The anatomy of a cybersecurity framework

If you’re serious about protecting your company’s critical data and infrastructure, then you need sufficient cybersecurity. But how do you choose the right cybersecurity for your business, and how do you know it’s enough? Well, that’s where the cybersecurity framework comes in. Let’s take a look at how it works and what best practices we can take from it.  

The NIST cybersecurity framework

Think of a cybersecurity framework as a template. It’s essentially a set of guidelines based on current security practices and industry standards and is designed to help all businesses manage their unique security risks. 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology developed the framework to make cybersecurity more accessible for everyone. It has three specific components – let’s break them down.

1. Core

The core sets out five fundamental objectives for every business:

1. Risk assessment – understand your own security needs

2. Data protection – develop safeguards to protect data

3. Threat detection – implement threat detection strategies

4. Response planning – develop a data breach response plan

5. System recovery – reduce the impact of a security event 

2. Tiers

There are four tiers or levels in total, depending on how advanced your cybersecurity risk management strategies are. You can choose which tier is the best fit for your business. 

3. Profiles

Profiling lets you check if you’re on track to meet your security goals and objectives. They are also a chance to identify and fix security weaknesses. 

Taken together, these three components form the backbone of a cybersecurity framework. However, there are specific industry standards you should be aware of, too. 

Industry standards 

Here’s a rundown of the industries where specific security standards apply.

  • Chemical
  • Commercial facilities
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Dams
  • Emergency services
  • Healthcare and public health
  • Transport
  • Water and waste
  • Nuclear

It’s especially important for stakeholders in these industries to identify ways to improve their cybersecurity and reduce the impact of a security breach. So, if you operate in one of these sectors, be sure to check the additional guidance. Always ask a specialist managed services provider for help if you’re unsure.

Best practices

Here are some best practices to follow if you’re trying to roll out your own cybersecurity framework.

  • Make cybersecurity a priority. Overall, leading companies are at least four times better at anticipating malicious threats than small businesses because they’re more likely to prioritize cybersecurity.
  • Create a security culture by training employees on good security practices.
  • Deploy threat monitoring and network intrusion detection techniques.
  • Backup data regularly and keep it secure, whether it’s stored in the cloud or at a physical location.

Statistics suggest that even the most rudimentary cybersecurity measures, such as risk assessments, can prevent an impressive 80 percent of cyber attacks. So no matter your IT budget, there are ways to improve your compliance if you follow the best practices. 


The cybersecurity framework serves as a roadmap for improving your company’s cyber compliance, no matter what industry you’re operating in. With the right framework, every employee can easily understand what’s expected of them, and you can quickly identify any security weaknesses across your infrastructure. 

So, for help introducing your own cybersecurity framework and for advice on assessing your security compliance, contact us today.