the finance sector is the highest-regulated industry, the importance of adhering to security frameworks for businesses that identify as financial centers cannot be underscored. As part of the regulatory requirements, governance over communications, including the cipher strengths used in communication platforms, what devices are restricted, which platforms can be used and by whom make up a small yet critical part of complying with financial regulations.
In the example scenario above, an employee utilizing their personal mobile device to communicate protected financial transaction data over an unsecured app can trigger an investigation into business processes, possibly resulting in steep fines of millions of dollars. While this may sound like perpetuating fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), the “imaginary scenario” above was actually the result of an industry-wide investigation last September, resulting in 16 fintech firms being fined $1.1 billion for failure to comply with federal securities laws in the U.S. This event is just one of the many case studies that exemplify the criticality for organizations to choose the right security framework and adhere to it to maintain business continuity without compromising endpoint security and privacy or be impacted by productivity.
Choosing the right security framework for your organization
Before an organization can begin working on adhering to security frameworks, it must first select one. More to the point, it must first select the right one. When choosing a security framework, some important factors to consider are:
- Improving operational efficiency
- Industry requirements for compliance
- Mitigating security risks
- Organization size may require more than one framework
- System and data sensitivity needs
The process of implementing a security framework is not one that should be taken lightly. That said, the benefits of choosing the right framework(s) are multifold. From hardened security configurations to convergence between management, identity and security to form a holistic, comprehensive solution that is purpose-built for your supported ecosystem – all working together to protect against the latest security threats while enforcing compliance through standardized procedures, policies and practices.
Watch the full webinar now to understand how security frameworks can help your organization.
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