Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are under constant threat from cyber criminals, and yet many of them don’t have the resources to properly secure their systems. This leaves these businesses vulnerable to data theft, ransomware attacks, and other malicious activities. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework is one solution companies can turn to in order to improve their cybersecurity.
The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides a comprehensive guide for SMBs to protect their systems and data. With 37% of businesses being threatened by ransomware in 2021 alone, it’s never been a better time to ensure your systems are properly equipped to meet cyber attacks head on.
What is NIST CSF and How Can it Protect My Business?
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework is a flexible, customizable plan created to protect businesses’ systems and data. It provides a framework for businesses to assess their current cybersecurity risk levels and then take action to mitigate those risks. The framework is based on five core functions: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover.
The NIST cybersecurity framework can help your business protect its IT solutions from cyber threats. Each function contains multiple sub-functions that provide a detailed roadmap for securing your business. By implementing the Framework’s best practices, you can make your business’s systems more resilient to attack and improve your ability to respond quickly and effectively to any incidents that occur.
Integrating NIST Within Your SMB’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure
One of the highlights of the NIST cybersecurity framework is its flexibility. As a voluntary framework for many companies, its guidelines can be utilized at different levels based on the specific needs of a company, allowing for adjustments along the way.
The advantage of the flexible system is that you can start with some of the basic practices within the framework, and as your company and network expand, you can implement new, more advanced practices that can better protect the cybersecurity of your SMB.
The main functions of the NIST CSF mentioned earlier can be customized to the needs of your business:
- Identify – Helps companies understand their assets, systems, data, and business processes.
- Protect – Outlines various security controls that can be put in place to safeguard systems and data.
- Detect – Allows businesses to detect attempted or actual attacks and provides guidance on how to respond.
- Respond – Outlines the steps that should be taken after an attack has been detected, such as notifying law enforcement and taking measures to contain the damage.
- Recover – Assists businesses with getting back up and running after an attack by restoring data and systems.
This specialized framework is just one way that businesses can improve their cybersecurity. However, it’s important to remember that no single solution will be 100% effective against all threats. That’s why it’s necessary to have multiple layers of security in place.
How Implementing a Password Policy Can Enhance NIST Cybersecurity
A password policy is a set of guidelines that dictates how passwords are to be created and used. A strong password policy can enhance the NIST cybersecurity framework involved in your business by helping to ensure that passwords are not easily guessed or compromised. It can also help to ensure that employees are using strong passwords and are changing them regularly.
A strong password policy could include some of the following elements:
- Passwords should be at least 8 characters long and should include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Employees should be required to change their passwords regularly.
- Employees should not be allowed to reuse past passwords or share passwords with others.
Apply the NIST Framework to Ensure Cybersecurity for Your Business
Envision can help your business implement the NIST Cybersecurity Framework by providing expert advice and support along each step of the process. Our team can help you understand your assets, safeguard your systems and data, detect attacks, and get back up and running quickly if an incident occurs.
We have years of experience helping businesses just like yours improve their cybersecurity posture. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you secure your SMB using this specialized approach.