NIST Cybersecurity Framework Assessment

Small and medium businesses have a target on their back. This is because of a lack of controls or deficiencies thereof. It is therefore important to develop a cybersecurity strategy that prevents attackers from infiltrating your network and holding you to ransom. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides businesses the tools to build an effective defense model and keep the bad actors at bay.

There are several cybersecurity frameworks out there with NIST being one of them. Developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, or simply, NIST CSF enables organizations to implement the latest and greatest security practices in order to mitigate risks and improve their security posture against cyber threats. The security controls in the NIST CSF also enable organization to conform to the requirements of different compliances such as HIPAA, GDPR, SOX, and others.

Under the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO), internal IT controls are required to maintain the reliability of financial reporting, optimize business operations, and fulfill compliance requirements. Business data flows through a network of interconnected IT systems; these systems store, process, and transmit data that has a bearing on an organization’s financial statement. From initiating a business transaction to recording an entry in the ledger, multiple business transactions are carried out using the IT infrastructure, which yields data that is eventually captured in financial reports. IT controls are therefore subject to a stringent audit to ensure the integrity of financial reporting. Any irregularities in financial reporting can also put an organization in greater risk of non-compliance with sections 302 and 304 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act. And non-compliance with the SOX regulation can lead to heavy fines and imprisonment for the top management of an organization.

We will then conduct a detailed gap analysis to identify your current level of compliance and outline the steps needed to promote your security infrastructure to parity with the target profile. The gap analysis process includes a comprehensive assessment of your network and security infrastructure, data flow analysis, data backup procedures, and configuration reviews of different system components. The findings in the gap analysis phase will position your organization in one of the four implementation tiers. The tier system provides an indication of your organization’s security posture, ranging from no security controls to adequate security controls to deal with cyber threats.

Following a gap analysis, we will create a detailed defense model for your organization along with a project plan to implement the necessary controls without feeling overwhelmed.

This includes installing and maintaining properly configured firewalls; creating effective network segmentation; ensuring that data at rest and in transit is made unintelligible by using encryption; and implementing an intrusion detection system to block out malware. Our team will work with you to set up a security operations center that monitors and tracks access to network resources and sensitive data in real-time, thereby allowing you to assess and detect any possible fraudulent activity in your organization.

Our experts will work with you to set up an effective business continuity management plan and an incident response team that is well-equipped to deal with the threats to your system, and in the event of a breach, follow the standard operating procedure to restore your system to a minimum-viable operating level, while the threat is eventually contained and neutralized.

Aligning your organization’s security practices with the standards set out in the NIST framework can seem like a daunting task, but we will walk you through the process in a well-defined and structured manner. Each step will be documented and provide an insight into the workings of your security system. Our processes though stringent are set in stone. They are aligned to your organization’s business and operational requirements and can adapt to the changes in the threat landscape.

Finally, our team will carry out extensive trainings and internal audits to set you up for success. We believe security is an iterative and continuous process, and with GRM Technologies by your side, you can be rest assured that we will partner with you to achieve and maintain not just compliance, but establish the necessary cybersecurity controls to preserve the security, integrity, and reliability of your data and business processes.

At GRM Technologies, our cybersecurity experts will walk you through the five core tenets of the NIST CSF, that is, identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. There are 108 controls in the framework; we will map the ones that are most pertinent to your organization and the threat landscape that you operate out of in order to create a target profile of your organization that we must aspire to in terms of building the security controls.

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