NIST Risk management framework in cyber security

NIST provides a risk management framework that can be utilized in the cyber security. The framework contains six steps, starting from categorize to monitor. Let’s try to understand what all different steps in the framework are. So, the first one is:

Risk Management Framework in Cyber Security
Risk Management Framework in Cyber Security

1. Categorize

The goal of this step is to categorize your information systems.

Categorize what falls under the umbrella of routers, categorize the number of windows systems, categorize your workflows, processes and vendors and all different organizational inputs and outputs.

Generating the list of different types of assets and workflows and processes is the output of this step.

2. Select security controls

Based on regulations and laws and standards, best practices and common sense, come up with the security controls, security controls such as the length and complexity of passwords, decide whether WPA2 encryption to be used or something else. A good starting point before boiling down to specific controls could be to select all different controls and test for the applicability.

Once done with this step, it is time to implement the controls.

3. Implementing the security controls

Controls selected and if not implemented is of no use. So, implement the controls. Implement the controls on the system for password length, password type, password change frequency, so that the system itself prompts for the controls.

4. Assess the security controls

We need to verify that everything works the way that we want it to. Do best due diligence to make sure that the security controls are implemented as required, like if we require everybody to have a new password every 30 days, that's going to have big implementation issues and a lot of problems with the administration as well as people forgetting their password.

5. Authorizing the controls

Until now, we covered, what we know, how to do it, how to implement and access.

Authorization becomes very important especially if something goes wrong and we need to point a finger at somebody, it's not necessarily to fire people, but at least you know lessons learned type scenarios.

Understanding who makes the authorization can often be an important point in that framework.

6. Monitor

Monitor the controls to stay on top and check if the controls are doing as expected or it is restricting people too much.

We need to repeat this whole process.

So, we come right back to categorization.

Now in this case we're not having to re-inventory everything.

But what we're more doing now is as a result of the monitoring we begin to understand things.

So literally what happens here is as we look at all six of these steps it becomes a big loop and we just keep doing this continually.