Cybersecurity Compliance Frameworks: An Overview

By assigning an external party to review and assess your internal security controls through a recognized cybersecurity standard framework, you are demonstrating to your clients and your potential clients that your organization is serious about cybersecurity.

Some cybersecurity frameworks, such as PCI DSS for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, are very exclusive to certain industries whereas others, namely SOC2 or ISO 27001, are more general and involves applicability across industries.

After duly acquiring compliance, each framework builds upon best practices to provide internal resources, clearly defined deliverables and operational processes in order to reduce risk and to provide a playbook (a set of rules and regulations) to respond to incidents calmly and purposefully (i.e., Incident Response Plan).

The documented functioning processes are accordingly adapted to the needs of the organization and they should be maintained and exercised on a regular basis to initiate cybersecurity behaviour within the company. Each cybersecurity control encompasses various requirements, associated costs for implementation, maintenance and audit. The cybersecurity controls should be carried out to scale depending on the size of the business.

Senior management needs to commit to the initial costs as well as the ongoing cost of preserving the compliance certification.

Previously, we wrote an article on behalf of IN-SEC-M on compliance framework, read on.

Introduction to Cybersecurity Frameworks

Contingent upon the reasons why your company is seeking a particular certification, there are several cybersecurity frameworks that can be put into operation. For example, it might be that your company wants to deal with internal security concerns, respond to a customer’s request for certification, or comply with an industry regulation. Many of the compliance frameworks have similar and overlapping control requirements to address cybersecurity risks. Before it starts the laborious task of obtaining certification, your company should choose the most appropriate control requirements to meet its needs. There are consulting companies to help you prepare for certification and walk you through the certification process. You will know you are ready when you are able

to confidently respond to the identified control requirements and ideally have line of sight, i‧e., unobstructed vision between the compliance framework requirement, process, and attestation.

The bottom line is that any security compliance framework is going to continuously improve a company’s cybersecurity posture. Each framework explains the need for security practices in a slightly different manner or focuses on aspects of security relevant to an industry.

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