7 Common Cybersecurity Frameworks to Reduce Cyber Risk

7 Common Cybersecurity Frameworks to Reduce Cyber Risk

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a defense practice of defending digital assets. The digital assets include devices, i.e., computers, mobiles, tablets, and electronic systems. Cyber security saves a digital communication system from cyber intruder attacks and malicious practices.

Cyber security framework consists of the following categories.

  • Network Security:  The ethical practice of defending a computer network from intrusion attacks is networking protection. The potential hazards of network security are targeted attackers and opportunistic malware.
  • Application Security: Application security aims to keep software and devices secure and threats-free. Application security is a significant factor included in application design or before a device is deployed. Any compromise on the application security of a system can lead to unauthorized access to app data.
  • Information Security: It helps the system protect the data in storage and use. The integrity of data falls under the umbrella of information security.
  • Operational Security: It includes systematic processes and vital decisions for handling and protecting data assets. Users grant permission whenever they access a network, which determines how and where their data is stored and who can use it.
  • Disaster Recovery: It is a substantial part of a cyber security system. It defines how a cyber security system responds to a cyber-attack or theft that can cause the loss of fundamental data. A disaster recovery management system illustrates how the organization restores its functions and data to the same operational capacity as before the cyber-attack. Business continuity is the organization’s plan while trying to operate without specific resources.
  • End-User Education: It is an essential part of cyber security. This complete end-user education lies in cyber security practices. The user is openly introduced to the internet and thousands of websites including malicious links. A user must know that he is surfing in a sea of sharks. He only can survive if he is very cautious. Besides being extra careful, a set of basic instructions is essential on what to do if a cyber-attack accidentally catches you.

What is a Cybersecurity Framework?

A cyber security framework is a set of standard procedures and protocols in ordinary language for the management of all industries worldwide to understand their cybersecurity procedures and postures. With a framework in place, it becomes easier to define the protocols and procedures for an organization to adopt while accessing, monitoring, and mitigating cyber security risks.

Seven Common Cybersecurity Frameworks

We have prepared a list of cyber security frameworks that are most widely used and accepted. The seven common cybersecurity frameworks are,

i) NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The NIST cybersecurity framework is a greater collaboration between the public and private sectors for identifying, assessing, and managing cyber risk.

What are the 5 Elements of the NIST Cyber Security Framework?

The five vital elements of the NIST cybersecurity framework are,

  1. Identify: Identify the current risk of an organization.
  2. Project: Design a safety protocol to overcome this risk.
  3. Detect: Detect the type of risk.
  4. Respond: Respond effectively and efficiently to the attack and run necessary protocols to save the system.
  5. Recover: Recover the system after that cyber-attack.

ii) ISO 27001 and ISO 27002

This cyber security framework is deployed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 are certified by ISO and are international standards to validate any cyber security setup. ISO keeps valid and mature cyber security practices and controls.

iii) SOC2

SOC2 is an acronym for Service Organization Control (SOC) Type 2. It is specifically designed for the finance or banking industries since they are dealing with sensitive data that is very prone to theft. SOC2 is a higher standard for compliance than other sectors. Nevertheless, it’s a critical framework that should be central to any third-party risk management program.


NERC-CIP is an acronym for North American Electric Reliability Corporation – Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC CIP). It is a set of cybersecurity standards designed to facilitate the utility and power sectors. They minimize the cyber theft risk and ensure the reliability of bulk electric systems.


HIPAA is an acronym for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It is a cybersecurity framework that is essentially deployed for the healthcare sector to implement security postures and protocols to secure and protect the confidentiality of online healthcare information.

vi) GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is developed for the citizens of European Unions. GDPR framework provides a solid base to ensure the security of consolidated data of the EU.

The Framework acquiesces the protocols for user data access, utilization, and privacy rights.

vii) FIRMA

FIRMA stands for Federal Information Security Management Act. As the name shows, this Framework protects the federal government and its associative bodies from cyber-attacks.

