A Simple Guide to the Updated NIST 2.0 Cybersecurity Framework

Keeping up with the ever-evolving threat landscape is a challenge for organisations of all sizes. Between February and March 2024, reported global security incidents surged by 69.8%. Employing a structured cybersecurity approach is vital to safeguarding your organisation.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) to provide an industry-neutral approach to managing and reducing cybersecurity risks. Recently, NIST updated the framework to CSF 2.0 in 2024.

CSF 2.0 is a comprehensive overhaul that builds on the successes of its predecessor. It offers a more streamlined and adaptable approach to cybersecurity. This guide aims to simplify the framework and make it accessible to both small and large enterprises.

Core Components of NIST CSF 2.0

Central to CSF 2.0 is its Core, consisting of five interrelated and continuous functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. These functions offer a strategic perspective on cybersecurity risk and its management within an organisation, allowing for a dynamic response to threats.

Here are the five Core Functions of NIST CSF 2.0:

1. Identify

This function involves recognising and understanding the organisation’s assets, cyber risks, and vulnerabilities. A clear grasp of what needs protection is essential before implementing safeguards.

2. Protect

The Protect function focuses on implementing measures to deter, detect, and mitigate cybersecurity risks. This includes tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and data encryption.

3. Detect

Early identification of cybersecurity incidents is crucial for minimising damage. The Detect function emphasises the importance of having mechanisms to identify and report suspicious activities.

4. Respond

The Respond function outlines steps to take when a cybersecurity incident occurs. This includes containment, eradication, recovery, and learning from the incident.

5. Recover

The Recover function focuses on restoring normal operations following a cybersecurity incident. Activities include data restoration, system recovery, and business continuity planning.

Customising the Framework with Profiles and Tiers

CSF 2.0 introduces the concepts of Profiles and Tiers to help organisations tailor their cybersecurity practices to their specific needs, risk tolerances, and resources.

Profiles

Profiles align the Functions, Categories, and Subcategories with the business requirements, risk tolerance, and resources of the organisation.

Tiers

Tiers provide context on how an organisation views cybersecurity risk and the processes in place to manage that risk. They range from Partial (Tier 1) to Adaptive (Tier 4).

Advantages of Implementing NIST CSF 2.0

Adopting NIST CSF 2.0 offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Enhanced Cybersecurity Posture: Organisations can develop a comprehensive and effective cybersecurity programme by following NIST CSF 2.0 guidance.
  • Reduced Risk of Cyberattacks: The framework helps organisations identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks, lowering the likelihood of cyberattacks.
  • Improved Compliance: NIST CSF 2.0 aligns with many industry standards and regulations, aiding organisations in meeting compliance requirements.
  • Better Communication: The framework provides a common language for discussing cybersecurity risks, improving communication across the organisation.
  • Cost Savings: By preventing cyberattacks and reducing the impact of incidents, NIST CSF 2.0 can help organisations save money.

Steps to Get Started with NIST CSF 2.0

If you’re ready to implement NIST CSF 2.0, here are a few steps to get started:

  • Familiarise Yourself with the Framework: Read through the NIST CSF 2.0 publication to understand the Core Functions and categories.
  • Assess Your Current Cybersecurity Posture: Conduct an assessment to identify any gaps or weaknesses in your current cybersecurity setup.
  • Develop a Cybersecurity Plan: Based on your assessment, create a plan outlining how you will implement the NIST CSF 2.0 framework in your organisation.
  • Seek Professional Help: If needed, partner with a managed IT services provider for guidance and support in deploying NIST CSF 2.0.

By following these steps, you can begin to implement NIST CSF 2.0 and improve your cybersecurity posture.

Schedule a Cybersecurity Assessment Today

NIST CSF 2.0 is a valuable tool for managing and reducing cybersecurity risks in organisations of all sizes. Adhering to the framework’s guidance can help you develop a comprehensive and effective cybersecurity programme.

Are you looking to enhance your organisation’s cybersecurity posture? NIST CSF 2.0 is an excellent starting point. We can help you begin with a cybersecurity assessment to identify assets needing protection and security risks in your network. Together, we can create a budget-friendly plan.

Contact us today to schedule a cybersecurity assessment.