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Cybersecurity Framework: Types, Components, Functions

05th Sep, 2023
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    Cybersecurity Framework: Types, Components, Functions

    Cybersecurity refers to the process of protecting sensitive data and critical systems from cyberattacks. Cyber security is an essential tool in today's world of cutting-edge technology. The effectiveness of online security measures depends on the organization and its need for cyber security specialists

    Cybersecurity is critical as corporations, health care organizations, government, financial companies, the military, and many other large organizations store distinctive amounts of data online on various devices, including computers. Even the most minor information is considered sensitive, whether it is the personal information of a client or financial data, and unauthorized access could have adverse consequences. 

    A simple solution like a strong firewall or antivirus is suitable for securing a small amount of data online. Still, businesses with extensive data no longer have the option to rely on simple defenses to protect the data from the threat of cybercriminals. Therefore, companies need a robust cyber risk management framework to build a solid cyber security strategy that offers them multiple layers of protection. 

    In addition, certain companies require critical infrastructure cybersecurity, such as the energy services sector, the dam's sector, the nuclear reactors sector, the transportation sector, and many others. 

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    Cyber Security Framework - An Overview

    A cybersecurity framework or cyber resilience framework is a collection of documents depicting norms, procedures, and best approaches developed for managing cyber security risks. It is designed to reduce the company's exposure to vulnerabilities that attract cyber thefts.

    Though the word “framework” does sound like a term for tangible objects, in terms of technology, the framework indicates an online application developed with programming languages that processes and controls to protect an online network, data, and programs against unauthorized exploitation. 

    Without a robust cyber resilience framework, individuals or organizations are open to cyber threats where hackers could gain easy access to personal computers or mobile devices and networks attempting to steal sensitive information. It may cause extensive damage and have a major effect on work. 

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    Types of Cyber Security Framework

    Cybersecurity frameworks are designed based on the functions needed. There are three classifications of frameworks: 

    1. Control Frameworks

    In a control framework, measures are put in place to help reduce the security risk. In addition, these measures improve the efficiency of an organization's operations and ensure the organization's financial system is reliable. 

    A control framework works as a primary strategy for the organization's cyber security pillars and helps prioritize the execution of security controls. 

    2. Program Frameworks

    A program framework specially designed for program-focused assessments helps evaluate the security program's status as the system's primary function. Additionally, it acts as a communication channel between the organization's management and its cyber security department. 

    3. Risk Frameworks

    The risk framework is designed to identify, evaluate and mitigate the risk. By prioritizing appropriate measures, the risk framework helps safeguard the system. 

    All cybersecurity frameworks strive to achieve the same thing — to minimize cyber risks; therefore, all frameworks have similar tasks; however, different cybersecurity framework programs have slightly different preferences and target audiences.  

    Components of Cyber Security Framework

    There are three main components of cyber security frameworks —Framework Core, Implementation Tiers, and Profiles. 

    • Framework Core: In addition to an association’s current cybersecurity framework and risk management processes, the Core guides oversee and reduce the vulnerabilities to cybersecurity. 
    • Implementation Tiers: Using this, the developer can better understand how they can manage cybersecurity risk and evaluate the level of comprehensiveness required for their programs and are frequently used to discuss hazard needs to the organization. 
    • Profiles: In an organization, profiles are primarily used to identify and organize opportunities for enhancing cybersecurity. 

    In addition, the CIS controls, formerly known as CIS Critical Security Controls, are a set of highly detailed cyber defense actions frameworks that provide detailed methods to deter the most dangerous cyber threats. 

    Functions of Cyber Security Framework

    In total, there are five components to the Cyber Security Framework: 

    1. Identify: Assists developing a hierarchical approach to cybersecurity concerning frameworks, individuals, resources, information, and capacities. 
    2. Protect: It acts as a shield to ensure the conveyance of essential foundation administrations. In addition, it underpins the ability to mitigate the effect of a potential cybersecurity threat. 
    3. Detect: It refers to the proper exercises to identify the event of a cybersecurity experience. 
    4. Respond: It includes the steps for making a move toward distinguished cybersecurity.  
    5. Recovery: It enables you to decide how to ensure your flexibility and reestablish any capabilities or administrations that were hampered during a cybersecurity incident. 

    Cyber Security Frameworks to Consider

    1. ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO 27002

    ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization developed ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO 27002 certifications, and it is considered an international norm for certifying cybersecurity programs. ISO/IEC 27001 main goal is to mitigate and eliminate the identified risks. 

    However, one can get ISO/IEC 27001 certification, and ISO 27002 is developed to act as a reference based on ISO 27001 for setting the online protection control within the implementing process of an ISMS (Information Security Management System). 

    ISO certification is one of the most used and preferred cybersecurity frameworks by influential organizations, including finance, and it is usually considered a sign of a trusted site by consumers. 

    2. GDPR

    GDPR — General Data Protection is considered one of the most strict security and privacy programs globally designed to strengthen the EU (European Union) and EEA (European Economic Area includes Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) citizen data security.  

    With more people entrusting cloud services to save their data, the GDPR in the European Union aims to safeguard citizens' data, especially for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). 

    Though the EU passed GDPR, it levies an obligation on all global companies that collect data of the EU citizens. Therefore, any businesses globally that offer services or products in the EU and process sensitive data transfers from the EU need to comply with their online services with GDPR. 

    3. NIST CSF and NIST RMF

    NIST CSF (Cybersecurity Framework), developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S.), has emerged as one of the most effective cybersecurity frameworks in detecting cyberattacks in seconds. In addition, it also delivers a detailed procedure on how to recognize, defend, detect, react, and retrieve data from cyber-attacks. 