How do Cybersecurity Frameworks Work?

Each cybersecurity framework has rules, guidelines, processes, and best practices to maintain compliance. Generally speaking, cybersecurity frameworks can be segmented into three main categories:

  1. Cybersecurity Control Frameworks 
  2. Cybersecurity Program Framework 
  3. Cybersecurity Risk Frameworks

i) Cybersecurity Control Frameworks

Cybersecurity control frameworks provide organizations with security controls and best practices to implement to protect their information systems. These frameworks outline specific technical, operational, and management controls that organizations should consider to mitigate cybersecurity risks effectively. Some well-known cybersecurity control frameworks include:

  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF)
  • The Center for Internet Security (CIS) 
  • ISO/IEC 27000 Series

ii) Cybersecurity Program Framework

A cybersecurity program framework outlines the structure and components necessary for establishing and managing an effective cybersecurity program within an organization. It typically includes a set of guidelines, policies, and procedures to ensure that cybersecurity is adequately addressed at various levels within the organization. While there isn’t a single universally recognized cybersecurity program framework, organizations can develop customized frameworks based on their specific needs and requirements. However, some commonly referenced frameworks include the following:

  • NIST – Special Publication 800-53
  • COBIT – Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies

iii) Cybersecurity Risk Frameworks

Cybersecurity risk frameworks help organizations identify, assess, and manage cybersecurity risks effectively. These frameworks provide the following:

  • Methodologies and tools for evaluating risks.
  • Establishing risk management processes.
  • Making informed decisions to prioritize and mitigate risks.

Some popular cybersecurity risk frameworks include:

  • OCTAVE – Operationally Critical Threat, Asset, and Vulnerability Evaluation
  • FAIR – Factor Analysis of Information Risk
  • ISO 31000

Types of Cybersecurity Frameworks

The world’s best cybersecurity experts categorize the cybersecurity framework into three basic categories depending upon their functionalities and objectives. Let us briefly discuss all of them with you in this blog.

i) Control Frameworks

  • Design a strategic plan for the security control team.
  • Define a fundamental set of controls.
  • Assessment of the present technical condition.
  • Mapping the necessary authority for execution.

ii) Program Frameworks

  • Assess the current security state of the security program.
  • Develop a concise executable security plan.
  • Risk management and competitive analysis.
  • Bridge the gap between security experts and business leaders.

iii) Risk Frameworks

  • Mapping the development process to identify system threats.
  • Develop a security plan for risk management.
  • Identify, measure, and quantify risk.
  • Prioritize security activities.

Why are Cybersecurity Frameworks Important?

  • Cybersecurity frameworks provide a common language and set of standards for organizations to communicate about cybersecurity risk management. A framework ensures everyone understands cybersecurity practices’ risks, responsibilities, and expectations.
  • It helps to provide a structured approach for identifying, assessing, and mitigating cybersecurity risks. By following a framework, organizations can better understand their vulnerabilities and take steps to address them before a cyber-attack occurs.
  • Users can specify and target industry best practices and standards. Organizations can use a framework to ensure their cybersecurity practices align with widely accepted standards and guidelines.
  • Regions and compliance standards recognize many cybersecurity frameworks, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Compliance with these standards can help organizations avoid fines and reputational damage.
  • It promotes a culture of continuous improvement by requiring regular assessment and review of cybersecurity practices.

Why do we Need Cyber Security Frameworks?

Cyber security frameworks are significant for work teams to facilitate different cyber security challenges and provide a strategic and goal-oriented plan to secure the data, system infrastructure, and information systems. The cyber security frameworks also guide IT security managers to address their organization’s cyber risks more intelligently.

Who Should Use the Framework?

The cyber security framework is especially relevant for organizations that rely on technology, including businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and critical infrastructure providers such as energy, financial, and healthcare organizations.

