Implement NIST framework to Improve the organisational Critical Infrastructure along with all-time cyber threats protection

Cyber attacks have become a nightmare for businesses of all sizes. According to the researchers, cyberattacks cost businesses billions of dollars every year and these attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication.

Strengthening organisational security with the frameworks is not a new concept for cybersecurity professionals. NIST is one of the most commonly accepted global cybersecurity frameworks that offer immense benefits with effective application among varied industries.

What is NIST?

NIST known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is a non-regulatory government agency that promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology, all with a goal of greater economic security.

The NIST sets the standards and best practices for handling and securing data within government organisations and their contractors. These requirements help public and private sector organisations alike to plan comprehensive security programs with robust controls that ensure systems and data protection.

The most commonly used cybersecurity frameworks are -

- NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF)
- NIST 800-53
- NIST 800-171

The directions and cybersecurity approach provided by NIST can be easily applied to almost any sector and any business size. The NIST compliance strengthens the organisation's security posture and improves resilience. Adopting these guidelines helps in keeping the systems protected from breach along with ensuring compliance with other mandatory regulations like HIPAA and FISMA. Implementing NIST compliance may not be mandatory but this acts as a best practice standard for cybersecurity and data protection. It also provides a competitive advantage to the organisation.

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The NIST Framework

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides guidance for organisations to improve security risk management. It is widely considered the gold standard for building cybersecurity programs. The scalability and customisation make it flexible for implementation at any level across various industries.


The NIST framework comprises three main components -

* Framework Core

* Implementation Tiers

* Profiles


Framework Core - It is a set of cybersecurity activities, desired outcomes and applicable references that are common across critical infrastructure sectors. It comprises five functions - Identity, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover.

Implementation Tiers - These describe the level of the organisation's cybersecurity risk management practice. These vary over a range from Partial (Tier 1) to Adaptive (Tier 4).

Profile - This represents the core functions categories and subcategories prioritized based on the business needs which are being used to measure the organisation's progress towards the target profile.


The NIST framework provides an organisation with a list of guidelines and principles that are utilised to improve cybersecurity efforts. The framework provides an easy customisation of the cybersecurity strategy. It is precise and strict enough while providing the flexibility to manage risks in the most effective manner. NIST defines a four-step process for incident response mentioning it as a cyclical activity, as a process of continuous learning and improvement to discover a defence against cyber attacks. The four steps are


1. Preparation - This involves performing an inventory of IT infrastructure. Evaluating the importance of IT assets. Creating a policy for monitoring activities and a guide for incident handling.


2. Detection & Analysis - Data collection from IT systems, security tools, publicly available information etc and identifying incident signs that may happen in future.


3. Containment, Eradication and Recovery - This is for limiting the impact of a security incident. Eradicating the threat, restoring systems and recovering normal operations as quickly as possible with steps to ensure the attack happens again.


4. Post-Incident Activity - Security teams need to understand what went wrong, what needs to be changed, how can we do better and so on. This is required for strengthening the security policy and handling security incidents in future.



Approach NIST Cyber Risk Assessment with Illume


The NIST Risk Assessment aims at simplifying cybersecurity compliance but following all the outlined protocols can be complicated. Hence managed cybersecurity services provided by organisations such as Illume comes in handy to streamline the steps and ensure the proper applications of standards and guidelines. We understand the requirements of the organisations and know how to implement the steps outlined to secure the Infra and people against cyber threats. Our application of the latest outlined practices helps in easing the compliance journey.


Why NIST Cybersecurity Framework is important?

Improves Critical Infrastructure

Instilling the cybersecurity framework will help in securing sensitive information.

Adapts to Organisation’s Needs

The highly flexible and adaptive framework can easily mend the CSF to better suit business needs.

Increases Business Opportunities

Being popular among the industries implementing CSF will increase business opportunities.

Selects Best Tools

NIST risk assessment identifies essential solutions and outlines top-of-the-line tools for cybersecurity.

Built for the Future

NIST framework is in better stead to adapt to future compliance needs, giving long-term benefits.

Continuous Protection

A fully implemented framework constantly monitors for possible cyber events and potential threats.

What Illume offers?
  • 1. Illume simplifies the process of the NIST framework into a simplified checklist for assessment.
    2. Illume follows the framework to provide a proactive, broad-scale and customised approach to managing cyber risk.
    3. Perform thorough assessments including network reviews, policies and procedures reviews, phishing attempts reviews and penetration testing.
    4. Assessing the security policies and making changes to strengthen them by removing flaws.
    5. A detailed report on identified weaknesses, and recommendations to address these while working with the NIST framework.

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Organisations from a variety of industries around the world can implement the NIST CSF. Large enterprises, small/medium-sized businesses, and government agencies can adopt the framework to make the risk management and compliance process easier to understand.
No, the framework serves as guidance for organizations, but shouldn’t be taken as a must-do checklist. The NIST CSF guidelines are meant to be tailored to an individual organization’s specific needs, industry, and risk tolerance.
To begin with, perform a cybersecurity assessment to see where your organisation is currently on the spectrum of cybersecurity. Using the Risk Management assessment, you’ll get an idea of how your current technology and practices stack up along with an itemized list of tools and services that can increase your security maturity to your desired level.
The framework guides the entire organisation. To gain the full benefit of the framework it is important to be adopted, embraced, understood and followed by the management, planning, and operations teams.
Any organisation at any level of cybersecurity maturity can get benefited from the NIST framework as it helps to identify the gaps in existing cybersecurity strategy, aligned with business goals and priorities, to help organisations achieve complete 360-degree cybersecurity.
Yes. The framework helps in identifying the activities critical to the business, thus helping to prioritise expenditure on those activities to ensure continued business operations.
NIST CSF consulting services can provide several benefits, such as -
1. Assessing the organization's current cybersecurity posture and identifying gaps.
2. Developing a customized cybersecurity strategy aligned with NIST CSF guidelines.
3. Implementing security controls and best practices to improve resilience against cyber threats.
4. Conducting risk assessments and helping prioritize cybersecurity investments.
5. Training employees on cybersecurity awareness and best practices.
Yes, many NIST CSF consulting services can be provided remotely through online communication and collaboration tools. Remote consulting enables organizations to access expertise without the need for physical presence.