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Introducing Governance as the Sixth Pillar in NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework

by Chris Senio on September 5, 2023

NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has officially announced an update to their framework for cybersecurity strategy and program management. Dubbed the “NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0,” the update introduces Governance as the sixth pillar. This important update reflects the continued evolution of cybersecurity program approaches.

As a leading SaaS solution provider dedicated to elevating your cybersecurity program management, we are happy to guide you through this groundbreaking update. So, let’s explore the implications for businesses striving to defend and protect their digital assets.

A Paradigm Shift: Introducing Governance

Recognizing the relentless increase in frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, NIST has expanded its original Cybersecurity Framework. Originally comprising five functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover, Governance has been added to address how organizations should conceptualize, implement, and oversee their cybersecurity strategies.

Cybersecurity Governance Strengthens Resiliency

Effective cybersecurity programs are dependent on proper management and Governance serves as the foundation for fostering a cyber culture grounded in resiliency. It encapsulates the overarching policies, processes, and strategies that steer an organization's cybersecurity efforts. It ensures alignment of business goals with risk tolerance. By adding Governance into the framework, NIST brings attention to the critical role leadership should play in cybersecurity.

Key Takeaways from NIST’s Governance Pillar Announcement

  1. Senior Leadership Involvement: The new Governance pillar places an emphasis on leadership's active participation in defining and championing cybersecurity initiatives. Leadership’s commitment to allocating resources, setting priorities, and endorsing cybersecurity policies is vital in shaping the organization's overall security posture.
  2. Risk Management Integration: By adding Governance, organizations have a clearer directive for integrating risk management principles into their cybersecurity strategy. With a pre-determined cadence for evaluating and addressing risks, businesses can make informed and timely decisions about resource allocation and risk tolerance.
  3. Policy Development and Implementation: Governance underscores the importance of developing comprehensive cybersecurity policies tailored to the organization's unique needs. Effective implementation of cyber policies, periodic updates, and the ability to adapt to emerging threats is important as well.
  4. Continuous Improvement: The Governance pillar urges a continuous improvement mindset. Regular assessments, audits, and reviews help to ensure that the cybersecurity program remains effective, efficient, and resilient.
  5. Resource Allocation and Investment Strategy: Governance empowers decision makers to strike a balance between resource allocation and business objectives.

Navigating the Future with the New Framework

As organizations adopt the updated NIST Cybersecurity Framework, they will better position themselves to reap significant benefits. The inclusion of the Governance pillar confirms that cybersecurity is not solely a technical endeavor. It’s a strategic imperative that requires alignment with organizational missions, visions, and values.

ESM is dedicated to supporting your organization’s initiatives to improve your cybersecurity resilience. With the update to the NIST framework, we can help you cultivate a cybersecurity ecosystem that is better equipped to face evolving threats, adapt to changes in technology, and flex to meet the ever-changing business landscape.

In conclusion, the introduction of Governance as the sixth pillar in the NIST Cybersecurity Framework marks a big step towards comprehensive cybersecurity program management. With this new approach, organizations can better protect their digital assets, foster a culture of security, and navigate the complexities of modern cyber threats. We’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you to strengthen your risk tolerance and overall cyber resiliency. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.

Topics: cybersecurity cyber framework

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