Here are some examples of specific groups that can benefit from using the CSF:

  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) often lack the resources and expertise to implement complex cybersecurity programs, making the cybersecurity framework a valuable tool for cost-effectively managing risks.

  • Regulators can use the cyber security framework to develop standards and guidelines for cybersecurity that align with industry best practices.

  • Organizations that operate in complex supply chains can use the CSF to promote consistency in cybersecurity practices across multiple partners.

  • IT professionals use the CSF to understand cybersecurity risks better and develop strategies for mitigating them.

  • Executive leaders can use the CSF to communicate about cybersecurity risks and investments with stakeholders and prioritize cybersecurity investments.

Ultimately, any organization that relies on technology can benefit from using the CSF to manage cybersecurity risk effectively.

Why do Cybersecurity Frameworks Exist?

With the increasing adaptation of the internet in business and enhanced access of users to the digital market, the digital assets of any organization are prone to threat with the severity of cyber-attacks. It is more critical these days than ever for organizations to have effective cybersecurity measures to protect their sensitive data and assets. Cybersecurity frameworks exist to provide organizations all over the world with a structured approach. A cybersecurity framework gives organizations a pattern and strategy to manage and reduce cybersecurity risks.

A cyber security framework is a set of guidelines, standards, and best practices that provide organizations with a structured approach to managing their cybersecurity risks. These frameworks help organizations identify potential cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities, assess risk levels, and implement appropriate mitigation measures.

NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO/IEC 27001, and CIS Controls are widely used and recognized across the industry. They provide a common language and structure for organizations to develop and implement their cybersecurity strategies. The frameworks help improve communication and collaboration between different departments and stakeholders within an organization and across various organizations and industries.

Additionally, compliance with these frameworks can help organizations demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity to customers, partners, regulators, and other stakeholders. The frameworks are essential for organizations that handle sensitive or confidential data and those subject to regulatory compliance requirements.

Overall, cybersecurity frameworks exist to help organizations manage and reduce their cybersecurity risks in a structured and effective manner while also promoting communication, collaboration, and compliance with industry best practices.

Components of Cybersecurity Framework

The Framework Core provides a set of cybersecurity activities and outcomes using a common language that is easy to understand.

A Cybersecurity Framework consists of three main components:

  1. Core
  2. Implementation Tiers
  3. Profiles

Goals of a Cybersecurity Framework

The goals of the cyber security Framework are voluntary. Depending on the business need and sensitivity of a data need, the cyber security framework gives organizations an outline of best security practices to focus their time and money on cybersecurity protection.

Steps to Implement Cybersecurity Framework

Step 1: Establishing a set of goals

Step 2: Profile creation

Step 3: Assessing your current position

Step 4: Conduct a loophole analysis and design a plan of action

Step 5: Implementation

Framework Implementation Benefits

There are countless benefits to inculcating cybersecurity frameworks in your organization.

  • The cybersecurity framework evaluates the gaps in the digital security system and helps the workforce identify and bridge gaps in the security system.
  • You can assess achieving digital security loopholes and gaps.
  • Highlight the current prescribed practices and their effects.
  • Communicate its digital security act in a typical, perceived dialect to inside and outside partners—including clients, controllers, financial specialists, and approach producers

Example of Organizations Using the Cybersecurity Framework

Multiple governments and private sectors have a solid reputation for adopting and executing cybersecurity protocols and procedures that safeguard their system’s safety, security, and well-being.

How are Organizations Using the Framework?

The Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is an instruction set of guidelines developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to assist different business sectors and organizations manage their data security and intellectual assets while minimizing cybersecurity risks. The cyber security framework provides a common language to communicate with businesses about cybersecurity risk management across industries and sectors.

Here are a few ways that how organizations are using the cyber security framework:

  • Risk Assessment: Organizations use cyber security frameworks to identify, assess, develop, and implement risk management plans to mitigate identified risks.
  • Compliance: Cyber security framework is vital for every business to meet regulatory and legal requirements for digital asset protection.
  • Incident Response: Organizations use the CSF to develop and implement incident response plans to detect, respond to, and recover from cybersecurity incidents.

