From Facebook to Capital One, high-profile data breaches affecting hundreds of millions of people have become alarmingly commonplace. It should come as little surprise, then, that the United States is beginning to follow the lead of the European Union in creating laws to protect the sensitive consumer info that’s so often compromised in those breaches.

Such laws are just the latest incentive for businesses to implement a comprehensive data security program to ensure that they’re prepared in the event of a breach. And for organizations that may be behind the curve on this matter — which amounts to roughly 7 in 10 U.S. businesses, according to a 2017 survey — the best place to begin is with the implementation of a cybersecurity framework (CSF).

Related: What Is a Cybersecurity Framework, and Why Does Your Business Need One?

Yet choosing the right cybersecurity framework is no small task. The first step is to distinguish between CSFs that are comprehensive, and those that are designed to achieve a specific objective. The latter category includes such frameworks as the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), which is used in healthcare, and the Cloud Security Alliance Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM), specific to cloud computing.

For most businesses, though — particularly those that are modest sized, or not operating in a highly regulated industry like healthcare or finance — it makes more sense to begin with the first category. In fact, almost every industry-specific CSF is a hybrid built on the foundation of a more comprehensive cybersecurity framework.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the leading types of comprehensive cybersecurity frameworks, and how they stack up against one another.

Comparing Comprehensive Cybersecurity Frameworks

NIST Cybersecurity Framework

NIST Cybersecurity FrameworkThe cybersecurity framework established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the most widely used by American companies. This is due in no small part to the fact that it’s the longest-running, established way back in 1990. It also offers the reassurance of having been developed by the U.S. federal government in collaboration with private businesses.

ISO 27000 Cybersecurity Framework Series

ISO 27000 Cybersecurity Framework SeriesLike the NIST, the ISO is designed to provide a framework for achieving a certified level of data security compliance that meets external assessment standards. But where the NIST is designed by the U.S. federal government, the ISO is built upon an international basis, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Choose the Right Cybersecurity Framework for Your Organization

CIS® Cybersecurity Framework

CIS® Cybersecurity FrameworkThe Critical Security Controls (CIS) framework was developed by the SANS™ Institute, an international research and education cooperative formed by IT professionals with the goal of facilitating solutions for information security. As such, it offers an expert-level understanding of cybersecurity, and is acclaimed for breaking down those insights into three manageable and actionable categories.

COBIT Cybersecurity Framework

COBIT Cybersecurity FrameworkThe Control Objectives for Information Related Technology (COBIT) framework is designed to help guarantee the integrity of an organization’s data infrastructure from an operational perspective. It does this chiefly by breaking down cybersecurity into four administrative categories: planning and organization; support and delivery; acquisition and implementation; and monitoring and evaluation.

Which Cybersecurity Framework Is Best for Your Business?

For businesses that aren’t tech-savvy, learning more about cybersecurity frameworks can often be more confusing than enlightening. Even if you’re confident that you know where to begin, it’s still a good idea to seek expert assistance – attempting to implement a CSF without professional guidance is comparable to going to trial without the help of an attorney.

We can help provide the expertise you need to ensure that your cybersecurity efforts meet today’s regulatory and commercial demands. Contact us here to set up a complimentary consultation with an Omnistruct cybersecurity specialist.

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