    The NIST CSF offers high standards for developing a solid cybersecurity program for all business sizes and provides a top-level security surveillance instrument that helps evaluate cybersecurity risk.  

    NIST Risk Management Framework, also known as NIST RMF cybersecurity, is a set of security control measures that help identify, implement, assess, and manage cybersecurity capabilities. In addition, it also allows the operation of IS (Information Systems) and PIT) Platform Information Technology) systems. 

    4. COBIT

    COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies) is a cybersecurity framework developed for IT governance and company by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). Using COBIT frameworks, organizations can create, execute, monitor, and enhance their IT management. 

    With the robust technology shaping the world, IT companies handle extensive data that include cloud computing, social media details, company information, and many more. The main goal of designing the COBIT framework is to protect heavy data from vulnerabilities, build complete end-to-end coverage, and improve enterprise security. 

    5. Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)

    The CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) is a framework designed by the US DoD (Department of Defense) to assess its contractor’s and subcontractor’s security, capacity, and strength.  

    The cybersecurity maturity model framework helps eliminate the risks and vulnerabilities in the supply chain and enhance the system's online security. Additionally, the framework is developed to ease the US Defense Department from the breaches that could compromise their missions. 

    6. IASME Governance

    IASME (Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises Consortium) is a framework designed to improve SMEs cybersecurity services (Small and Medium Enterprises). IASME Governance standard protocol design is similar to ISO 27001 but with reduced cost and a high-end security tool. 

    The IASME Governance cybersecurity framework allows SMEs to have the highest level of protection to protect consumer's sensitive information. In addition, the organizations within the United Kingdom get free cybersecurity insurance for their businesses with the IASME standards certification.  

    7. FISMA

    FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) is a framework developed to safeguard the Federal Government network against cyber threats. FISMA also offers services to the sites and agencies that work on behalf of the U.S Government. The FISMA cybersecurity framework works similarly to NIST standards. 

    The framework is used to categorize the risk at a high level, establish the minimum baseline controls, document the controls, refine the controls, conduct annual security reviews, and monitor the security controls. In addition, FISMA automatically encrypts sensitive data. 

    8. PCI DSS

    PCI DSS is a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a cybersecurity framework developed for companies that accept, process, and offer saving credit or debit card information. This framework aims to improve security of the payment account throughout the transaction process regardless of the channel (online or POS) and works with any organization regardless of its size and transaction volume. 

    Depending upon the requirement, PCI offers four compliance levels regardless of the payment acceptance channel (online, over the phone, or POS): 

    • Level 1: Any retailer that has over 6 million Visa card transactions per annum. 
    • Level 2: Any retailer that has transactions between 1 million to 6 million Visa cards per annum. 
    • Level 3: Any retailer that has transactions between 20,000 to 1 million to 6 million Visa cards per annum. 
    • Level 4: Any retailer that has less than 20,000 to 1 million Visa card transactions per annum. 


    Healthcare is a complex and one of the outnumbered industries globally that depend on advanced technology to keep and share sensitive data. HITRUST CRF is a globally certifiable cybersecurity framework developed by HITRUST that offers an efficient, comprehensive, and flexible approach to risk management and reduces the healthcare industry's cyber risks.  

    There are 156 controls and 75 control objectives in the HITRUST CSF framework. Each control three-level has various requirements, and each level builds on the previous level's needs to develop robust security.  

    Using HITRUST CSF certification on your site indicates that the company is certified in performing, storing, accessing, or transmitting in a compliant manner. 

    10. SAMA Cybersecurity Framework

    SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority) developed the SAMA Cyber Security Framework to improve the cyber security of Saudi Arabian government organizations and help the various government agencies implement mandatory guidelines to enhance their subsidiaries' safety by providing specific measures to safeguard against dangerous cyber threats. 

    In addition, the Saudi Arabian government has mandated the adoption of the SAMA cyber security framework in banks, insurance, and all financial service companies to ensure the industry is prepared to respond to cyber threats. 

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    A robust cyber risk framework is closely tied with an organization’s risk management strategy. With the increase in the numbers of cyberattacks due to powerful technology, organizations, especially those that store a large amount of data and safeguard the information associated with one’s financial records, health, or national security, need a solid cybersecurity framework to protect the personnel data and their sensitive pieces of information. However, the risk management system may differ across organizations as it has a specific cybersecurity framework required to run its programs. 

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What do you mean by a framework in cyber security?

    A cybersecurity framework is a set of standard practices used to manage online security effectively. Cybersecurity frameworks aim to reduce the risk of cybercrime on online sites by identifying the vulnerable areas of the network to data breaches. 

    2What are the types of cyber security?

    There are five types of cybersecurity — Application, Critical Infrastructure, Cloud, Network, and IoT (internet of things).

    3What are the pillars of cyber security?

    There are five pillars of cybersecurity —Authenticity, Availability, Confidentiality, Integrity, and Non-Repudiation. 

    4Is OWASP a framework?

    OWASP is a security knowledge framework, an open-source web application of Python Flask that helps secure coding regulations in various programming languages. 


    Shweta Lakhwani


    Shweta Lakhwani runs a travel business - "Voyage Planner" based in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), India. In addition, she is a freelance writer and wins her clients with her creative writing skill. She creates content on various topics such as travel, entertainment, self-help, science, education, information technology (IT), cryptocurrency, insurance, medical, real estate, personal growth, business development, health care, and lifestyle. She is also a Brand Ambassador at the Isla Ida Bracelet and a partner at the Eden Reforestation Projects. She advocates free and life-changing travel experiences while positively influencing the planet.

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