The cyber security framework is flexible and scalable for different organizations to manage cybersecurity risks according to their unique needs and priorities.

How to Get Started with Cybersecurity Frameworks?

A systematic approach to identifying, managing, and mitigating risks is crucial for ensuring critical information’s confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Cybersecurity frameworks provide a roadmap for implementing security measures and managing cybersecurity risks. 

The general steps involved in the functioning of these frameworks include: 

  • Assess the organization’s security posture.
  • Select appropriate security controls.
  • Adopt an established cybersecurity framework.
  • Implement selected controls and practices.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of established controls.
  • Prepare for incident response.
  • Improve security controls and practices. 
  • Regular reviews and updates help organizations adapt to evolving threats and ensure the ongoing protection of information systems.


The purpose of a cybersecurity framework is to provide organizations with a structured and systematic approach to managing cybersecurity risks. A cybersecurity framework is a set of guidelines, best practices, and standards that help organizations identify, assess, and mitigate cybersecurity risks.

The “best” framework for cybersecurity depends on the specific needs and priorities of the organization. Depending on the organization’s size, industry, and specific cybersecurity risks, different frameworks may be more or less applicable.

Organizations may adopt and tailor one or more frameworks to their unique needs and risk profile.

NIST ISO 27001
NIST primarily focused on providing a framework for managing cybersecurity risks across all types of organizations. ISO 27001 is a standard specifically for information security management systems (ISMS).
NIST is a risk-based approach that provides a high-level framework for organizations to assess and manage their cybersecurity risks. ISO 2700 is a more prescriptive standard that provides specific requirements and controls that organizations must implement to meet the standard.
NIST Cybersecurity Framework is particularly well-known and widely used in the United States. ISO 27001 is more commonly used in Europe and other parts of the world.
NIST is a broadly used approach  ISO 27001 is more focused on the specific requirements for implementing an effective ISMS.

A cybersecurity regulation is a set of rules and requirements established by a government or regulatory body to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information systems and data from cyber threats. These regulations aim to develop a framework for organizations and individuals to safeguard their digital infrastructure, networks, and sensitive information.

Examples of cybersecurity regulations include: 

  1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union.
  2. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States.
  3. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for organizations handling payment card information.

Regulations are enforceable laws and legal mandates established by governments or regulatory bodies. Cybersecurity regulations have legal weight and require mandatory compliance. They have the force of law, and non-compliance can lead to penalties or legal consequences. In comparison, cyber security frameworks provide organizations with a flexible framework to assess, develop, and enhance their cybersecurity posture. Organizations may voluntarily adopt a cybersecurity framework to align with industry standards, demonstrate due diligence, and improve their overall security practices, even if they are not subject to specific regulatory requirements.

Pillar I: Policies and Planning

With a clearly defined policy, enterprises will not run the risk of low cyber security or analytics budgets.

Pillar II: Use of Technology and Vigilant in-House Security

Technology-based cyber security tools are proactive as they constantly monitor changes in the standard functionality of processes.

Pillar III: Employee Education and Awareness

Fraudulent emails, phishing, and the opening of unwanted email attachments continue to be significant reasons for allowing entry or access to hackers. With an employee awareness drive, such behavior is in control, resulting in better security analytics.

Pillar IV: Backup and Disaster Recovery

Ensure your data recovery and business development solution provider offers adequate and regular backup checks on the recoverability of the data.

  1. Change
  2. Compliance
  3. Cost
  4. Continuity
  5. Coverage
  1. Authentication
  2. Authorization
  3. Accounting (AAA)
  1. Risk management regime
  2. Secure configuration
  3. Network security
  4. Malware prevention
  5. Managing user privileges
  6. User education and awareness
  7. Incident management
  8. Home and mobile working
  9. Removable media controls
  10. Monitoring